Govt may offer e-tourist visa to Chinese nationals

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to China, India may extend the e-tourist visa facility to citizens of that country, despite strong opposition from an intelligence agency. 

The matter was discussed threadbare at a recent high- level meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary L C Goyal, during which the intelligence agency expressed reservations and suggested a cautious approach before taking a final decision. 

The Tourism Ministry has been strongly advocating extending the e-tourist visa facility to five more countries, including China. The other four countries are the UK, France, Italy and Spain. 

Home Ministry officials said the intelligence agency has red flagged granting of the e-tourist visa facility to Chinese nationals due to various reasons. 

Frequent issuance of stapled visa by China to people from Arunachal Pradesh was one of the key reasons for the objection, an official said. 

However, there is a high possibility of over-ruling the objection by the highest level of the government, the official said. 

There is a possibility of announcement of visa-on-arrival facility to Chinese nationals before Modi’s proposed visit to China in May. 

Last year, India had launched the e-tourist visa facility (which was earlier called ‘tourist visa on arrival enabled by electronic travel authorisation’) for more than 40 countries, including the US, but did not include China in the list. 

Chinese officials have rued that the country has been put on par with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.


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