India set to ease visa restrictions for 180 countries except Pakistan

Published: February 2, 2014
A Hindu refugee from Pakistan shows her now-expired Indian visa page on her passport. PHOTO: AFP

A Hindu refugee from Pakistan shows her now-expired Indian visa page on her passport. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: Tourists travelling to India from up to 180 countries will no longer have to queue up at their local consulates to obtain visas under reforms expected to be approved this week, local media reported Sunday.

Most foreigners currently have to wait several weeks before learning whether they will be allowed to enter the country after submitting their applications at visa processing centres, a major deterrent for potential visitors.

But India’s intelligence agencies have now given their backing to proposals that would allow tourists to apply online and then wait only three days before receiving the green light, the Indian Express reported.

They would then be able to pick up their visas on arrival at any airport.

India currently issues visas on arrival to visitors from about a dozen foreign nations, including Japan and Indonesia.

But visitors from countries which account for the bulk of its tourists – such as the United States, Britain and France – have to go through the time-consuming process of applying in person.

The reforms were first mooted last October but only for around 40 countries.

The citizens of a handful of countries, including Pakistan, will not be included in the changes, the daily said.

Despite its cultural attractions, beaches and mountains, India attracts relatively few foreign holidaymakers – 6.58 million in 2012, which was about a quarter of Thailand or Malaysia.

A final decision on the visa reforms is likely to be taken on Wednesday at a meeting to be attended by the country’s top intelligence officers.

No one from the interior ministry was immediately available for comment.

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Reader Comments (84)

  • mystriousforever
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:32PM

    Who Care … Pakistani will never go lawless country … where poverty at peak


  • Neo
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:41PM

    “Despite its cultural attractions, beaches and mountains, India attracts relatively few foreign holidaymakers – 6.58 million in 2012”

    This line was full of frustration and depression …. , what about tourist visiting Pak ?


  • SGJ007
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:44PM

    Pakistanis do not need VISA to enter India !!


  • karachite
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:49PM

    With divided friends and families India can easily attract a huge number of Pakistani tourists if the visa restrictions are relaxed and relations gets improved between the neighbors. It’s a win win for both countries…save a few hawks.


  • mystriousforever
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:54PM

    Who Care … Why go to there .. can any one convence me


  • rg
    Feb 2, 2014 - 1:57PM

    @mystriousforever: Good you don’t want to enter India. We have achieved a polio-free status after a long and hard battle……we don’t want the disease to enter India again


  • baloch
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:00PM

    I want to visit this amazing country. Please open visa for us. There are so many places to visit. Also there is a Baloch community living in Mumbai. I want to visit them too.


  • Indian
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:02PM

    can you convince me…….why you need to say this…. just shut up..people like u , any ways are not welcome in this country @mystriousforever:


  • Ahmed
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:10PM

    We and with our family want to visit India and to see there rich culture and diversity.It is good if they remove visa restriction for our country.


  • Chacko Cherian Calicut
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:11PM

    Why Pakistan is finding it strange?Can India let Pakistanis come freely when it is a proven that many of them come with ulterior motives like that of David Headley(technically a US citizen)When India asks for punishing terror master minds you blame lack of evidence,as no amount of evidence is enough for you.Take the recent example of J&K trade.You guys want to smuggle narcotics and when caught red handed you allege that it is a conspiracy.For the sake of smugglers Pakistan showed the audacity of stopping cross border trade and bus service.When will Pakistan realise that this is not the way civilised nations behave?If not dont complain that you are not treated on par with other nations..Recommend

  • Lahori
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:14PM

    Sad decision by Indian government.As tourist visits becomes unsafe here, i like to go to india with my family.Like to visit Taj Mahal,Jaipur,Delhi metro,Goa etc etc..and ofcourse nice foods.


  • Afridi
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:20PM

    It was an amazing our last year visit to India.Ride on delhi metro was unbeleivable.Also gone to agra,enjoyed nice beaches in south india.But the food was very spicy.Sorry that these enjoyments are really missing in our country.


  • Ali
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:28PM

    This what indian & Geo News call Aman ki Asha.


  • Adnan
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:32PM

    Its unfair that pakistan’s are not allowed to visit India.In my life time ,atleast i like to visit India for a month.Tourist visit to any other place other than islamabad becomes dangerous.Visit to India and china is my dream.


  • realist
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:35PM

    Maybe Mullah Sami ul Haq or Fazlur Rahman can help to convince India for a visa free regime? What? No takers?


  • Shan
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:41PM

    What we can expect our country, as our international tourist vistors become nill, hotels are running out of cash and deserted, insecuirty feeling every place as of snaching and robbery.Peoples are afraid to go alone as of terrorism and hijacking.Neither east nor west are friendly with us and our citizens are squeezed with out any entertainment !


    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:47PM

    India can attract lot of tourists through a new genre of tourism called ‘Slum tourism’. Though they have started it.


  • Another Pakistani
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:51PM

    @mystriousforever: Get your head out of the sand!


  • Ehsan
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:53PM

    Waqt ki sitam zarifi dekhoo, Taj mahal jin ki miraas hai sirf unhn hi dekhne ke liye visa aur ticket laini paare geee :P


  • Guru
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:54PM

    No need Visa for Pakistanis. They are expert in crossing LOC to intrude in INdia, Even the Ex president Musharaff has once illegally entered India thru LOC


  • Ali Ahmed
    Feb 2, 2014 - 2:57PM

    Visting qutab minar,taj mahal,jaipur for there astonishing monuments,Riding on a cosmopolitan cities like mumbai,bangalore,delhi etc, walking on beaches in kerala,goa and its back waters,Visting tea estates,shimla etc for trecking and riding on indian trains on other various atonishing places are my wishes. But our dream never come a reality as of this unfair restriction.


  • Someone
    Feb 2, 2014 - 3:00PM

    India…The country is becoming more and more insecure for women. They are treated as lesser beings at all levels and despite, all the hue and cry and all the pressure that the civil society is exerting over the government and other related organizations; after the infamous Delhi gang-rape and other similar incidents, the situation is still getting


  • TUNG
    Feb 2, 2014 - 3:01PM

    as for visiting india i only wish abt goin to my ancestoral home!who cares if theydont give me a visa


  • Pops
    Feb 2, 2014 - 3:11PM

    Adnan, good Pakistanis ARE allowed to visit India. You need to apply for a visa in person and cannot do it online and collect at the airport on arrival. It just takes longer.


  • Aman kantharia
    Feb 2, 2014 - 3:18PM

    Its awesome to see so many Pakistani brothers Visited or want to visit india..
    wish Our government can ease visas for them too :(
    actually its the other way round bro.
    Things change


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 3:35PM

    It’s a good decision on Indian part by excluding Pakistanis.Why to go to India when there hearts are filled with hatred for Pakistani nation and country apart from few celebs, sportsmen or businessmen for their personal gains by compromising on national integrity when they are killing people ruthlessly in occupied Kashmir.


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 3:36PM

    asked those who went there after taking visa and spent 20 odd precious years or their lives like Mr Chishti and Samjhota express sufferers. There 100 other better countries to visit in the world


  • love from Pakistan
    Feb 2, 2014 - 3:58PM

    I m a pakistani & im not brainwashed like first commentator….i love to go India..lots of news all around about its booming economy & superpower appeal…Acco to UN if India ease its visa policy it can get more visitors than China in next Five to ten years..& i wana one of them…hope next govt will ease visa policy for pakistan too..Recommend

  • Sudhanshu Swami
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:03PM

    Many actors, singers, players as well as patients needing operation and medical facilities want to come to India.
    @Adnan You can visit India without problem ! Only Visa takes more time. That should be justifiable because of people like Ajmal Kasab, Bhatkal and many more. Visit India to enjoy Eid, whenever Pakistan have restrictions during Eid or other festivals !


  • TUNG
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:20PM

    @Neo: if you read correctly this is news excerpt from AFPRecommend

  • powvow
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:25PM

    @mystriousforever – Grapes are sour ain’t it??


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 4:37PM

    There is no ban on Pakistanis visiting India. It is just that certain measures have to taken to keep India safe.


  • Zif
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:48PM

    We don’t want that charity, thank you India!


  • Former-Indian
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:51PM

    Its not just India but other countries too have special stricter restrictions for Pakistani nationals for visa.


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 5:24PM

    I’m pretending to feel surprised.Recommend

  • Masialu
    Feb 2, 2014 - 5:40PM

    Nawaz Sharif was brought to power by rigging elections to give India most favoured nation status
    What a joke?


  • Khader
    Feb 2, 2014 - 5:48PM

    Every country we go,pakistani’s are considered like alliens, why ?


  • Mia
    Feb 2, 2014 - 6:08PM

    Why would anyone in thier right mind ever give a visa waiver or loosen the restrictions for a Pakistani. It is not not fair to many decent Pakistani’s but at the end of the day a rule has to be applied to all even unfairly.

    So for Pakistani’s get your act together and stop living by wearing your religion on your sleeves all the time. Otherwise, you remain shunned and excluded from the World community.


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 6:12PM

    Honestly, other than Muslims, most Indians do not want Pakistanis visiting India. We can do without your travel dollars and the accompanying plans to sow terror on our soil.


  • bharatiya
    Feb 2, 2014 - 6:34PM

    boosting tourism industry in India will be priority for PM Modi just like he boosted tourism in Gujarat by the famous ads starring amitabh bachchan saying “kuch din to guzaro Gujarat mein.”


  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 2, 2014 - 6:51PM

    I don’t need to go to india I lived in Karachi……


  • Prakash
    Feb 2, 2014 - 6:58PM

    It Help speako proper Inglish.


  • Nasserudin
    Feb 2, 2014 - 7:05PM

    @Ehsan: Joe loag Surrender kertay hain woe line main he kharay hotay hain….Cheer up it wont be much longer ..


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Feb 2, 2014 - 7:09PM

    I have been to India few times and have visited almost all historical sites. I have found Indian people very loving, respectful and helpful. Same is true for Pakistanis who welcome Indians with open arms. Some agencies on both sides create few problmes for Pakistanis and Indians but nobody can harm you, if abide by the law and keep your documents with you.


  • Gaurav
    Feb 2, 2014 - 7:39PM

    Any one who has regards for Indian heritage which was before Muslims came to India, should come to India. We have not destroyed the Mughal heritage even though hindus/temples suffered under Muslim rulers. Come as a friend and not with a mindset of conqueror.


  • optimist
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:07PM

    Pakistan is a poor country and so is India.
    Why visit India? Why not Malaysia or any other dirt free country?


  • BrokenHeart
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:29PM

    Why pakistanis need Visas…
    They can come from KARACHI to MUMBAI in boats just like their KASAB…..


  • Cosmo
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:37PM

    Right, you could always apply for cross border VISA issued by ISI and try your luck for not getting shot by Indian security forces.


  • Avtar
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:39PM

    All Pakistan has to do is to be responsible like other nations.


  • Cosmo
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:42PM

    Dont you know they have special restrictions for Pakistanis as well. You could go to Somalia, as they allow Pakistanis without any VISA.


  • Indian Reader
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:52PM

    @optimist: Some parts of India and Pakistan are poor. But westerns want to visit India. Why ? because there is so much to see in India, not in Pakistan. Moreover India is much much safer than Pakistan


  • Jijaji00
    Feb 2, 2014 - 8:53PM

    No surprises there. No country give easy access to cheap pakistanis, not to even their ladies. For example in Canada to bring your spouse it take 3 years for a pakistani while every other nationality can bring theirs in maximum of 6 monthes. Cry me a river pakis… Well done India. @ mysteryforever i know why you wont come to India because we dont hv social welfare system here which you guys can exploit which you guys are fond of.


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 8:55PM

    If Pakistan was in Indias position I am sure it would do likewise, Its not placing undue restrictions on Pakistanis but rather to keep themselves safe. Most Pakistanis and most Indians would like to visit each others nations and thats a good thing – but there are a few silly people in both nations who would like to mess things up for everyone.


  • lol
    Feb 2, 2014 - 9:09PM

    @optimist: india is still richer than pakistan….. and also better HDI…. infact better at everything ….but again not comparing with a failed state…. with mullahs in every corner….. 40% pakis rot in slums….. so how much dirt free is ur pathetic nation every one knows…. rapes,acid attack…. murderes ,bombers…. ufff…..FAILED STATE…. plus pakistanis cant afford to travel to countries like MALAYSIA…… no money….. international beggars….:D
    be fair ET pubilsh plz


  • Feb 2, 2014 - 9:09PM

    @optimist: It still better than your country whose streets are stalked by death.


  • genesis
    Feb 2, 2014 - 9:28PM

    India has more than mughal architecture.There are great Hindu,Buddhist.Zoroastrian , and christian centers as well with some of the oldest paintings and art worth viewing..


  • C. Nandkishore
    Feb 2, 2014 - 9:52PM

    Those Pakistani citizens who are above 70 should be given visa on arrival. Its a moral duty of India to give them a last chance to see their relatives.


  • Toka
    Feb 2, 2014 - 10:53PM

    @mystriousforever “Who Care … Pakistani will never go lawless country”

    Seriously, believe me if nobody cared, this wouldn’t be a news and you wouldn’t be commenting either!!!


  • Mi
    Feb 2, 2014 - 10:53PM

    Us Bangladeshis just send our drivers to the Indian High Commission with our passports and voila, visa stamped in a day without any hassle.


  • Mohan
    Feb 2, 2014 - 11:32PM

    Who dare to think to go to failed state pakistan.A man with some common sense never go there.Most of the foreigner in pakistan will be a diplomat but in India it will be tourists,that’s the difference.Even the ex-pakistan’s does not want to go there home country.ET pls publish


  • optimist
    Feb 3, 2014 - 12:28AM

    @ Lol
    @ Jag Nathan
    @ Indian Reader
    @ Cosmo etc etc…
    I fully believe in you Indians and agree with you guys on severe restrictions. As someone who wants to see complete division between the two countries, I support Narendra Modi too.
    We Pakistanis need more Indians like you. I also believe that there must NOT be ANY travel between India and Pakistan.
    @ET, if you can publish those comments, mine are very mil as compared. Please no censor.


  • optimist
    Feb 3, 2014 - 12:32AM

    @ Lahori
    @ Afridi
    You both seem to have similar experience (though both of you appear to come from different provinces).
    Both of you also suffer from same ‘spacing’ problem on keyboard as well. And people wonder how there are so many pro India comments!


  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 3, 2014 - 1:18AM

    Realy bro I don’t believe it one indian think they are better than Pakistan I wanna laughed like crazy carrot but first wanna remind u just one small thing slumdog Millioners and second thing when one thing about india first thing in mind comes poverty like Africa and best cleaners in mid east…
    @ET, please published it for the sake of Geneva convention. haha


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Feb 3, 2014 - 1:28AM

    All Pakistanis should visit India once in a life time. There are so many historical and other beautiful sites in India that one visit is not enough. What kind of person would be someone, if he dosn’t want to see Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Golden Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, Agra Fort, Red Fort, Mithra, Ajmer Sharif, Dehli Jamia Mosque, Nizam-ud-Din Aulia Mazar, Ghalib’s old city, Chandni Chowk and other hundreds of places.


  • Naresh
    Feb 3, 2014 - 3:20AM

    @nust: But, no. I’d rather stay in Pakistan. Whatever our faults.
    Thank you very much indeed. Your statement is very much appreciated. Wish more Pakistanis had similar views.


  • Talha Zubair
    Feb 3, 2014 - 6:45AM

    Pakistanis wouldnt go cuz india is just like pakistan except more overcrowded and polluted


  • Nabeel
    Feb 3, 2014 - 9:43AM

    Hey Moderators, It’s really heartening to see that you allow Indian commentators to bash out at Pakistan (on this Pakistani forum), who even use slang language sometimes, but our comments, which usually point towards the neutrality and even patriotism are filtered.

    Going through the comments section of each news make me feel like reading an Indian paper instead of a Pakistani One. Please have some SELF RESPECT… And stop bashing Geo News, you are no less than them any way ! :@


  • Taseer Siddiqui
    Feb 3, 2014 - 12:38PM

    @Indian:There are my close relative. We and with our family want to visit India and to see there rich culture and diversity. It is good if they remove visa restriction for our country.


  • Zinia
    Feb 3, 2014 - 12:44PM

    Good…This way I hope we severe all ties once and for all……


  • Indian Reader
    Feb 3, 2014 - 2:17PM

    Pakistani citizens fancy cross over to India without passport and visa, so why waste money and time issuing visas ?


  • Ex Lahori,
    Feb 3, 2014 - 2:27PM

    The general Public of both the Countrys is innocent and wants to live like good Hamsayays.
    it is the Establishment which makes sure that Citizens on both Sides do not come to Know what is your Virasat.And how good they are at keeping us separate.However, In the end ,only the Truth shall prevail.Amen


  • Al-Bakistan
    Feb 3, 2014 - 3:56PM

    Reading the comments here you wouldn’t believe that the two nations were one for thousands of years !!


  • Feb 3, 2014 - 4:04PM

    We and with our family want to visit India. It is good if they remove visa restriction for Pakistan to.

  • rasgullah
    Feb 3, 2014 - 4:46PM

    @Ex Lahori,:
    The only people who care about good relationship are those who have relatives on both sides of border. The rest of India doesn’t care about Pakistan.


  • Feb 3, 2014 - 4:49PM

    @Jahangir: We first take a decision based on our wishes(belief) and then look for reasons to justify it. hope you understand. It is applicable on both side of the border.


  • Anonymous Indian
    Feb 3, 2014 - 5:50PM

    Good decision by the Indian authorities.


  • Jay
    Feb 3, 2014 - 9:53PM

    Yes ! certainly a baloch communty in Mumbai. I have a friend with second name as ” Baluch”. Famous actor Kader Khan was born in Pishin, Balouchistan. Recommend

  • Naresh
    Feb 4, 2014 - 4:44AM

    @Al-Bakistan: Reading the comments here you wouldn’t believe that the two nations were one for thousands of years !!
    Wish you were around at the time of Mr. Jinnah. He was convinced that Hindus and Muslims are TWO SEPARATE NATIONS!


  • Mar 29, 2014 - 5:10PM

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  • Mar 29, 2014 - 5:12PM

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  • Humanbeing
    Mar 30, 2014 - 5:24AM

    Hi everyone..i am from Pakistan and i really wish to visit India and explore it. I also want to interact with indian citizens and make friends over there..but i feel quite sad after viewing certain very unwelcoming comments. Come on guys open up your hearts..remove this hatred…and we Pakistanis are not that bad invite us to india :)…peace.


  • Noor
    May 10, 2014 - 11:25PM

    @Aman kantharia: Great to read your comments im a pakistani but ive visited india twice there are some extremist from both the countries who have some hatred whereas i have loads n loads of indian friends and relatives in india and love india :)


  • Noor
    May 10, 2014 - 11:26PM

    @mystriousforever: Im a pakistani and i go every year any problems?


  • Noor
    May 10, 2014 - 11:29PM

    @Jahangir: Not all hearts are filled with hatred im a pakistani and i have many many indian friends and they all are very close to my heart and we share a beautiful relationship stop spreading fake things there is no hatred there are still ppl who desire peace and love…….!!


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