India starts online visa processing

April 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani national can go on to the website of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, fill the online visa form, click submit, show the relevant documents to the local mission and get the visa.

That’s the idea at least - it has been applicable since April 1 - but not a single visa has been issued through this method yet, Indian media reported on Wednesday. This scheme, to cost around Rs10 billion, was to computerise the entire life-cycle of a foreigner in India, right from the time they apply for a visa till they eventually exit the borders. Pakistan was chosen to be the first country to open the online visa process, with Bangladesh and the UK to be included by June 15. A disadvantage for Pakistani citizens seeking Indian visas through new system is that they will have to provide a letter from an Indian sponsor duly authorised by an Indian official.

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