New, improved visa rules for visitors to India look like they will exclude British travellers.
While travellers from a number of European countries including France, Spain, Germany, Poland and Russia are expected to benefit from being able to buy a visa on arrival in India rather than having to apply for one in advance, UK visitors are still likely to be subject to the existing system, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The nation’s exclusion from the simplified and more convenient process is thought to be a retaliatory move by the Indian government for the UK’s tightening of visa regulations for visiting Indian nationals. The Indian authorities have already increased the cost of visas for UK citizens to £82 from £38, as well as increasing the administration fee by £1 to a new total of £10.20.
The final decision has not yet been made according to a spokesperson for the Indian High Commission, Mr Shaibal Roy Chowdhury, but he told MailOnline Travel that, ‘For the UK nationals, to the best of our knowledge, as of now there is no such proposal on the table. Visa protocols and guidelines are usually on a reciprocal basis. Hence, visa on arrival for UK nationals will perhaps entail a similar facility for Indian nationals.’
While postal applications for an Indian visa can take up to 10 days to process, Mr Chowdhury insisted that for UK applicants most visas are processed within 3 days.
The newly added countries to India’s list of preferential visa applicants will join the eleven countries that already benefit from the perk, which include Japan, Luxembourg, Vietnam and Finland.
800,000 Britons currently visit India each year.