Riding high on the success of the e-tourist visa scheme, the Union Tourism Ministry of India plans to extend online visas to 36 countries including Iran, Italy, Egypt and Nigeria among others. According to sources, the proposal has been sent for approval to the Ministry of Home Affairs, India. If accepted, 186 countries will now be able to access online visa to travel to India.
As per The Times of India report, among the countries that have been shortlisted are Iran, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Italy, Nigeria, Turkey, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Morocco. The online visa scheme that was launched in November 2013 has been steadily expanded and has become a popular alternative for tourists. Tourism Ministry data shows that during January- June 2016, a total of 4,71,909 tourists arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 1,26,214 during January-June 2015, registering a growth of 273.9%.