India: Japanese nationals to be eligible for visa-on-arrival

Effective March 1, 2016, Japanese tourists, business visitors, conference attendees and medical visitors who are unable to apply for a regular visa or electronic visa will be eligible for a non-extendable 30-day single-entry visa-on-arrival. The visa-on-arrival allows two visits per calendar year. 

The visa-on-arrival can be used in addition to the e-Tourist Visa (e-TV), which also allows two visits per calendar year in its own capacity. 

Eligibility Criteria

Travellers must have at least six months’ validity on their passports and a return or onward journey ticket. 

The visa-on-arrival is available to Japanese nationals who do not already have a residence and who are not employed in India. 

Travellers seeking to utilize the visa-on-arrival must enter through one of the following international airports: 

  • Delhi;
  • Mumbai;
  • Chennai;
  • Kolkata;
  • Bangalore; or
  • Hyderabad. 

Application Process and Fees

To apply for the visa-on-arrival, applicants can download and complete the relevant form which will soon be available on the Ministry of Home Affairs’ portal, or they can fill out the form during their flight to India along with the disembarkation card.

Upon arrival, the immigration officer verifies the purpose of the visit and the traveller’s eligibility and the traveller pays a fee of INR 2,000 (approximately USD 20) and submits biometrics. The visa-on-arrival is then stamped into the traveller’s passport.

Restrictions

This visa-on-arrival is not available to Diplomatic/Official passport holders and travellers of Pakistani origin or with Pakistani passports.

The visa-on-arrival cannot be used to visit Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas, and is non-convertible unless one of the following circumstances apply:

  • A Japanese national who marries an Indian national while the visa-on-arrival is still valid may convert to an Entry (X) Visa;
  • A Japanese national who falls ill in India and requires specialized medical treatment may convert the visa to a Medical (Med) Visa and accompanying members may be granted conversions to Medical Attendant (Med. X) Visa; and
  • Visa-on-arrivals granted to Japanese nationals of Indian origin may be converted to Entry (X) Visas during the validity of the visa-on-arrival.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals

Eligible Japanese nationals should benefit from streamlined travel under the visa-on-arrival and should contact their immigration professional to discuss eligibility and application options.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK