If you are a frequent international flyer, then you might have a full passport stamped with visas from all over the world. And while some visas are a breeze, others tend to make our lives very difficult indeed.
According to India Today, around 59 nations offer ‘visa on arrival’ or ‘visa-free’ travel to Indian passport holders. However, there are some places in Europe and the Americas, where Indians still need to apply in advance.
The critical part of all this is, of course, to know the rules and regulations before landing in the host airport – least you end up spending the next several hours stuck in an airport. So read on to know what has changed for Indian passport holders and their visas.
Ten new visa rules that you should know:
1. Travellers transitioning through any French airport’s international zone, do not need an airport transit visa any longer.
2. If you reside or hold an entry visa to the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan or Schengen states, and if you plan on visiting Oman, you can get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival, by paying 20 Omani Riyal or Rs 3,700. Your spouse and kids can also get a visa on arrival.
3. Drive without worry into Myanmar, as all you have to do is display at the check-post is an e-visa that takes two days to procure.
4. Specialists in medicine, science and research, exceptional students and investors – UAE will grant you a 10-year long-term visa if you want to visit the country.
5. In a small win for women, Saudi Arabia will issue tourist visas to women aged 25 and above, even if they visit the country without being accompanied by a man. This is thanks to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who wants a ‘moderate, open Islam’ system in his country.
6. Are you a prospective visitor to Israel, either in the business tourism, meeting or conference categories (B2 category)? The visa fee for Indian passport holders has fallen from Rs 1,700 to Rs 1,100.
7. If you want to travel to Uzbekistan from India, all you have to do is submit an e-visa application three daysbefore the trip. For a 30-day period, you can also get a single-entry visa.
8. For promoting tourism, the UAE has new rules. Between July 15th and September 15th each year, dependents under the age of 18 can get free visas.
9. Those who want to visit Japan can now apply for a short-term stay or a multiple-entry visa without the need to furnish an employment certificate or explanation letter for the reason of visit. Gather your visa application form, a recent photo and proof of financial stability, if you want a tourist visa. If you have business-related needs, show the authorities documents proving your affiliation to the enterprise.
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10. Those who want a taste of African wilderness can get a visa on arrival at Zimbabwe. India now joins 28 other nations that Zimbabwe has relatively relaxed visa rules for.
(Edited By Vinayak Hegde)