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India to reintroduce e-visa for UK travellers

India to reintroduce e-visa for UK travellers
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By Kanishka Sarkar  Dec 6, 2022 4:02:43 PM IST (Updated)

UK e-visa: Travellers from UK to India will soon again be able to avail of e-visa facility, the Indian High Commission has announced. People can start applying online for the e-visa within a day.

UK nationals travelling to India will soon be able to avail e-visa facility again, the Indian High Commission announced in London on Monday.

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“Team @HCI_London is delighted to confirm that e-visa facility will again be available for UK nationals travelling to India. System upgrade is underway and the visa website will soon be ready to receive applications from friends in the UK,” the High Commission posted on Twitter alongside a video.
In the video, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami said the e-visas should enable “friends from the UK to travel far more easily to India.” “We look forward to a good winter season, in which everyone gets to celebrate their festivals in India, the land of festivals,” he added.
Doraiswami said the service will be available “forthwith” and that people can start applying online for the e-visa within a day.
The development comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Indonesia in November. E-visas was one of the issues that the two discussed during the meeting.
The much awaited move was welcomed with great cheer with many saying they had been trying to apply for the paper visa but were waiting eagerly for e-visas given the ease of the process.
Replying to the Indian High Commission’s tweet, users on the microblogging site also asked if there were any chances of refunds for those whose visas are being currently processed and if they can do away with the “cumbersome” paper visa process and apply online instead.
The plan to reintroduce e-visa comes after several measures, which have already been undertaken to boost Indian visa processing facilities. These measures include a new Indian visa centre in central London and a Visa at Your Doorstep (VAYD) service to address the high post-pandemic travel demand from the UK to India.
The new India Visa Application Centre (IVAC) at Marylebone is operated by VFS Global, the outsourcing and technology services provider for governments and diplomatic missions. VFS Global has also facilitated a more streamlined process for group tourism or those travelling as a group, typically via a travel agency to the same destination using the same flights.
The new visa centre is the third such facility in London, with VFS Global operating a network of 10 IVACs across the UK, including Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, central London, Hounslow, Leicester, and Manchester.
VFS Global said it has been able to release more appointments as London and Birmingham started receiving applications on Saturdays and weekday afternoons. Since March this year, VFS Global has also partnered with the High Commission of India in London and its Consulates around the UK to set up weekend consular camps across the UK.
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