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Rapid growth in arrival of foreigners with e-visa; USD 137 mn collected as fees till Oct this year

Rapid growth in arrival of foreigners with e-visa; USD 137 mn collected as fees till Oct this year

New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) Over 1.7 million foreigners visited India with e-visa last year and the number of tourists availing the popular scheme this year is likely to cross two million mark, officials said Wednesday.USD 105,558,496 has been received as e-visa fees in 2017 by the government and USD 137,527,270 (Rs 993 crore approx) till October 31 this year.The number of foreigners who visited India with e-visa has gone up from 447,000 in 2015 to 1.7 million in 2017. The figure for 2018 is 1.87 million till October 31 this year and it may touch two million mark by the end of the year, a Home Ministry official said.The e-visa facility now covers practically all the countries of the world, 166 as of now, and foreigners can arrive at any of the designated 26 airports and five seaports in India without interacting with any official before checking in at the immigration counter.Under the e-visa scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a print-out of this authorisation, the official said.On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then allow entry into the country.E-visa is now available for five categories i.e. tourist, business, medical, conference and medical attendant.To promote cruise tourism immigration facilities have been provided at five major seaports where e-Landing permits are granted to passengers for their onshore site-seeing.The government has received USD 105,558,496 as e-visa fees in 2017 and USD 137,527,270 till October 30 this year.The top five countries whose nationals availed e-visa services in 2018 (till October 31,) are: United Kingdom -292,143, the United States 221,339, China 127,022, France 107,185, Germany 89,863. PTI ACB RT