India to reinstate e-visa process for British travellers after hundreds … – iNews

India is reinstating e-visas for British passport holders after the UK was left off a list of 156 eligible countries when e-visas applications were reopened in 2021 following the Covid-19 crisis.
On Monday, the High Commission of India confirmed via Twitter that the e-visa facility will again be available for UK nationals travelling to India.
In a video shared on the platform, Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami said: “We are rolling out e-visas once again and this service will be available to you forthwith. We are looking forward to a good winter season.”
Hundreds of holidays to India were affected and many UK tour operators cancelled trips after the High Commission of India confirmed on 7 October that Britons would need to go to in-person appointments and interviews to secure a visa to visit the country – applying for an e-visa, meanwhile, is a relatively straightforward process, similar to that of an Esta for the US.
On the website for Indian visas, 164 countries are now shown as eligible for e-visa applications.
Sam Clark, managing director of Experience Travel Group (which is a member of Aito, the specialist travel association) told i: “The thought of the admin involved to obtain a visa via the old-fashioned visa application system was putting so many people off the idea of a trip to India.
“In addition, many travellers with existing bookings were either unable or unwilling to go through the complicated and in-person application process.
“At Experience Travel Group, we had either to re-schedule or cancel – due to issues with their visa – simply hundreds of people desperate to get their travelling shoes out and go on an adventure.”
Mr Clark added that the announcement on Monday by the High Commission of India will be an “absolute game changer”, particularly for small places all over India.
Other travel companies that sell holidays to India, including Cox and Kings and A&K, also welcomed the update.
Kerry Golds, chief tour operating officer for Cox and Kings and A&K, said: “The return of the e-visa for British citizens is a significant step forward in removing a barrier for travellers planning a visit to this incredible, captivating country.”
In November, the High Commission brought in interim measures to speed up applications for visas from the UK, including a paid-for service that collected relevant papers from applicants’ doorsteps and returned them once they’d been processed.
New visa processing centres were opened in Glasgow and Marylebone, London to help reduce waiting times.
In November, Ashley Quint from travel agency TravelTime World told i that customers had found the visa application process difficult and stressful.
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