If you are an Indian passport holder and travel often, chances are that you have had to face visa issues once or more.
As of 2018, 59 countries offer visa on arrival or visa-free travel to Indian passport holders. But that is hardly any consolation, given that most countries in Europe and the Americas still require you to get that visa stamped on your passport.
However, in what comes as slight relief to Indian passport holders, visa rules have been relaxed a little.
There is a new set of visa rules in place and if you hold an Indian passport, this might ease your travel a bit.
Take a look at the new rules:
1. If you’re transiting through the international zone of any airport in France, you don’t need an airport transit visa any longer.
2. If you are travelling to Oman, you can now get a month-long tourist visa on arrival in the country for an amount of 20 Omani Riyal (Rs 3,700). But this rule holds only if you reside or hold an entry visa to the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan or Schengen states. Your spouse and children accompanying you can also get a visa on arrival.
3. Travelling to Myanmar is now a cakewalk if you are planning to drive into the country. You need to display your e-visa at the checkpost. The e-visa can be obtained in two days.
4. UAE is now granting a 10-year long-term visa to highly-skilled professionals and investors who are willing to visit the country. These visas are granted to specialists in science, medicine and research. Visas are also being granted to “exceptional students.”
5. Israel has now cut down its visa fee for Indian passport holders from Rs 1,700 to Rs 1,100. You need to apply for a visa in the B2 visa (business, tourism or meeting or conference) category in order to avail the new price.
6. Travelling to Uzbekistan from India is also easier now. Submit your e-visa application three days before your trip. You can get a single-entry e-visa for a 30-day period.
7. UAE has announced new visa rules to promote tourism in the Emirates. Between July 15 and September 15 every year, UAE is offering visa-free travel to dependents below 18 years who are accompanying you. This means if you are travelling to Dubai or Abu Dhabi for a family holiday and have kids below 18 years, your kids travel visa-free.
8. In a bid to increase tourism in the country, Saudi Arabia is now issuing tourist visas to women aged 25 and above even if they are visiting the country without being accompanied by a man. This is the first time Saudi Arabia has relaxed visa rules on this front. The new visa rules come after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman promised a “moderate, open Islam” in the country.
9. Japan is one of those Asian countries whose visa rules for Indian passport holders used to be at par with probably the US or European countries. But Japan has now relatively eased travel to the country for holders of Indian passport. If you are applying for a short-term stay in Japan or a multiple-entry visa, you don’t need to show an employment certificate or explanation letter stating the reason for your visit. You need your visa application form along with a valid and recent photograph and proof of your financial stability if you are travelling for tourism purposes. If your trip to Japan is business-related, you need documents to prove your affiliation to the enterprise.
10. Indian passport holders can now get visa on arrival in Zimbabwe. India is among the 28 countries that Zimbabwe has relaxed visa rules for.
YET TO BE IMPLEMENTED
If you are transiting through Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you can now obtain a free transit visa for two days. The transit visa can be extended to four days from two at an additional cost of 50 Dirham (Rs 970).