New visa rules Indian passport holders need to know

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.

ALSO SEE: Most powerful passport 2018 is an Asian country. See where India ranks

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).

https://www.indiatoday.in/lifestyle/travel/story/new-visa-rules-indian-passport-holders-need-to-know-1327544-2018-08-30

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How the taxi lobby has taken ‘Goa Tourism’ hostage

Recently, my family decided to take a vacation to Goa. A huge bunch of about 18 people, we booked ourselves at Candolim at an upscale hotel owned by a well-known national chain.

Meanwhile, a friend called and asked me as a favour to visit a few boutique hotels she owned for my views, and said she would send me her ‘Private’ car to shuttle me around to all her hotels for a visit.

So the following morning, true to her word, her driver and car were at the hotel in Candolim at the designated time.

My wife, my cousin, who is an architect, and I walked out of the gate and boarded the car. As we were backing out, a bunch of taxi drivers who were lounging outside the gate walked up to the driver and asked him menacingly, “Do you not know you are not allowed to pick up people from here?”

I told the taxi man in question that it was my friend’s private car and that it had been sent to pick me up. He immediately responded with confidence, “I don’t care if it’s your brother’s car. You can’t use it. You have to take a taxi from us.”

By this time, my sense of justice and fair play was working up but because I didn’t want trouble for my friend. I said, “Alright. Next time we will take your car but this car is here. Let us go. There are ladies in the car and your behaviour is disturbing.” Then he got aggressive. He said, “Do what you can. Call the police. There is no way we are letting this car move.”

Contd…. Click Here

I have been doing some research and the matter keeps popping up:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Helping-cops-catch-rogue-driver-proves-costly-for-travel-agency/articleshow/53423327.cms

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Life-Style/2015-01-23/Why-Russian-tourists-stopped-visiting-Goa/127508

http://www.navhindtimes.in/establishing-discipline-in-goas-taxi-business/

http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/news/Taxi-Terror-Threatens-to-Derail-Goas-Tourism/2014/03/01/article2084663.ece

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Taken-for-a-ride/articleshow/40311627.cms

In the interest of Goa tourism, and brand India, and as a person with deep rooted emotional and career investment in hospitality and tourism, I plead with the government of Goa, the tourism department and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to pay attention to this before it becomes a real deal breaker for the state.
Prashanth Rao Aroor

Cheaper Baggage, More Refunds: 10 Big Announcements For Flyers

Cheaper Baggage, More Refunds: 10 Big Announcements For Flyers

Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Saturday proposed a slew of new concessions for air passengers. The sops will be published on the website of the aviation ministry to invite feedback and suggestion before being implemented.

 

  1. Flyers will not have to pay more than Rs. 100 per kg for the first 5 kg of excess baggage.
  2. In case of flight cancellations announced within 24 hours of departure, compensation amount should be increased to up to Rs. 10,000.
  3. If an airline overbooks a flight and denies boarding to passenger, it will have to have to arrange an alternate flight within an hour or pay compensation.
  4. If the replacement flight is within 24 hours, the airline will have to pay a compensation of 200 per cent of the base fare or Rs. 10,000 whichever is less. If the alternative flight is beyond 24 hours, then the compensation will be 400 per cent of the base fare or Rs. 20,000 whichever is less.
  5. Ticket cancellation amount cannot exceed basic fare and there shall be no additional charge to process the refund.
  6. Refunds to be applicable on all fares including promotional and special fares.
  7. On cancellation of tickets, passenger will be allowed to choose whether to take cash refund or hold the amount in credit.
  8. All taxes, levies and fees shall be refunded in case of no-show and ticket cancellations.
  9. Even when booked through travel agents or online portals, airlines shall have to ensure refunds within 15 days to domestic passengers and 30 days for international flyers.
  10. Rules will be amended to ensure improved facilities to people with disabilities such as making it easier to book special seats.

Reported by Sandeep Phukan, Edited by Divyanshu Dutta Roy

See the full story and video at

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/cheaper-excess-baggage-more-refunds-10-big-announcements-for-flyers-1417905

A Heated Argument at the Railway Ticket Counter of Lokmanya Tilak Terminus!

Date: 12 /11/2015
Time: Around 2:30 pm
Place: Lokamanya Tilik Terminal

A ticket distributing staff is accused of counting her cash during the ticket distribution time. When passengers asked her for tickets and suggest her to count cash later when she is free, the situation escalated and arguments started.

Navdeep Bihani did this recording of the situation and uploaded it in his FaceBook timeline.

She later said she would not give ticket and ask police to intervene and take away mobile.

It is common to have rush at the ticket counters, however both the passengers and officials need to be patient for the smoother operations. We request passengers to follow Q-system and not push the working staff at railways. And we further request Indian Railway to give sensitization training to the staff and have right infrastructure in place.

 

Source : http://thelogicalindian.com/videos/a-heated-argument-at-the-railway-ticket-counter-of-lokmanya-tilak-terminus/

Your Indian Passport Will Be Useless After 24th November If…

Guess what? All your dreams to go to an exotic foreign destination this New Year’s might just fall flat!

You know why?
The government of India has advised all Indians living in India and abroad to urgently replace their handwritten passports (wherein your details are filled in by hand) with machine-readable ones.

*So if your passport looks like this, rest assured your vacation stands cancelled.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO) has set a November 24 2015 deadline for globally phasing out all Non-machine Readable Passports (MRPs). Thereafter, other countries may deny visa or entry to any person travelling on a non-machine readable passport.

What you need to keep in mind: The government of India has been issuing these hand-written passports (MRP) since 2001.
If your passport is an MRP issued before 2001, with a validity of 20 years only, then you need to get it re-issued.

Indian citizens residing in India and abroad and holding such passports with validity beyond November 24, 2015 should apply for the reissue of their passports well before deadline.

Deadline: 24th November 2015

How Your Passport Should Look:

http://www.tripoto.com/trip/hh-660267