New Delhi: India may grant visas on arrival to South Koreans, a government official said on Tuesday.
“The proposal to allow visa on arrival facility to all foreign nationals except few is being considered, but the process is very slow," the official said, requesting anonymity. “Among all the countries, South Korea will be the next country to get visa on arrival, sometime in 2014."
To boost tourism, the government was considering a proposal to issue tourist visas on arrivals to all foreigners barring those from a so-called negative list of nations, Mint reported in October.
This was in addition to the Planning Commission’s proposal to extend the facility to 40 countries from 11 countries. Launched in January 2010, the facility is extended to citizens of 11 countries that include Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia.
Between January and November, 17,594 such visas were issued compared with 13,903 in the year-earlier period, a growth of 26.5%, official data show.
The top five countries that issued the highest number of these visas were Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
Asian countries take these schemes positively and there is a high possibility that countries like South Korea may be more than willing to join the bandwagon, experts say.
South Korea was one of the top 15 source markets, which accounted for about 71.4% of total foreign tourist arrivals, about 6.58 million people, in India in 2012, according to latest government data.