- Easier travel to many Japan, Uzbekistan, and Myanmar
- Transit visa no longer required for Indians transiting through French airports
- Indian women can travel to Saudi Arabia unaccompanied by men
More and more Indians are traveling abroad every year. While some countries do offer visa on arrival and visa-free travel, a visa is still needed in most places. If you’re planning to travel abroad in the next few months, read on to get some good news.
Today, India is one of the fastest growing sources of outbound travel. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of Indian tourists visiting foreign countries may cross the 50 million mark by 2020.
|Year of travel||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016|
|Number of Indians travelling abroad (in million)||12.99||13.99||14.92||16.63||18.33||20.38||21.87|
The Indian passport currently allows Indians to travel without a visa or with a visa on arrival to 59 countries. Zimbabwe is one of the latest countries to offer a visa on arrival for Indians. However, Indians still need a visa approval beforehand for travel to the USA and most of Europe.
The good news is that visa rules for Indians have been relaxed a little. Here are the ten new rules that can make your travel plans a little simpler.
No more Airport Transit Visas for France
Indians transiting through a French international airport no longer need to apply for an airport transit visa.
Month-long tourist visa on arrival available for Oman
If you reside in or hold a valid visa for the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan or any of the Schengen countries, you may now get a tourist visa on arrival in Oman. This is extendable to your spouse and children as well. The tourist visa is valid for one month and costs 20 Omani Riyal.
Drive through Myanmar becomes easier
Indians can drive into Myanmar with an e-visa. The special land route permit is no longer needed. An e-visa takes two days to be processed.
10-year long-term visa for UAE
Indian investors and highly skilled professionals such as scientists, doctors and researchers can get a 10-year long-term visa to the UAE. Exceptional students can also apply for this visa.
Reduced Israeli visa fee
The Israeli visa for Indian passport holders has been reduced from Rs 1700 to Rs 1100. This fee is applicable for the B2 visa category.
Easier travel to Uzbekistan
A single entry e-visa valid for 30 days is available for Indians. The application for this e-visa needs to be submitted only 3 days before the intended trip.
Visa-free travel for dependents traveling to UAE
Between July 15th and September 15th, the UAE allows dependents under the age of 18 years to travel visa-free.
Women can travel to Saudi Arabia on their own
In a bid to make Saudi Arabia a more moderate Islamic country, women above the age of 25 years can now travel to the country on a tourist visa even if they are not accompanied by a man.
Easier Travel to Japan
It is now easier for Indian passport holders to travel to Japan. When applying for a short-term visa or a multiple entry visa, the applicant will no longer have to give a letter explaining the reason for the visit or show an employment certificate.
People applying for a tourist visa only need a completed visa application form, recent passport-sized photographs and proof of financial stability. For business travel, documents will be needed to prove affiliation with the company.
72-hour transit visa for Kazakhstan
Indians traveling to Kazakhstan on the country’s national airline; Air Astana or any other Kazakh airline can now get a 72-hour transit visa.