Are visas on arrival an imminent possibility for British-passport holding visitors to India?

Travel Q&A

Q. The Indian government announced in October that it intended to introduce visas on arrival for UK citizens "sooner rather than later". Any news on the timescale for this? We are planning a trip to India next month. Martin Skipworth, Bournemouth

A. India spends a fortune on marketing, as witnessed by its glossy "Incredible India" campaign. But despite the bid to attract tourists, the government decided earlier this year to more than double the amount that British visitors must pay to enter the country. After going through a complex visa application process, you have to pay almost £100 for the precious stamp on your passport.

For at least 20 years there have been rumours about India offering visas on arrival to British tourists who have uncomplicated circumstances.

There are plans for groups of four or more tourists to be admitted on a "Collective Landing Permit," which requires the trip to have been arranged by an authorised Indian travel agent. A significant advantage is that permission will be available up to 72 hours before departure.

However, there is no likelihood that the system will be in place between now and February. So get a visa as smartly as you can.

The Independent asked senior Indian tourism officials about fees, and was told: "We have no plans to reduce them."

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