India will introduce a flexible e-tourist visa regime for over 160 countries based on tourist footfall, with higher fee for the peak season of July to March and a considerably lower fee during the lean period of April to June, officials have said.
The fee for e-visa with a validity of 30 days to five years ranges between USD 10 and USD 80.
However, there will be no visa fee for tourists from 14 Pacific Island nations belonging to Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) -- Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu -- and Myanamar, Argentina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Uruguay.
While tourists from all the countries to which India has extended e-visa facility will pay USD 10 for a 30-day e-visa in the lean season, they will have to pay USD 25 in the peak period.
Tourists from these nations will have to pay USD 40 for a one-year e-visa and USD 80 for one with five-year validity.
However, for Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka one-year and five-year e-visa fee is USD 25.
At the inauguration of a meeting with state government representatives on tourism, Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said on Tuesday the move was aimed at encouraging foreign tourists to visit India.
"India to offer 30-day e-tourist visa with USD 10 fee during lean period April to June and USD 25 fee during peak tourism period from July to March," he said.
Both the Home Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) have given approval to the flexible e-tourist visa regime.
While tourists from the US, the UK and Russia are among the 160 countries which can avail e-visa to India, tourists from countries such Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and North Korea do not have that facility.