The Indian Home Ministry has announced that the Visa on Arrival for Americans should be available starting this month.
For some reason, Americans have long had a rather special visa treaty with India, but it seems that it’s about to get a bit better. Prime Minister Modi has announced that “instructions have been issued to Indian embassies and consulates that apart from special circumstances, USA nationals should get visas for 10 years.” 10-year Tourist Visas were already available, but now they will become the norm. It’s a huge advantage having a long visa and not having to reapply every time. I hope to see this program expanded to many other nationalities.
India will also grant life-long visas to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and it is working on a new program that will merge the PIO and Overseas Citizenship of India schemes. Until now, PIO cards were only valid for 15 years and PIOs had to register if they were staying longer than 180 days. Now registration is no longer necessary. They can stay or go as the please.New Delhi also announced that PIO cards, which are issued to foreign citizens with Indian roots, will now be valid for life instead of 15 years, fulfilling Modi’s announcement during the recent US visit that PIO cardholders would enjoy a lifelong visa to India.
There have been rumors of a Retirement Visa in the works, something like what Thailand has. Hopefully that will happen soon.