UK tourists are set be excluded from new visa plans set out by the Indian government, which allow visitors from selected European countries to purchase visas on arrival to the country. (Featured image by Jeremy Vandel)
While the proposed amendments to the scheme, aimed at increasing tourism to India, are set to benefit countries including France, Germany, Spain, Poland and Russia, Brits are expected to be snubbed in the move.
A report by The Sunday Times suggested that the fact that UK holidaymakers may not be included in the overhaul of the Indian tourist visa system may be in response to visa regulations for Indians visiting the UK being recently tightened.
This action has led the number of Indian tourists travelling to the UK to plummet by 18 per cent.
The cost of Indian visas for British tourists has now increased more than two-fold from £38 to £82, while the processing fee has climbed by £1, to £10.20.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Saibal Roy Chowdhury, a spokesperson for the Indian High Commission, said that the plans had not been finalised.
“For the UK nationals, to the best of our knowledge, as of now there is no such proposal on the table,” he said.
“Visa protocols and guidelines are usually on a reciprocal basis. Hence, visa on arrival for UK nationals will perhaps entail a similar facility for Indian nationals.”
The 800,000 UK visitors who flock to India each year need to submit a postal application, with a processing time of up to 10 days, in order to be granted permission to enter the country.
However, Mr Chowdhury argued that under the current system visas were normally cleared within three working days.
A total of 11 countries have eligibility for visas on arrival to India, including Burma, Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
For people from these countries the single-entry visa costs £40, and allows a maximum stay of 30 days.