Centre says 16 countries provide visa-free entry to Indian passport holders


The Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday that a total of 16 countries including Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan and Mauritius provide visa-free entry to Indian passport holders.

As per information provided by the minister of state for external affairs V Murleedharan, these countries provide visa-free entry:

1. Barbados

2. Bhutan

3. Dominica

4. Grenada

5. Haiti

6. Hong Kong SAR

7. Maldives

8. Mauritius

9. Montserrat

10. Nepal

11. Niue Island

12. Samoa

13. Senegal

14. Trinidad and Tobago

15. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

16. Serbia

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Murleedharan pointed out that 43 countries provide visa-on-arrival facility and 36 countries provide e-visa facility to Indian ordinary passport holders.

Iran, Indonesia and Myanmar are among those that provide visa-on-arrival facility and Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Malaysia belong to the group of 26 countries that have e-visa facility, according to the information provided by Murleedharan.

The minister said that the government has been making efforts to increase the number of countries that offer visa free travel, visa-on-arrival and e-visa facility to Indians with a view to ease international travel.

While the issuance of visa and the conduction of visa-related process is the sovereign and unilateral decision of the respective country, the matter regarding easier and liberalised visa policy for Indian nationals is taken up regularly in bilateral meetings and forums with foreign countries, he added.

Meanwhile, the Donald Trump administration is set to make it tough for US firms to hire foreigners on H-1B non-immigrant short-term visas by limiting the definition of ‘specialty’ occupation and raising minimum wages for employees. Both these measures would ensure that Americans are not displaced or denied employment because of migrant workers available at cheaper rates.

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