NEW DELHI: As India gives visa-on-arrival to the Japanese, Tokyo has responded by further relaxing conditions for multiple-entry visas for short-term stay for ordinary Indian passport holders.
Last month, it extended the validity period of such visas from a maximum of three years to five years. It also increased duration of visit on multiple entry visas,including tourism and business, to 30 days from the earlier 15. The relaxation is based on an understanding reached between the two countries during Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s visit to India in December 2015.
After Abe’s meeting with PM Narendra Modi, India and Japan issued a joint statement which, among other things, recognised the importance of facilitating exchanges between people of the two countries by “simplifying their visa procedures for nationals of each other”. As per the relaxed visa norms, according to Japan authorities, eligibility for multiple-entry visas has been expanded to include people with travel records to Japan for short-term visit in the past three years and those with travel records as temporary visitor to any other G7 countries.
The validity of visas for business purposes and also for “cultural and intellectual figures” has been extended from 5 to 10 years. Japan had introduced multiple-entry visas for Indian nationals in July 2014 as an acknowledgement that strengthening people-to-people exchanges was important to broaden its relationship with India.
Relaxation of visa norms is important at a time when the two countries are looking to deepen their economic partnership.
Source : Times of India