9 New Visa Rules You Should Know Before Planning To Travel Abroad
India currently holds the 66th rank on the Global Passport Index which determines the strength of the passports of various countries across the world. Indians can go visa-free in 25 countries, have visa on arrival in 41 but need to have a visa before arrival in a whopping 132 countries. Let’s just say the 66th position is not such a great spot to be at. Not to mention the hassle of getting a visa. With lack of interview dates, tons of paperwork and visa fee – travelling abroad can turn into a total nightmare.
Luckily for us, there are certain new rules that have been introduced and most of them seem to make our lives easier.
1. Japan had always been very strict about its visa policy towards Indian residents. To the point that getting a visa to Japan was as difficult as getting one to the US or European countries. However, now, Indian passport holders don’t need to provide an employment or explanation letter when travelling to Japan for a short-term visit.
2. UAE has come up with several new tactics to promote tourism. Dependents under 18 years of age will now get visa free travel between 15 July to 15 September every year. Along with that, professionals in research, medical, science and investors will be granted a 10 year long-term visa.
3. Even while transiting through airports in France, Indian passport holders required a transit visa. Now, as long as you are transiting through the international zone of any French airport, you do not need a visa.
4. If you are a resident of or even hold entry visa to the US, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada or Schengen States, you can get a travel visa on arrival in Oman for a month, after paying the required fee.
5. Myanmar has opened up its e-visa facility and now you can simply get the visa in two days and drive to Myanmar. Uzbekistan has also joined Myanmar and you can avail e-visa for a month long period.
6. Saudi Arabia, which did not allow women to travel alone has now opened up its policies. Women above the age of 25 can get a tourist visa and visit Saudi Arabia without a man.
7. Zimbabwe has allowed residents from 28 countries to get visa on arrival and India is one of them.
8. Israel has reduced its visa fee for Indian nationals considerably from INR 1,700 to 1,100 as long as you are travelling for tourism or business purposes and apply in the B2 category.
9. Kazakhstan, too, has allowed Indians to get a free 72-hour transit visa as long as the passenger is travelling through a Kazakh airline.
Another major rule that is yet to be implemented is a free two day transit visa at Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The rule is sure to be a breakthrough in the travel plans and routes of Indians when it comes into existence.