India visa rules for UK visitors causes thousands of cancellations

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  • Tom Otley

    Quite a storm (in the UK at least) about the change to the India visa applications – particularly for holiday makers.

    Like many, I have visited several times, but mostly using a multiple-entry business visa.

    This Autumn we were planning on a holiday there. There’s been a sudden crackdown on agencies offering to sort out visas (for a fee) and as a result, everyone has to attend one of the UK centres in person – the net result is there are no appointments, and, in our case at least, we will have to postpone and cancel our trip.

    Many point out we require Indian nationals to appear in person to get a visa to come here, so it is simply reciprocal, but I imagine there are other things going on behind the scenes.

    It’s a shame 0 I was looking forward to returning to Chennai – it’s been more than a decade.

    Indian high commission in London denies changing UK tourist

    Visa rule change ruins India holiday plans for thousands

    British holidaymakers left out of pocket and holidays cancelled after last-minute change


    Indian tourism (and employees of the industry) will be the most hard-hit by what appears to be yet another manifestation of the benefits of ‘Global Britain’ in action!!

    My son was planning to travel through India as part of an extended career break journey but has had to re-route from Central Asia direct to KL because of the visa issue. Finding flights out of Central Asia is also a major problem now because of the influx of Russians in the region – they now have a flight from Tashkent to KL in about a week, the first they could find at a reasonable price.


    [postquote quote=1236048]

    not sure how this is “global Britain in Action” a lot of countries have been cracking down on Visa abuse by “agents” in recent years, especially after opening up since covid, this is more a case of India being strict with the existing rules and not just against Brits. Vietnam where i am now did much the same, although brits are visa free for 15 days you could get longer visa’s but its all now reduced to 30 days and e visa is now only thru official govt channels. most of the “visa fixers” are now out of business

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    India has long been frustrated by the UK’s attitude to Indian visitors and the hoops the UK Home Office makes them jump through, and this does indeed seem to be partly a policy of making UK visitors to India go through the same sort of process as Indian visitors to the UK. One could even say that the Indian authorities have been very tolerant up to know in not imposing like-for-like reciprocity.

    But it is also tied up with the totally toxic politics of the UK’s Conservative party at the moment. Before she became Prime Minister Liz Truss was first of all at the Dept for International Trade, and then Foreign Secretary, and at both of these she championed a trade deal with India – indeed it was to be her flagship success at D.I.T. And it should not be difficult to achieve, as India basically only wants better treatment for its nationals and less visa hassles – all the other demands were minor compared to this.

    However Truss has so destroyed her own credibility that attacking her is now seen as fair game, and whatever her colleagues may say, they are already actively jockeying for position in the race to replace her. Suella Braverman (Home Secretary) has strong anti-immigration tendencies anyway, and has played this card to curry favour with the more right-wing members of her party by publicly singling out Indians as the worst overstayers and breakers of visa obligations and restrictions.

    Not surprisingly the Indian government is livid at this extremely undiplomatic attack and this visa move would appear to be part of their angry response. And of course India has also threatened to end any chance of Truss’s much-vaunted trade deal with India – a setback for the UK government, but a bonus for Braverman in her none-too-subtle campaign to be the next Tory leader.

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    Cedric, excellent analysis.


    Notwithstanding this possible tit for tat approach, I found that most countries started behaving foolishly in implementing visa regime.

    Each country may or should have their own rule, but hassling travellers with documentation is big deterrent. And each passing years, the visa applications for many countries are becoming a big burden for travellers.

    And if a country establishes the credentials of travellers after all the submissions, what is stopping them to issue long term multiple entry visa especially for business travellers? That will save manpower and other resources. But I find still many countries are hesitant about giving long term multiple entry visa.

    It is well known that open economy with simplified visa policies helps one country’s economy, why some countries do not understand this simple economy that is beyond my understanding. There is strong correlation between ease of getting visa and tourism dollars.

    USA is very smart, they give 10 years visa and that generates a lot of tourism earnings.

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