Travelling this summer and looking for destinations with visa on arrival? Consider this: If you visit Thailand before April 30 this year, you won’t have to pay for your visa, which would have otherwise cost you ₹3,000. In fact, there are at least eight countries where you don’t have to pay a fee for your visa, according to data compiled by Cox & Kings.
More than 50 countries across the world provide visa on arrival for Indian citizens. “Currently, 59 countries from around the world offer visa on arrival facility to Indian passport holders. Recently added to the list are Kazakhstan, Thailand and Turkey [Indian passport holders who for have valid visa or residence permit from Schengen, US, UK and Ireland],” said Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer, business to consumer, Yatra.com, an online travel firm.
The number of countries where you have the facility of visa on arrival has increased, mainly owing to the soaring number of international travel from India. “The outbound travel segment in India is growing rapidly. In the last five to six years, the number of countries that has granted visa exemptions or simplified visa processes to Indians grew tremendously,” said Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox & Kings. In fact, the number of Indians visiting countries with visa on arrival facility has increased post visa relaxation. “We have seen that the overall traffic to a specific country increases once they move to visa on arrival. Thailand had great footfall during December, January and February when they made it easy by making providing visas on arrival for free,” said Raj Kiran, operations manager, Pickyourtrail.com, a travel tech startup.
In case of visa on arrival option, usually the cost of visa ranges between ₹1,800 and ₹8,800, depending on the country you are visiting, according to data compiled by Pickyourtrail.com. The rate also changes based on the currency fluctuation.
In the case of countries for which you have to apply for visa in advance and obtain it before travelling, the duration differs from country to country. Usually, the duration to get tourist visa approval ranges from 3-30 working days, according to Cox & Kings. For instance, a Singapore visa take three working days for approval, compared to 15 working days for UK visa. Some countries have, in fact, increased the cost of visa as well. “Lately, USA and Turkey have increased their visa fees. Schengen visa fees keeps changing as per the current exchange rate,” said Anand.
If you are looking for a quick break, don’t like to go through the visa process and don’t have a specific country in mind, the visa on arrival option may be useful for you, if you do this, you’ll be able to visit many amazing places around the world and if you have kids then you’ll have the opportunity to visit the amazing amusement park.