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Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

MUMBAI
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Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

n order to promote cruise tourism in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has, on request of the Ministry of Shipping, exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till December 31, 2020. This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore. The shipping ministry has been working towards simplifying the immigration clearance procedure and providing passengers a customer-friendly and hassle-free logistics process at Indian ports. E-visa has been in the place in five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai.

Till now biometrics of passengers were required at port of first arrival for immigration clearance. However, with the existing facilities at the cruise terminals at these ports, the immigration procedure was taking more than the internationally accepted norm of clearing immigration for all cruise passengers in a maximum of 90 minutes. This is especially significant because, as per the schedule of arrivals of cruise ships for the current cruise season 2017-18 and 2019-20, many of the cruise ships coming to India are mega ships with 2000-4000 passengers on board. Most of these cruise passengers are expected to arrive on E-Visa, and biometric enrolment of all these passengers would slow down immigration clearance. Hence the need for the exemption.

The above news article is as appeared on Tourism Breaking News - on their online site .

16 replies to this topic
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

Good news. Hope they update the e-tv site itself too, last time I checked (very recently) it did list only 3 seaports not five (and no Mumbai)...

<Erik>

Lowestoft, United...
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2. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

I have just been given this link by MG10101. My thoughts exactly Erik. Now the Cruise Companies need to start giving correct visa advice:)

Lowestoft, United...
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3. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

Oops, sorry IndiaSpeaks forgot to say thank you for the information:)

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4. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

This is good news. I hope they use this grace period to improve their biometric collection system. I waited a long time to get through the customs lineup at Mumbai airport because their finger print scanners have a difficult time collecting finger prints. Multiple attempts were required in the majority of cases before the scanner was able to properly collect all 10 finger prints. Each passenger took 3-4 minutes to process!

Wirral
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5. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

Excellent information. VFSGlobal are still encouraging cruise passengers to apply for the multiple entry visa! Heres a copy of an email I received a couple of days ago.

· As you will be travelling on a cruise ship, it is advisable that you apply for a multiple-entry tourist visa.

· If any applicant is travelling on a cruise ship and entering India only once, however the ship is going to dock at different Indian ports (Mumbai, Chennai etc.) then they need to select multiple-entry on the form. They also need to provide an itinerary and include a covering stating that they are travelling on cruise.

· For information on fees and documents required for tourist visa; kindly refer to the following link:http://www.vfsglobal.com/India/UK/Tourist.html.

Do write us back if further assistance needed.

Please note - In view of the spread of the Swine Influenza A (H1N1) all passengers traveling to India will be screened at the International Airports in India on their arrival. This will also involve quarantine and even hospitalization, if detected, with any symptoms connected with the flu.

Best Regards,

Ayesha Qureshi

Information Service Desk

VF Services (UK) Limited

N Ireland
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6. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

I got official confirmation from Celebrity that an evisa is acceptable. We are visiting 3 ports.

Wirral
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7. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

Good to see that the change is now being relayed to cruise passengers! Sadly it's too late for our trip in March with P & O. We are only visiting Goa for one day and we were instructed that we must have a twelve month tourist visa even if we didn't step onto land in India. Total cost £265 for two of us (including photos). Leaves a bitter taste but hey ho.........

Lowestoft, United...
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8. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

Can I ask someone to report back when they have been on the Cruise, as to whether or not they had to have biometrics taken at the first port of entry? Thanks. I need to update the e-Visa Guide. I cannot do this at the moment as their is still no official notification on the Government e-Visa website.

Billericay
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9. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

To throw my two pennies worth in I am on the P&O Arcadia visiting Goa for one day only in March 2018. Even as late as yesterday P&O are still saying I would need to provide biometric data with my evisa despite the fact I gave them the 3 links below. P&O push heavily for me to use CIBT but I refused to pay CIBT £450 for a few hours in India

For a VISA for a few hours in India CIBT fees are £120.44 Consular Fees per person plus £104.40 CIBT arrangement fee per person making a total charge of £224.84 per person.

DIY on the official India website is $75pp (about £55) for an eVISA or $125pp (about £92) for a full VISA so CIBT are ripping us off by at least £30 on the consular fee alone on a Tourist Visa.

P&O are advocating me spending £450 for a few hours in India whereas the India government says I can save £340 by a DIY eVISA. £340 is a helluva lot of money!!!

There are numerous sources that state it is acceptable to arrive in certain seaports India on a cruise ship with an evisa and be exempt from providing biometric data.

The most important one is this direct link to an Indian Embassy

http://www.indembassy.be/pages.php?id=505

The next one is this link to the Indian Ministry of Shipping

pib.nic.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx…

Another is to the Indian Economic Times

https:/…62338047.cms

I emphasise my comments relate to a one port visit to Indian for a few hours and I have not checked on any other duration or combination

Lowestoft, United...
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10. Re: Cruise tourists with evisa exempted from biometric enrolment

Thanks BillericayEngland for your very useful post.

I have written to Government of India e-Visa on several occasions asking them to put something on the official website but to no avail. There is no official notification either on the Indian High Commission website here in the UK. I had not seen the first two articles in your links before now. I will write to the High Commission and provide the links you have given. I don't hold out much hope that anything will be done, but will see.

The press release from the Ministry of Shipping is just what we need to see.

My understanding is that the e-Visa is valid for entry at more than one Seaport as they are within Indian Territorial Waters and therefore classed as "domestic" entries. Feedback from passengers in this respect would be very welcome.

Some of the Cruise Companies and other holiday Companies have no grasp of the visa requirements and seem more than happy to advise passengers to apply for an expensive Regular Visa, or to push for Agencies like CIBT to do it for them. All a money making racket.

Edited: 17 February 2018, 00:47
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