Indian visa fee dearer by up to 50% across categories
As per a Hindustan Times report by Jayanth Jacob, in a bid to rationalize and modify the levy charged from foreign nationals visiting India, the government has increased the visa fee by up to 50% across categories.

The hike in the short-term employment visa comes in the wake of countries such as Australia, the USA and New Zealand either planning or having already put in place work visa curbs. Though the numbers of foreign nationals working in India are few, the hike is being seen as a tit-for-tat measure.

The government had recently increased the fee in different categories for the US, the UK, Canada, Israel, Iran and UAE nationals.

The fee hike, which is periodic and mostly reciprocal, is sweeping this time as it is being touted as an effort to “rationalize the entry fee charges” and “modify” it in sync with what most countries charge, sources said.

As per a government notification, a tourist visa up to one year will now cost USD 153 from the earlier USD 100. The tourist visa for over a year and up to five years will cost USD 306 instead of USD 120.

However, there are exceptions. For instance, UK nationals, who used to cough up USD 162 for a tourist visa up to a year, will now pay USD 248. And for a five-year tourist visa, they will pay USD 741 instead of USD 484.

Sweeping changes in the visa fee structure for UK nationals is on account of reciprocity, said a source. For the employment visa, nationals from Canada, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand will now pay USD 459 instead of USD 300 for a visa spanning over a year and up to five years.

When it comes to short-term working visa, Israelis continue to cough up the most. They will now pay USD 1,714 instead of USD 1,120. The fee for Pakistan nationals across categories has been increased from PKR 15 to PKR 100. (Source: Hindustan Times)

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