On Tuesday, the Government informed Rajya Sabha about sixteen countries providing visa-free entry which includes Mauritius, Bhutan and Nepal. Forty-three countries grant visa-on-arrival facility and 36 countries are giving e-visa facility to Indian passport holders.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the government has continued making attempts to expand the number of countries that give visa-free travel, visa-on-arrival and e-visa facility. He also said in a written reply that this would moreover facilitate international travel for Indians.
Mauritius, Hong Kong, Maldives, Bhutan, Dominica, Haiti, Grenada, Barbados, Montserrat, Nepal, Serbia, Niue Island, Senegal, Saint Vincent and Samoa, the Grenadines, and the Trinidad and Tobago, the dual-island of Caribbean, provide visa-free entry to Indian passport holders, as stated by Muraleedharan as a reply to a question asked in Rajya Sabha.
Myanmar, Indonesia and Iran were amongst the 43 countries which are giving visa-on-arrival facility to Indian passport holders.
Sri Lanka, Malaysia and New Zealand are amongst the 36 countries which provide e-visa facility to Indian passport holders, according to the report provided by Muraleedharan.
While the issuance of the visa and the visa-related process is the sovereign and unipartite decision of the individual country.
The concern regarding more accessible and liberalised policy for Indian nationals is taken up frequently in reciprocal meetings and discussions with foreign countries, as mentioned in the reply.
Last week, the Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan was questioned by the Lok Sabha if bilateral relations with neighbouring countries such as China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan had been declining recently. The minister replied “No”, and all the projects the countries are doing together are on track without any issues. The issues at the India- China border is addressed and has been discussed with China since June.