The Indian government has extended its Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVOA) program to an additional six countries since 1 January 2011. Nationals of Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines as well as Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand may now all obtain 30 day single entry tourist visas on arrival.

The TVOA was first introduced approximately a year ago – on 1 January 2010 – in a bid to encourage tourism to India. At that time, five countries (Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg and New Zealand) benefitted. On 1 January 2011, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines were added, and just this week, the inclusion of Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar) was announced.

TVOA are single entry, valid for up to 30 days and are allowed a maximum of twice in any calendar year. A gap of two months between each visit is mandatory. TVOAs are not extendable and cannot be converted to any other type of visa.

TVOAs are only applicable for tourists, “whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sight seeing, causal visits to meet friends and relatives”. – according to the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.  Business visits require business visas and work, of course, would require an employment visa or, in specific cases, a project visa.