In order to entice more international tourists, the government of India has decided to introduce group visas or officially known as collective landing permits (CLP). The CLP is for foreign tourists traveling in groups of at least four. These travelling groups will be granted Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) and the travel agencies (recognized by the Union Ministry of Tourism) are responsible for those who stray from the group during the tour.
By the rule of a thumb, both the travel agents and tourists will have to give an undertaking to follow the itinerary. Thus, the agencies will be assured that no one is to deviate. According to an agency here, there were cases where tourists (who were supposed to be in groups) disappeared. This would have put the agency into shame as it will lead to police cases. Besides, the agency is also forced to pay the fine for the breaching of the regulation.
In fact, the CLP is not a novelty in India but is more like an enhanced version i.e. the stay has been doubled up from the previous 30-day as well as multiple entry conveniences, which allows tourists to visit bordering countries. The system was initially known as a company landing permit, and then changed to group landing permit and now collective landing permit. Whether the tourist group arrives at India by air or sea, they are eligible for the CLP as long as the group is supported by travel agencies. However, an itinerary has to be presented together with passport details of the members to the immigration officers at arrival gates.
To enjoy the CLP facility, the travel agencies have to fill up an online application form. The list of members, along with the printed visa application and their itinerary, have to be submitted to the Foreigners’ Registration Office in the concerned states at least 72 hours in advance. These concerned states include Goa.
Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president, Francisco Braganca thinks that the CLP would bring a positive note to its tourism. Just last April, Goa became the latest addition to provide VoA facilities. The VoA facilities were at first offered at only four international airports – namely Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyperabad and Kochi airports.
At present, a single entry Tourist VOA is valid for 30 days at a fee of USD60. If you are not legible for the VOA, you will have to apply for an Indian Visa. To help you with the visa application process, you can always check our India visa requirement page.