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Russia Offers India Visa Free Travel Proposal

Visa FreeIntroduction

In a proactive step ahead of the upcoming BRICS summit, Russia has set forth an innovative proposal to foster closer relations with India. The proposition involves a Visa Free travel regime, aiming to facilitate seamless tourism between the two nations.

What’s the plan

Under this plan, tourist from both Russia and India can explore each other’s Lands without the constraints of visas, provided they travel as part of groups. Economic Development Minister Maksim Reshetnikov, in an interview with Russia 24 TV, disclose that a parallel arrangement had already been successfully initiated with China.

E-Visa

Earlier starting August 1, Russia has started issuing electronic visa (e-visa) to Indian passport holders. That helps visitors get travel approval faster for diverse purpose such as business trips, guest visits and tourism. Talks are currently in progress through diplomatic channels to extend this visa free travel agreement to India, reinforcing the prospect of an enhanced Indo-Russian collaboration.

Why Russia Want’s This ?

However, the concept isn’t solely rooted in promoting tourism. Russia’s tourism industry has confronted the difficult task of restoring pre-pandemic levels of tourist in flow, compounding by geopolitical tensions concerning Ukraine. The proposed visa free initiative stands as a testament to Russia’s commitment to overcoming obstacles and fostering stronger international relationship.

 

Recent collaboration with China and Iran

The ambitious move finds precedent in Russia’s recent collaboration with China & Iran. On August 1st, Russia and China revived their visa-free travel accord for organised tourist groups, suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The agreement applies to organised tourist groups of at least five people sharing a common itinerary. Similarly, Russia extended a similar agreement to Iran. These steps echo Russia dedication to encouraging cross-border exploration while prioritising health and safety considerations.

 

Electronic Visa (e-visa)

Concurrently, Russia has introduced an electronic visa system, offering citizen from 55 countries the opportunity to secure an e-visa for a nominal fee. This pragmatic solution grants a 60-day validity period, allowing a stay of up to 16 days in the country. Notably Russia’s inclusive stance even encompasses European nations labeled ‘unfriendly’ by Moscow, underscoring President Vladimir Putin’s commitment to openness and engagement on the global stage.

 

Types of visa

  • Visa Free:-  The advantage of being able to travel to a country without needing a visa is known as visa free travel. This is relevant whether the two concerned nations have a treaty governing the matter or if the nation one is visiting has unilaterally opened its border to foreigners.

 

  • E-visa:-  E-visa in general, official documents are provided online by an immigration officials of the country which grants visitors permission to enter it. It is an alternative to the normal paper based visas which a country’s embassy issues.

 

  • Visa on Arrival:– Visa on arrival, also known as on-arrival visa are granted to a visitor at the entry port. The complete procedure of issuing the visa is initiated and completed at the entry port by the government authorities.

 

  • Entry permit:- Usually of issuing to visitors, countries usually grant entry permits. These entry permits are official papers that grant visitors the right to enter and remain in the nation legally for a predetermined amount of time.

The List of Countries that Indians can Travel to Without Visa 

  • Barbados (maximum of 90 days)
  • Haiti (maximum of three months)
  • Fiji (maximum of four months)
  • Dominica (maximum of six months)
  • Turks (maximum of 90 days)
  • Transnistria (maximum of 45 days)
  • British Virgin Islands (maximum of 30 days)
  • Cook Island (maximum of 31 days)
  • El Salvador (maximum of 90 days)
  • Grenada (maximum of three months)
  • Indonesia (maximum of 30 days)
  • Macau (maximum of 30 days)
  • Mauritius (maximum of 90 days)
  • Montserrat (maximum of six months)
  • Northern Cyprus (maximum of three months)
  • Pitcairn Island (maximum of 14 days)
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis (maximum of three months)
  • Serbia (maximum of 30 days)

 

Indian Passport Ranking

According to Henley Passport Index India secures 80th Rank. India has climbed seven places on Henley Passport Index 2023 to 80th rank from 87 last year. Though the number of countries allowed visa free access to Indian passport holders remain unchanged. Indian Passport gives it’s holders visa-free entry to as many as 57 countries.

In 2014, Indian ranked 76 with 52 countries allowing Indian passport holders visa free access but it’s performance has not been linear. It ranked 88 in 2015 (visa free access to 51 countries), 85 in 2016, 87 in 2017, 81 in 2018, 82 in 2019 and 2020, and 81 in 2021.

The Henley Passport Index is the ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can enter without a prior visa. The index includes 199 different passport and 227 different travel destinations.

The Index is brought out by Henley and Partners.

Country Rank Visa-Free Access to Countries
Singapore 1 192
Germany 2 190
Itaky 2 190
Spain 2 190
Austria 3 189
Finland 3 189
France 3 189
Japan 3 189
Luxembourg 3 189
South Korea 3 189
Sweden 3 189

 

Conclusion

International relations play a significant role in determining the power of a passport. Countries with strong diplomatic ties and positive international relations often have powerful passports that offer their citizens extensive visa free access to other countries. Russia offers India visa-free access lets see Indian government except or reject this offer.

 

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