The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced that Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card holders will soon be issued life-time Indian visas. He also stated that long-term visas will be issued to U.S. citizens visiting India for tourism. He made this announcement while addressing a huge gathering at the Madison Square Garden. Modi said that U.S. citizens traveling to India for tourism will be issued visas on arrival in India. He also added that online visas will be introduced and visa outsourcing services will be expanded.
The U.S. is the home to a large number of Indians, who make up more than 1% of the U.S. population. Around than 2.81 million Indian Americans are currently living in the U.S. Modi stated that India is the only country that has democracy, demographic dividend and demand on its side and that these three things will take the country onto the path of success. He also said that both the U.S. and India have several common economic priorities.
Announcements made by Modi will make it easier for the PIO card holders to travel to India. Anyone who has held Indian citizenship but has given it up, can get a PIO Card. A person whose parents, grandparents or husband or wife are/were Indian citizens also can get a PIO Card. Card holders are not required to get visas to travel to India. Such visitors were required to register with the police if they stay in India for more than 180 days. However, Modi has now announced that the PIO card holders staying in India for long durations no more need to register with the police.
After this announcement, Indian investors expect more tourists to come to India from the U.S. Since the visa rules have been eased, more people are likely to travel between the two countries. However, it is not so easy for the IT professionals from India to get work visas to the U.S. Will the visa requirements for IT professionals from India also be eased? This is the questions that has been raised by many in India.