The Indian government is making it easier for Barbadians who want to travel to India. As of tomorrow, May 1, persons holding an electronic passport will be able to apply for a visa to the Asian country through an Electronic Travel Authorization which may be applied for through the Internet.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY at a reception last night, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, Swaminathan Ramachandran, explained that while it usually took two weeks for applicants to acquire a visa, a minimum of two days would now obtain with the new process.
“If any Barbadian wishes to go to India for tourism, they don’t need to apply for a visa through the Honorary Consulate here, nor through the Indian Embassy which is located in Suriname, which is in charge of Barbados.
“What they will have to do is go online and fill in the form and there is a payment procedure where you pay for the visa through credit card.
“Within seventy-two hours you will get an authorization saying that you have got it,” he said.
Ramachandran, in Barbados for three days and expected to leave tomorrow, has been meeting with a number of Government officials on diplomatic relations. He noted that this was the first time the two countries had had foreign office consultations.
The permanent secretary also reported that through networking with the Indian community in Barbados, he had received good reports that they were happy living here.
“They say that Barbadians are extremely nice people, and I heard one of the ladies mention to me that even at two o’clock in the night and you want something, some persons will go out of the way to come and help.
“So as I can see, they seem to be very happy being a part of the system, which is very positive,” he said.
The reception, hosted by Honorary Consul of India in Barbados Dr Mohini Harris, was held at the Barbados Yacht Club in Bay Street, where permanent secretary Ramachandran was greeted, and engaged in conversations with various leaders of the local Indian community.