NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the Indian High Commission in Malaysia have dismissed claims of visa fee hike to RM456 from RM180 for Malaysian visitors to India.
“There is no increase in the six months visa, in fact India is creating a new category of one year visa,” said Najib at a reception held for Malaysian government officials and businessmen accompanying him on his official visit to the country.
He also said there was no change in Malaysia’s new visa-free policy for Indian tourists staying in the country for 15 days or less.
A screen shot of the new visa structure effective April 1, issued by the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has gone viral, prompting Malaysians and even MIC President and Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam to voice their dissapointment.
Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, T.S. Tirumurti also denied that there would be an increase in the visa rate, saying, the controversy was due to initial confusion on the type of visa.
“The fee for the six month tourist visa and other types of visa will remain the same. We are actually introducing a one year visa for the first time,” he told reporters here.
Tirumurti said the one year visa would allow more people to visit India multiple times, while online visa application also facilitates matters for travellers to the country.
He said Malaysians of Indian origin were also encouraged to apply for the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card, a multiple entry life-long visa which enabled the holder to have unlimited travel and stay in India.
“We will continue to make innovations and make it easier for Malaysians to visit India. An online application will be approved within two days; payment is made online and the visa issued on arrival,” he said.
In 2015, 722,141 Indian tourists visited Malaysia, compared to 272,941 Malaysians who visited India on tourist visas. -- Bernama