The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on request of the Ministry of Shipping has exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till 2020. The purpose of the move is to promote cruise tourism in the country and make India attractive cruise tourist destination.
This simplified immigration clearance procedure will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore. This is also important factor that will help cruise lines decide whether or not to include a destination in their itinerary. This simplified immigration clearance procedure is part of a series of steps to attract and to enhance cruise passenger experience at the major ports.
The Ministry of Shipping has been working towards simplifying immigration clearance procedure and providing passengers with customer friendly and hassle free logistics process when they embark on or disembark from their cruise at Indian ports.
E-visa facility is being implemented in five major ports viz. Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai. Till now biometrics of passengers were required at port of first arrival for immigration clearance. However, the immigration procedure was taking more than internationally accepted norm of clearing immigration for all cruise passengers in a maximum of 90 minutes.