Archive for the ‘Malaysia’ Category

13 more nations to get visas on arrival

NEW DELHI: The number of nations whose citizens are eligible for visas on arrival (VoA) in India is likely to be expanded to include 13 countries largely from Europe, south-east andcentral Asia after a review convened by the PMO felt security conditions need not be a hurdle to promote tourism.

Countries that could be offered VoA include Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine,Kazakhstan, Brazil and South Africa. At the meeting – also attended by officials from other ministries like culture and environment – it was made clear that security cannot be invoked to strike down important government initiatives.

In a separate, but related review, government is planning a major boost to skill development by aiming to add a eight-crore-strong workforce over the next five years. A big step in this direction could be introducing vocational study as elective options in classes IX to XII so that credits in these subjects can be counted for university admissions.

Home ministry has been asked to work on details of the proposed visa regime in a manner that factors in security concerns by utilizing information-sharing agreements with Asean and theEuropean Union while ensuring that travel to India becomes less hassle-free.

Ramping up tourist numbers is seen as a significant revenue earner with 600,000 foreign visitors a year being a miniscule proportion of global tourism. With timely intervention, the sector can grow much faster than the 24 million jobs currently targeted in the 12th Plan. So far, the VoA scheme has registered modest success with over 10,000 visas issued last year.

At present, 13 countries whose nationals can avail a visa on arrival include Finland, Japan,Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laosand Myanmar. But the list excludes more populous nations even in the Asean who can be tapped for a much larger tourist footfall.

Tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai said, “Government is aware of the urgent need to develop infrastructure to ensure there is adequate connectivity, hotel room availability and facilities for tourists.” The government is also drawing lessons from European countries that have leveraged tourism to tide over financial woes.

The government is also considering a spate of measures to kick start its skill-development programme by roughly doubling the targeted addition of skilled persons from existing 40 lakh a year. This is seen as essential, keeping in mind rapidly growing sectors like tourism, information technology and textiles.

The problem of lack of skilled people had caught the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during UPA-I, but despite reports being commissioned and submitted, the issue was never quite addressed. Now, the government has initiated a curriculum evaluation that is intended to introduce vocational study as elective subjects in classes IX to XII.

In a departure from past practice, study of these subjects will count for students keen on attending university as it is felt that if they can earn credits and keep options open, they might be tempted to take up vocational areas in school itself.

On tourism, the PMO has also asked the MHA and the ministry of external affairs to resolve the confusion around restrictions on re-entry of tourists within a 60-day period. The visa rule is likely to be relaxed and a solution reached in the next one month.

Besides increasing VoA facility to four additional airports, including Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi and Bengaluru, the PMO has asked the civil aviation ministry to improve the facilities in the existing airports of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai so that tourists do not have to stand for hours for emigration and other clearances. The ministries of home and civil aviation have also been asked to increase counters and accept immigration fees in both Indian currency and dollars.

Source: Times of India

Maldives : VISA Structure

Monday September 5th, 2011 in International, Malaysia, Visa | Be the first to Comment »

Visitors entering the Republic of Maldives should fulfill the following requirement for the grant of an entry permit into the country.

  • Possession of a valid international travel document issued by the Government of a Sovereign State (eg. Passport)
  • Possession of a valid return air ticket to a destination where the passenger has permission to enter, together with necessary visas for the onward journey to the next destination
  • Possession of a minimum of US$30.00 per person per day or confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay in the Maldives. Following are exempted from this requirement – Diplomats, UN Personnel, Approved persons for employment, Technical and other experts attached to the Government, Visitors with confirmed bookings in registered tourist resort/hotels etc, Visitors sponsored by Maldivians.
  • No prior visa is required to enter the Republic of Maldives. Entry permit will be granted to visitors on arrival at designated ports of entry, based on the immigration requirements.
  • An entry permit does not allow a visitor to take up employment, set up any business or exercise any profession whether paid or unpaid except with the consent and in conformity with the pertinent laws and regulations of the Maldives. However, a visitor or foreign delegation visiting the Maldives to conclude business agreements, contracts or to negotiate business transactions with their counterparts do not require work permits if the stay does not exceed the duration granted on arrival.
  • An expatriate must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Human Resources Employment and Labour, prior to arrival in Maldives to engage in employment.

Note : Visitors who stay beyond the period for which they have been approved may be deported.

* The Government of Maldives refuses admission and transit to holder of Merchant Seaman books.

– Disembarkation and Embarkation card shall be filled by every passenger and submitted to the Immigration Officer on entry.

You will be granted a free entry visa on arrival. Depending on your financial status, you can apply for maximum of thirty days.

Batu Caves – Malaysia

Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

Batu Caves is one of Malaysia’s most famous tourist destinations especially for the colourful Thaipusam festival. This attracts up to 800,000 devotees and spectators; the highlight is seeing devotees in a trance carry kavadi, a metal frame attached to the body.

Rising almost 100m above the ground, Batu Caves actually consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as the Temple Cave, has a 100m-high ceiling, and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors have to climb a steep flight of 272 steps.

Below the Temple Cave is the Dark Cave, with its amazing rock formations and a number of animals found nowhere else. Stalactites jutting from the cave’s ceiling and stalagmites rising from the floor form intricate formations such as cave curtains, flow stones, cave pearls and scallops which took thousands of years to form. The Malaysian Nature Society organises regular educational and adventure trips to the Dark Caves.

The other main cave is the Art Gallery Cave located at the foot of the steps. Statues and wall paintings depicting Hindu deities and mythology are displayed here. The walk to the entrance is itself quite a pleasant experience through a lake and ponds filled with hundreds of colourful fish.

Batu Caves is also the centre of rock climbing development in Malaysia for the past 10 years. More famous for its role as a religious centre for Hindus in Malaysia as well a prominent tourist attraction in the country, not many people realise that Batu Caves offers more than 160 climbing routes.

The routes are scattered all around the side of Batu Caves, which is made up of limestone hills rising to 150m. These climbing routes are easily accessed as most crags start from ground level.