Ahead of the Christmas vacation, several Asian countries have recently announced that they are implementing visa-free entry for visitors from India and other countries. So, if you are still in the process of making travel plans for the holiday season, here are three destinations you can visit.
Come December 1, tourists from India and China can enter Malaysia without a visa and stay there is up to 30 days. While announcing the development, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said that the waiver was an additional facility to the existing visa exemptions currently enjoyed by Gulf nations and other West Asian countries. But, the exemption was subject to top security screening
“Initial screenings will be conducted for all tourists and visitors to Malaysia. Security is a different matter. If there are criminal records or the risk of terrorism, they will not be allowed to enter,” the prime minister said.
“That comes under the authority of the security forces and immigration,” the premier said.
The 30-day visa-free entry is also currently enjoyed by eight ASEAN countries for the purpose of social visits, tourism and business. Malaysia’s decision follows a similar visa waiver implemented by Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Sri Lanka has introduced a visa-free entry initiative for visitors from India and six other countries, including China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand. This initiative will remain effective until March 31, 2024. The move is aimed at attracting more tourists to the island nation. “We are expecting to increase tourist arrivals to five million over the coming years,” the Sri Lankan tourist ministry was quoted as saying by local media outlets last month.
Thailand has also started granting 30-day visa-free entry for visitors from India and Taiwan from November 1. The initiative will remain applicable till May 10, 2024.
“We will provide visa-free entry to India and Taiwan because a lot of their people like to travel to Thailand,” Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavision was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
Last week, Vietnam also announced that it is contemplating visa-free entry for Indians and Chinese to enhance tourism. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh proposed waivers for visitors from affluent nations like Australia, Canada, the U.S., and the 20 remaining EU members. Presently, citizens of certain European countries enjoy visa-free access, while others can obtain e-visas with a 90-day validity and multiple entry options. However, Vietnam is yet to make a formal announcement.