Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi: Great news for foreigners flying in with e-visa! In order to cater to the increasing number of foreigners flying in for tourism, business purposes or on medical grounds, at least 14 new dedicated e-visa counters are being set up at the arrival terminal of the capital city’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport. The move will help foreigners by reducing their waiting time at the immigration counters at the airport by half, according to an HT report. Every day, at least 2,500 foreigners fly into IGI airport. Out of them, nearly 45 per cent are e-visa holders, according to senior immigration officers. Currently, there are 32 e-visa dedicated counters at the arrival terminal of the airport. However, the department plans to set up 14 more e-visa dedicated counters, which are likely to be functional by the month of September this year.
An officer was quoted in the report saying that during peak hours, it was noticed that passengers have to form long queues, therefore, the waiting time per passenger went up to 30 minutes. He said that it takes around two to three minutes per passenger during the processing of their e-visa, which requires certain checks including biometrics. Further to this, he said that at present, a passenger has to wait for nearly half an hour if there are nine other passengers ahead of him or her. With the commencement of 14 new counters, waiting time of foreigners will cut down by 15 minutes, he stated. The officer also mentioned that the additional staff that would be required to operate these e-visa counters has already been trained. To make space for new counters, arrangement was made by shifting the domestic-to-international transfer hall area in the arrival terminal of the airport, he added.
Additionally, there are also plans to set up e-gates at the immigration, with no manual intervention. Also, with this, the clearance time per passenger will be reduced. Initially, the move will be introduced on trial basis in the arrival area and once it gets successful, the number of e-gates will be increased and will also be introduced at the departure terminals of the airport.