One of our earlier posts had covered as to how foreign tour visa procedures were less cumbersome in selective parts of the world – especially in the countries which offered Visa-on-Arrival (VOA) facility.
In such countries which offer VOA facility, you don’t have to visit their embassies in India. You simply have to take your valid passport, buy a ticket, fly there and the immigration desk at airport will issue you a visa on arrival. No complex questions will be asked except for the basic ones like your purpose of the visit to the country.
VOA is a social pass that allows visitors to be in the country for a period between 14 days and three months. But, if such enabling gestures are misused by the visitors from a particular nation, the destination country could as well take a decision to permanently revoke the VOA facility offered to visitors from that country.
In latest, Malaysia has imposed one such revocation term on the visitors from India, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Taiwan and Comoros. And, guess what – Indians have been short-listed as toppers in the list of unauthorized immigrants among the Asian countries.
Multi-ethnic Malaysia, which is home to 1.7 million ethnic Indians, has permanently scrapped the VOA facility offered to visitors from India after 40,000 Indian tourists went ‘missing’ from the country.
The Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants of Malaysia felt the need to revoke the VOA facility – which was introduced in 2006 in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 – offered to Indians, as they abused it and stayed illegally after the expiry of their tourist visas. Moreover, Chennai was identified as the embarkation point – even as visitors from other metro cities were considered safer.
In a related development, Malaysia is planning to introduce a pilot project as an alternative to the VOA facility, in the form of Visa Facilitation System (VFS) for tourists from India and Chennai, to be implemented by commissioning travel agencies with branches in select countries.
Malaysia relies heavily on foreign workers especially from Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. But, many such foreigners, who enter the country under short-term VOA, fail to go back to their home country after the expiry of their permit and instead work in Malaysia illegally.
It needs to be mentioned over here that even in the past (during April 2008), Malaysia had withdrawn VOA facility to Indians to overcome the problem of illegal immigrants.