Following the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the US on permitting visas on arrival (VoA), “in October itself," the plan has been delayed.
US visitors comprised 16% of arrivals last year.
Nine airports at which visas were to be given on arrival are also yet to be announced, as resources will be needed to deal with the additional numbers.
Delhi International Airport is already geared with five of 48 immigration counters solely allotted to VoA.
"Instructions have been issued to embassies and consulates that apart from special circumstances, US nationals should get visas for 10 years," Modi said in a statement.
This will “further strengthen our bond with the diaspora”, it added.
There is also a proposal to allow applicants to apply for visas online that will be issued within five days.
This is being hailed as a step that will boost business and leisure travel to India, given that present timelines are long and bureaucratic processes unwieldy.
“This will not just improve the image of the country but also add to visitor numbers,” an operator toldTravel Weekly.
At present, Indian Visas on Arrival are given to Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and South Korea. More countries are in the offing.