Visa Waiver Agreement of India: Understanding its Implications

In 2019, India took a significant step towards improving its ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by signing a visa waiver agreement. The agreement allows UAE citizens to visit India for up to 60 days without obtaining a visa, while Indian citizens can stay in the UAE for up to 90 days without a visa. This agreement was a significant development in bilateral relations between India and the UAE, as it facilitated greater business opportunities, increased tourism, and strengthened people-to-people contacts.

However, the agreement also had wider implications for India as a whole. India`s growing economy and its growing influence in the international community have also meant increased security threats and a need for more stringent immigration policies. The visa waiver agreement with the UAE, therefore, must be viewed within the wider context of India`s immigration policies, security, and foreign policy.

The visa waiver agreement was aimed at facilitating greater trade and investment between India and the UAE. The UAE is one of India`s largest trading partners, with bilateral trade worth around $60 billion in 2018-19. The agreement makes it easier for businesspeople to travel between the two countries and take advantage of emerging opportunities. This is especially important for small and medium-sized enterprises that may lack the resources to navigate complex visa requirements.

The agreement also has a huge potential for boosting tourism. The UAE is one of the world`s leading tourist destinations, with millions of visitors every year. Many of these visitors are from India. The visa waiver agreement reduces the cost and hassle of obtaining a visa, making it easier for Indian tourists to visit the UAE. This is particularly important given the fact that the tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Indian economy.

However, the visa waiver agreement also has significant implications for India`s immigration policies and security. The agreement means that Indian authorities must be more vigilant in monitoring and identifying potential security threats. The visa-free regime increases the risk of people staying beyond the stipulated time or engaging in illegal activities. Moreover, there is always a danger that terrorists or other criminals could exploit the visa waiver agreement to enter India.

Therefore, India must ensure that measures are in place to effectively monitor visitors entering and leaving the country. This calls for greater coordination between the various agencies involved in border control and security. The Indian government must also ensure that its screening procedures are robust enough to identify individuals who may pose a threat to national security.

In conclusion, India`s visa waiver agreement with the UAE is a crucial development in bilateral relations between the two countries. The agreement offers significant benefits to businesspeople and tourists, but it also has wider implications for India`s immigration policies and security. It is, therefore, crucial that the Indian government takes effective measures to ensure that the visa-free regime is not exploited and that the country`s national security is not compromised. With the right measures in place, the visa waiver agreement offers enormous potential for strengthening India`s position as a leading player in the global economy.