Tourists with e-visas to get free SIM card on arrival

This facility will be initially available in the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3 Terminal), New Delhi and later cover remaining 15 international airports, where e-Visa facility is now available including Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi airports in Kerala.

In a bid to promote hassle-free travel for foreigners arriving in India, the government will now issue pre-activated, free SIM cards to those visiting the country on e-visa. The pre-loaded SIM cards will eventually be available at the remaining 15 global airports in the country where e-Visa facility is available.

"I think we are the first country to give free SIM cards to the tourists". For this procedure, one must submit their e-Visa copy and the first page of their passports as well. Right now, tourists needs to spend close to 5-6 hours for activating a new SIM Card, and after providing relevant documents.

He said the talk time of Rs50 will be available on the BSNL SIM card with 30 days' validity and 50 MB data. If they get SIM cards at the airports then nearly half of their problem would be solved. Earlier, they launched a tourist helpline number (1800111363) in 12 foreign languages which works round-the-clock to ensure foreigners who come here can reach out to the concerned authorities in a language they are fluent in. The toll free helpline is now available in 12 languages which include Japanese, Russian and German.

The Narendra Modi government today launched an initiative that provides pre-loaded SIM cards to foreign tourists on their arrival in India on e-Visa. Information on e-Visas is readily available and thus, syncing it immediately with the data required for the SIM cards is easier and faster.

In his address, the Minister said that this unique initiative will facilitate the foreign tourists in communicating with their acquaintances immediately after their arrival in India.

This initiative has been launched in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), wherein BSNL would distribute pre-loaded SIM Cards to foreign tourists arriving in India on e-Visa.

Vanessa Coleman