A few days ago I wrote about Philippines, Malaysia, Qatar and UAE opening doors for India.
Singapore and Russia have joined the party.
Well, Singapore also has officially joined the party. As per Singapore ICA site
Visa Free Transit Facility (VFTF)
- Transit travelers who satisfy the criteria for VFTF will have to meet the prevailing entry requirements before they are allowed entry into Singapore. Assessment for entry is determined by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the point of entry.
- Extension of stay for transit travelers under the VFTF is strictly not allowed
Travelers who are nationals of India
Indian nationals who are in transit to or from any third country by air may be eligible for the 96-hour VFTF for one transit in the itinerary (either forward or return leg, but not both) if they:
- have a valid onward air ticket departing within the next 96-hours; and
- possess a valid visa/long-term pass (with a validity of at least 1 month from the date of entry into Singapore under the VFTF) issued by any of the following countries**:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- The United States of America
** A visa is considered valid if it is not expired and is good for entry into the third country.
The VFTF for Indian nationals is for air to air travel only and is only valid for one transit in the itinerary (either forward or return leg, but not both).
Single Journey Visas (SJV) issued by the above countries are also acceptable when transiting through Singapore on the onward or return leg of the same journey. For those on the return leg of the journey, i.e. after the SJV has been utilized, the following conditions must be met:
- The traveler travels directly from the country that issued the SJV, on route through Singapore, directly back to the home country; and
- The traveler has not returned to their home country since the SJV was last utilized.
What does it mean?
- You need a visa if you taking a bus from Malaysia.
- If you change Airlines at Singapore, you have utilized that visa. So if you fly Singapore Airlines till Singapore and then transfer to Air Asia or Tiger Air, you have utilized your visa.
- Mostly people use Singapore as a hub when they are traveling to Bali or Australia. So if you have long term residency or visas (such as the US B1/B2) on your passport, you should be able to go through to Singapore without a visa when traveling to any country. Let us say, you are doing a Mumbai-Singapore-Bali trip and you would like to do mini sightseeing, you could flash your 5-year or 10-year American visa (B1/B2 at the least), and go into Singapore.
However, if you have a single visit visa to Japan, then you can only do, for example, a Mumbai-Singapore-Tokyo trip, and stop at Singapore on only one of the legs of your journey.
It is a well-known fact for most of Indians that we can travel to Nepal and Bhutan without any border controls. Even if you don’t have a passport, you can cross the border. However, Some things are changing.
Now Indian travelers require showing hotel bookings at Thimpu and Paro.
This can easily be circumvented by doing dummy bookings by any OTA. Moreover, it only applies to Thimpu and Paro and not other places.
Who would have thought Russian visa is going to become easy. I had an extremely hard time getting Russian visa when I went there in 2015. Now you can simply apply without the complicated process of getting an invitation from someone.
Moreover, Russian govt has decided to make Asian Russia (Half of the Russia is in Europe and hence is called EURASIA) as Visa free entry zone for Indians. So, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Sochi -> You still need the visa. However, if you are an explorer at the heart and would love to train (famous Trans – Siberian Express) from Mongolia to Russia, this is your chance to do it.
the Russian PM signed off on a decree that allows citizens of 18 countries visa-free travel to the Russian Far East starting August 2017. Per this report.
RF Government has approved the list of 18 countries whose citizens can obtain electronic single entry business, tourist or humanitarian visas when entering the Russian Federation through checkpoints at the Free Port of Vladivostok (Order No 692-r dated 14 April 2017).
It has been established that the Russian Government shall determine the countries whose nationals are to be granted e-visas when entering Russia through checkpoints at the Free Port of Vladivostok.
The signed directive contains an approved list of 18 countries: Algeria, Bahrein, Brunei, India, Qatar, People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey and Japan.
The citizens of these countries shall benefit from simplified procedures when obtaining visas of up to 30 days with a period of stay in the Russian Federation not exceeding eight days. These visas can be executed as e-documents.