New e-visa desks to come up at New Delhi airport to cut immigration time
The plan to introduce e-gates at the Gandhi International Airport immigration counter is also in the pipeline. The system will keep the manual intervention away and, hence, reduce the clearance time per passenger.
There’s good news for foreigners flying in with e-visa as their waiting time at the immigration counters at Delhi airport will be reduced by half.
At least 14 new dedicated e-visa counters are being set up at the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s arrival terminal to cater to the increased number of foreigners flying in for tourism, business purposes or on medical grounds.
According to senior immigration officers, at least 2,500 foreigners fly in to Delhi airport everyday out of which around 45% are e-visa holders. At present, the arrival terminal of the airport has 32 e-visa dedicated counters. The department plans to add 14 more, which will be functional by September this year.
“It was observed that during peak hours, passengers have to form long queues and waiting time per passenger went up to 30 minutes. Processing of e-visa, which requires certain checks including biometrics, takes about two to three minutes per passenger. So, at present, a passenger has to wait for approximately half an hour if there are nine other passengers ahead of him or her. Addition of 14 counters will increase total number of counters to 46, which will help cutting down waiting time of foreigners by 15 minutes,” the officer said requesting anonymity.
The officer also said that additional staff that would be required to man these counters has already undergone training.
“The arrangement to accommodate these additional counters was made by shifting the domestic-to-international transfer hall area in the arrival terminal. Pre-existing 32 counters were shifted to the area where domestic-to-international transfer hall existed and 14 new counters are being set up there,” he said.
The Delhi airport operator, Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said, given that the immigration process is the first experience for an arriving passenger and keeping passenger convenience in mind, DiaI is going ahead with added number of e-visa counters at T3 arrivals.
The plan to introduce e-gates at the immigration is also in the pipeline. The system will keep the manual intervention away and, hence, reduce the clearance time per passenger.
This facility will be introduced in the arrival area first on trial basis. Once successful, number of e-gates will be increased and will also be introduced at the departure terminals.