Visa rules regarding the 60-day cooling-off period for tourists were ‘slightly’ relaxed, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday.

He said that a foreigner who uses India as a base to visit neighbouring countries could avail of three re-entries within 60 days if he has the sufficient itinerary.

At a press conference here, Mr. Chidambaram said that an overwhelming majority of tourists visiting India would not be affected by the new visa policy of the government.

Under the tightened visa rules , after the tourist visits India and leaves the country, there has to be a break of 60 days before he/she can apply for another tourist visa.

“The overwhelming majority of tourists who visit India for a few weeks would face no difficulty whatsoever. There is a very small number of tourists who use India as a hub and visit neighbouring countries. In such cases, if the itinerary shows visits to India and other countries as part of the same trip, we have allowed the Visa issuing authorities to relax the 60-day period and permit up to the three entries into India,” the Minister said.

Replying to a question, Mr. Chidambaram quipped that the Ministry of External Affairs and his Ministry “are on the same page on the Visa issue and are singing the same song.”

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