Israel opens visa centre in Kolkata

Kolkata: In a bid to encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the Middle East nation has opened a Visa Application Centre here that would cater to West Bengal and seven northeastern states.

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura would come under the purview of the centre, which can also accept visa applications in jurisdiction under the New Delhi centre, an Israel Embassy release said.

The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism and meeting or conference, and A2 for students.

Commenting on the opening of centre, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India and Philippines, said: “Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82 per cent as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel.

“Keeping this in mind, the Ministry consistently aims to introduce initiatives that ease the procedure of visa applications to Israel. The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal and northeastern states to send their documents to the Embassy in New Delhi,” Madah was quoted as saying in the release.

Madah said the Israeli Ministry of Tourism would hold a roadshow here on August 29 to increase interest for the destination among consumers and the trade fraternity.

Israel offers a plethora of things to do and see to cater to the discerning traveller. From the historical city of Jerusalem to the beach city of Tel Aviv; and from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, to the marvellous underwater marine life of Red Sea in Eilat, the release said.