Indian Government said to Begin Handing Out Free SIM Cards to Visitors on E-Tourist Visas

Affective September 27, The Indian government will begin issuing SIM cards to all travelers arriving in India on an e-tourist visa, making the process of configuring their phones and getting connected significantly easier. This initiative is expected to allow travelers to skip the notoriously long process of sourcing a retailer, filing paperwork, providing passport photos and proper documentation, and undergoing a complicated activation protocol just to be granted access to their own devices.

The SIM cards will be issued through BSNL, Baharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, the sixth-largest mobile service provider in India and will be accompanied by welcome packets complete with a list of tips while navigating the country, emergency contact information, and maps. This move to make procuring a SIM card hassle free for foreigners is an effort to attract more tourists to the country, as tourism accounted for more than 6 percent of India’s total GDP in 2015.

The Indian government believes that having a working mobile phone as a foreigner in the country is not only very convenient, but also extremely important from a security standpoint and they are fully aware that as of now, acquiring a SIM card is a difficult process. This initiative is said to make tourists arrival in the country less frustrating and inefficient as a whole.