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India Eases Its Visa Rules, While Russia May Be Closing Its Doors to Many Visitors

As per usual the news out of Russia is puzzling. Instead of easing restrictions on travelers and thus helping their sanction-damaged economy, the Russian government may be making the world's hardest–to–get visa even more difficult to obtain. Bloomberg News is reporting that a bill was submitted to the Russian parliament yesterday which would establish "reciprocity" with those countries who are banning the entry of certain Russian businessmen and politicians under the Ukraine-triggered sanctions. If the law passes, Americans and other Europeans may be denied entry to Russia on the basis of their nationality.

Indian officials are being kinder to travelers. From now on visitors from 43 nations (including the United States, the UK, Canada and Australia) will be able to apply for their visas online, rather than having to head to the nearest consulate. They will then simply pick up the paper visa when they arrive at their point of entry airport in India. Easy peasy! Not surprisingly, India's Tourism Minister has issued a number of ecstatic statements. He's guessing, quite rightly we think, that the removal of this barrier will encourage far more travelers to head to India.

(Photo by Jonathan Choe/flickr)