Govt Eases Visa Restrictions, Allows All Foreigners Except Tourists To Enter India

New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs has liberalized visa restrictions by allowing entry to India to all foreigners except tourists. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders, as well as other foreign nationals can now travel to India.

Since lockdown was imposed in the last week of March following the outbreak of COVID-19, a specific category of OCI card holders and foreigners were allowed entry into the country until now.

“The government has now decided to make a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India. Therefore, it has been decided to permit all OCI and PIO card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa,” an MHA statement said.

They can come in by air or water routes through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts.

”This includes flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission, Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. All such travelers will, however have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/COVID-19 matters,” the MHA statement said.

The government has also decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa).

“If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian mission or post concerned. Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply afresh for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants. Therefore, this decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc,” the government said.

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