After eight months, Indian government relaxes visa restrictions

New Delhi: The Union government has further relaxed visa restrictions enabling foreigners to come to India for various purposes such as business, conference, employment, education, research and medical reasons. Except electronic tourist visa on arrival, which includes short-term medical visa, all visa restrictions have been lifted.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also announced giving permission to all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders and all other foreign nationals to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa.

In a statement, the Ministry said that in view of the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had taken a series of steps to curtail the inward and outward movement of international passengers since February, 2020.

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.

Under this graded relaxation, the government has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa, the statement said.

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 MHA said, “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 (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a Tourist Visa to enter by air or water routes through authorized 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.”

It added: “Under this graded relaxation, Government of India 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 and Posts concerned. Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply for a Medical Visa including for their medical attendants.”

 

NT Bureau