NEW DELHI: India has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas — except electronic, tourist and medical visas — as part of a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign and Indian nationals. The Union home ministry (MHA) on Thursday decided to permit all “overseas citizens of India (OCI) and persons of Indian origin (PIO) 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 authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts.”
Friday’s decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes like business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical purposes.
While schedule international flights remain suspended to and from India, people allowed to travel under Friday’s relaxed norms can do so on flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission, air transport bubble arrangements or non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the aviation ministry.
“All such travellers will, however have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the health ministry regarding quarantine and other health/Covid-19 matters,” the home ministry said in a statement.
“Government of India has also decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visa, tourist and medical visas). If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian mission/posts concerned. Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply for a medical visa including for their medical attendants,” it said.
India had suspended a majority of visas issued to foreigners earlier this year as part of travel restrictions to control the spread of Covid. With the government now deciding “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,” the badly affected travel sector — including the worst-hit segments of airlines and hotels — could see some revival.
Source From : Times Of India