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Government relaxes visa restrictions

Representational image.  

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday further relaxed visa restrictions enabling foreigners to come to India for various purposes such as business, conference, employment, education, research and medical purposes. Except electronic tourist visa on arrival, which includes short-term medical visa, all visa restrictions have been lifted.

“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,” the MHA said in a statement.

Government relaxes visa restrictions
 

Adherence to guidelines

All such travellers should, however, strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/COVID-19 matters, it stated.

“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,” it said.

The travel restriction, prohibiting international travel to and from 107 immigration check-posts was issued on March 23, a day before the first phase of the 21-day-countrywide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The visa restrictions have been gradually relaxed and on August 18, the MHA allowed foreign journalists and their dependents to enter India. On August 7, the Ministry allowed foreign nationals from the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France to travel to India on “business, medical and employment” visas under the air bubble scheme.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:42:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-relaxes-visa-restrictions/article32916564.ece

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