India to restore most visas as economy opens up and Covid-19 cases fall

Topics Centre | Visa | Indian Economy

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.

The government on Thursday decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic, tourist and medical categories, almost eight months after their suspension following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent imposition of a nationwide lockdown.

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.

The ministry said in a statement 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 government has also 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, to enter 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 travellers 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.

While the restrictions on visas were imposed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in February, commercial flight operations were suspended when the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25.

However, the government has been allowing limited operations of Air India flights under the 'Vande Bharat' mission for certain categories OCI and PIO card holders and those Indians who were stuck due to COVID-19 outbreak since June.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel