The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the gradual relaxation of visa rules for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India with immediate effect with their existing visas except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa.
Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can now apply for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants and foreign nationals can come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical purposes.
“Therefore, this decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc.,” said the ministry in a statement. The decision will ease the sectors affected due to pandemic as restrictions were imposed on the visit of foreigners.
In view of the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry had taken a series of steps to curtail the inward and outward movement of international passengers since February this year. Therefore, the MHA — a nodal Ministry which has the authority to give visa and foreign travel approvals — has now decided to permit all Overseas Citizenship Of India (OCI) and Person 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.
The relaxation includes flights operated under the 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 have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF) regarding quarantine and other health and Covid-19 matters.
If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from the Indian Missions or Posts concerned, the Ministry said.