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Thursday, 22 October, 2020, 15 : 06 PM [IST]

Except for tourism, India allows entry of foreign nationals, OCI & PIO card holders

In a big development, India on Thursday announced a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions and allowed all foreign nationals as well as all OCI and PIO card holders to travel to the country via air or sea. All such persons are now allowed to travel to India for any purpose, except tourism.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a notification that such a relaxation is applicable to both foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India.

“In view of the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India 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.”
 
“Therefore, it has been 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 authorized airports and seaport immigration check posts,” the MHA release said.

Foreign and Indian nationals can avail flights operating under the Vande Bharat Mission and Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to enter or exit the country.

However, all such travellers will be required to follow the COVID-19 related guidelines issued by India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The MHA further announced that all existing visas, barring electronic visa, Tourist Visa and Medical Visa, are being restored with an immediate effect.

“The 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/Posts concerned,” the MHA said.

The release informed that foreigners who wish to visit India to undergo medical treatment here can apply 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.


Source: Times Now
 
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