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India restores long-term e-tourist visas to156 countries with immediate effect

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday restored all valid five-year e-tourist visas of issued to nationals of 156 countries and suspended since March 2020 with immediate effect, news agency ANI reported. Nationals of these countries will also be eligible for issuance of fresh e-visas for tourists as per existing rules.

The government also said it would similarly restore valid regular (paper) long-duration (10 years) tourist visas for US and Japanese nationals, as well as permit issue of fresh visas to citizens of both countries.

“The government took the step keeping in view the improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the country and considering the need for further relaxation of visa and travel restrictions,” the Home Ministry said, according to ANI.

Foreign nationals on tourist and e-tourist visas can enter India only via designated sea or air immigration check posts, including those under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ or ‘air bubble’ scheme, or by flights as allowed by the civil aviation ministry.

In no case will foreign nationals holding tourist or e-tourist visas be allowed to enter via land or riverine borders, the home ministry said.

The instructions will not, however, be applicable to Afghanistan nationals who will continue to be governed by separate instructions issued by the Home Ministry regarding grant of e-emergency x-misc visa.


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