Govt. announces graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for OCIs, PIOs, foreign nationals
Indians flying back from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Air India flight AI 1377 on May 12, 2020 as part of the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded Indian nationals from foreign countries during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Photo: High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur.

Govt. announces graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for OCIs, PIOs, foreign nationals

New Delhi, October 22, 2020

As part of a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government today permitted 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 Government had begun curtailing the inward and outward of internatinal passengers, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease since February this year as the number of cases of infection started increasing. All domestic and international flights were cancelled in late March. However, since then, there has been a partial resumption of domestic flights and hundreds of flights to and from different countries have been operated for the repatriation of people stranded because of the lockdown.

It 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, an official press release said.

The release said the relaxation for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders and all other foreign nationals 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 travelers 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," it said.

Under this graded relaxation, Government 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.

Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment 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 release added.

NNN

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