Reopening India: It has been decided to permit all OCI and PIO card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India, said Ministry of Home Affairs
The Government of India has relaxed visa restrictions for international passengers, with only those on tourist visa now barred from entering the country.
"It has been decided to permit all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders 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," said a statement from Ministry of Home Affairs on October 22.
"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," the statement added.
The easing of restrictions comes even as the government has expanded the air travel bubble arrangement with 18 countries. Earlier this week, Bangladesh and Ukraine were added to the list that already includes the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada and UAE.
All the travelers, the MHA statement added, will have to "strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/COVID-19 matters."
In August, the government had given a partial relaxation for the OCI card holders. But this was only for those from Germany, the US, the UK and France, with whom India had the travel bubble arrangement. The latest communication eases all restrictions.
What are not restored
While the government has restored, with immediate effect, all existing visas, the relaxation excludes electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa.
But the statement added that foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment, can apply for a medical visa. This is also applicable for their medical attendants.
"This decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical purposes," the ministry statement said.This is a developing story. Please check back later for more details.