Foreign nationals, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders will be able to visit India for any purpose but tourism as the Government of India has taken a series of steps to ease visa and travel restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the press release issued by the Press information bureau (PIB) Delhi, foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can now apply for a Medical Visa including for their medical attendants. Therefore, this decision will enable foreign nationals to go to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical s etc.
This government order will be applicable for passengers travelling by air or water routes through authorized airports and seaport immigration check posts, which includes flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission, Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation.
"The government has 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," said the press release.
However, all such travelers will have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/Covid-19 matters.
In a move to make graded relaxation of visa and travel restrictions, the country 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.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23.
After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25.
However, it had then allowed the airlines to operate maximum 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. The Civil Aviation Ministry increased the limits on June 26 from 33 per cent to 45 per cent.