Hyderabad, NFAPost: As the coronavirus wreaked havoc around the world, countries shut international and national borders, announced a slew of travel and economic restrictions. Inward and outward movement of international passenger traffic came to a grinding halt, sending the economy on an uncontrollable downward spiral.
As the country eased itself from the strict lockdown measures, traffic between countries, both passenger and tradr, also started seeing a marginal increase.
As India moves towards more relaxations, the Indian 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.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to permit all OCI and 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.
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, a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
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.
Under the graded relaxation, Government of India has also decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visa, Tourist Visa and Medical Visa), the statement added.
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.
This will now enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc.