India relaxes visa restrictions for foreigners, restores most visas except for tourist

New Delhi: In a major decision, the government has allowed foreign nationals and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders to visit India for any purpose, except on tourist visa thus relaxing the visa and travel restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government, reports said, has also restored the validity of all existing visas after they were suspended in March in the wake of the India-wide lockdown due to the global virus crisis.

“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,” an order from the Union Home Ministry says.

Under this graded relaxation, the government has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa, the statement said.

The permission for Overseas Citizens of India and foreign nationals to enter the country includes authorised air or water routes, including flights operated under the Vande Bharat Mission air transport bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Travelers will have to follow the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry regarding quarantine and other Covid protocols.

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