India suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, according to an official statement.
The government also “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.
The suspension will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.
Visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of a group of ministers held here under the chairmanship of Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Following the meeting, the Bureau of Immigration in a statement said, “All existing visas issued to nationals of any country, except those issued to diplomats, officials, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas, stand suspended till April 15th, 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13th, 2020 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India.”
Visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card holders is also kept in abeyance till April 15, according to a similar official statement.
Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission, the release said, adding that all incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 will be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.