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Govt eases visa, travel rules 8 months after Covid curbs

Oct 22, 2020 14:57 IST

New Delhi, PTI: The government on Thursday decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas, except electronic, tourist and medical categories. The visas were suspended almost eight months ago following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent imposition of a nationwide lockdown.

The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced giving permission to all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders and all other foreign nationals to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa.

The ministry said in a statement that in view of the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had taken a series of steps to curtail the inward and outward movement of international passengers since February, 2020.

The 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.

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.

If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian mission or post concerned.

Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply afresh for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants.

Therefore, this decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc.

The government has also decided to permit all OCI and PIO card holders 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 authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts.