India relaxes visa restrictions; PIO and OCI card holders can now travel to India

India relaxes visa restrictions; PIO and OCI card holders can now travel to India

All OCI and PIO card-holders as well as all foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a Tourist Visa, are permitted to enter by air or water routes through authorized airports and seaport immigration check posts. This has been announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs today.

This also includes flights that are operated under Air Transport Bubble arrangements, the Vande Bharat Mission, or by any non-scheduled commercial flights that are allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. However, all those travelling under these categories, will have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/COVID-19 related matters.

Reportedly, under this graded relaxation, the government plans to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except Tourist Visa, electronic visa, and Medical Visa). As per the ministry, foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply for a Medical Visa, including those of medical attendants.

However, if the validity of these visas has expired, one can apply for fresh visas for appropriate categories, which can be obtained from Indian Mission/Posts concerned.

As such, the latest decision will enable foreign nationals to travel to India for various purposes, such as studies, business, employment, conferences, employment, medical, and research purposes etc.

The latest decision by the government comes in view of making graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for Indian nationals and more categories of foreign nationals who wish to enter or leave India.

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