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Centre eases visa restrictions: Here's a look at who can travel and under which category


With many sectors going back to the 'new normal' as part of 'Unlock 5', the Centre on Thursday issued a statement that restores all existing visas, except electronic, tourist and medical categories, after their suspension following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said 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.

What does the statement issued by Ministry of Home Affairs say?

  • All existing visas, except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa to be restored
  • 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
  • The new guidelines enables foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc
  • 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, will now be permitted

While the restrictions on visas were imposed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in February, commercial flight operations were suspended when the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25

​All such travellers 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.