The Centre has announced that Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and foreign nationals can travel to India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa.
Read on to know more…
Gradual Relaxations on Visa Restrictions Begins After 8 Months!
An order from Union Home Ministry read, “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.”
After nearly 8 months, in a bid to ease travel restrictions, the government has restored the validity of all existing visas, except electronic visas, tourist visas, and medical visas.
The OCI cardholders and foreign nationals can enter the country via authorized air or water routes. This includes repatriation flights operated under the Vande Bharat Mission, flights under air bubble agreements, or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as approved by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
However, the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols have to be followed by all such travelers.
A Snippet of Backstory!
This development comes after nearly eight months after the government had suspended air travel — international and domestic — since February 2020 due to the pandemic.
In May, India started the Vande Bharat Mission to bring the stranded Indians in other countries back and vice versa. Following which, India signed air bubble pacts with many countries to facilitate air travel.
On May 25, the government resumed the scheduled domestic passenger flights with a capacity of 33% with respect to pre-COVID flight capacity. On June 26, the Civil Aviation Ministry had increased the capacity limit to 45%.