The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) will commence granting fresh Tourist Visas to foreigners coming to India through chartered flights starting October 15. Meanwhile, foreign tourists travelling to India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so with effect from November 15.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, all visas granted to foreigners were suspended last year. Various other restrictions were also imposed on international travel by the Central Government to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. “After considering the evolving COVID-19 situation, foreigners were later on allowed to avail any kind of Indian visa other than Tourist Visa for entry and stay in India,” the government said.
However, the MHA had been receiving representations from several State Governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector to start Tourist Visas also, to allow foreign tourists to come to India. Therefore, the MHA consulted all major stakeholders like the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and various State Governments where foreign tourists are expected to arrive.
“After considering various inputs, the MHA has decided to begin granting fresh Tourist Visas for foreigners coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15, 2021. Foreign tourists entering into India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so only with effect from November 15, 2021, on fresh Tourist Visas. All due protocols and norms relating to COVID-19 as notified by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare from time to time, shall be adhered to by the foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India and all other stakeholders at landing stations,” the government said in its statement.
With this, the restrictions placed on visa and international travel stand further eased given the present overall COVID-19 situation.