The Indian government has announced the resumption of granting tourist visas to foreigners from October 15.
Eighteen months after India suspended tourist visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated it will begin issuing visas from October 15, although tourists will be allowed entry into India only in chartered flights for a month.
Those who want to visit India on “bubble flights” or scheduled commercial flights would have to wait until November 15, the government said.
“After considering various inputs, the MHA has decided to begin granting of fresh tourist visas for foreigners coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15, 2021,” the MHA statement read.
“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 ministry stated.
The decision, it is learnt, was under deliberation for over a month and the Tourism Ministry had been pushing for opening up of tourist visas, as the tourism and hotel sector had suffered the most during the pandemic.
The MHA also received representations from several State Governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector.