The Indian government on Thursday announced a relaxation of visa rules with certain exceptions, lifting travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals.
India had suspended travel to India almost eight months ago following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and subsequent nationwide lockdown.
"It has been decided to permit 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 authorized airports and seaport immigration check posts," said a statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
This will also include flights operated under the Vande Bharat Mission, the air transport bubble arrangements and non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The government’s decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical treatment.
Under this graded relaxation of visa rules, the Indian government has also decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visa, Tourist Visa and Medical Visa).
MHA also said that if the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas can be obtained from Indian Mission/Posts.
The MHA specified however that all travelers will have to strictly abide by the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine.