COVID-19: New travel and visa policies announced

30 Oct 20

INDIA

IMPACT – HIGH

The Ministry of Home Affairs has updated travel and visa policies.

Key Points:

  • The following categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter India through water routes or by flight, including under the Vande Bharat Mission, the “Air Bubble” scheme (i.e., bilateral air travel arrangements), or on any non-scheduled commercial flights as permitted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation:
    • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders holding passports of any country.
    • Foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose (including their dependents on the appropriate category of dependent visas), except those on tourist visas.
  • All existing visas—except electronic visas (e-Visas), tourist visas and medical visas, which remain suspended—have been restored with immediate effect. If the visa has expired, the foreign national may obtain a fresh visa under the appropriate category from the relevant Indian mission or post.
  • Indian missions and posts are authorized to issue single-entry X-Misc. Visas on a case-by-case basis for foreign nationals not covered by the categories mentioned above and need to travel to India for family emergencies.
  • Nationals of Nepal and Bhutan are permitted to enter India from any country.
  • Nationals of India, Nepal, and Bhutan are permitted to travel from India to any country, subject to the travel restrictions of the destination country. Airlines will be responsible for ensuring that passengers are in compliance with the travel restrictions before issuing tickets or boarding passes to these travelers.
  • There will be no restrictions on incoming passenger traffic for all categories of foreign nationals who are permitted to enter India, or those who may be permitted to enter India in the future. However, restrictions will continue to apply for foreign nationals holding tourist visas.
  • Officials will strictly enforce COVID-19 protocols and other health guidelines.

Additional Information: For more travel and visa restrictions information related to COVID-19 please click here.

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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