India has restored, with immediate effect, all valid five year e-tourist visas that are given to nationals of 156 countries along with regular paper visa to citizens of all countries, nearly two years after their suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The government took the step keeping in view the improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the country and considering the need for further relaxation of visa and travel restrictions."Ministry of Home Affairs, as quoted by ANI
Here's all you need to know about the new rules regarding long duration tourist visas and e-tourist visas:
Will new long duration tourist visas be issued to the nationals of the United States and Japan?
Yes, new long duration (10 years) tourist visas will be issued to the nationals of the US and Japan.
Further, all currently-valid regular tourist visas with old long duration (of 10 years) given to the citizens of Japan and the US have also been restored, news agency PTI reported on Wednesday, 16 March, citing officials.
Will citizens from these 156 countries be eligible for fresh e-tourist visas?
Yes, the citizens from these 156 countries will be eligible for fresh e-tourist visas according to the Visa Manual, 2019.
Further, foreign nationals will be able to enter India on tourist and e-tourist visas only through designated Sea Immigration Check Posts (IPs) or Airport ICPs via flights. These will include those under 'Vande Bharat Mission' or 'air bubble' scheme or via flights as per the DGCA or Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Will foreign nationals be allowed to enter through the land border or sea on tourist visa?
No, foreign nationals will not be allowed to enter through the land border or sea on tourist visa or e-tourist visa in any case.
Will the new instructions be applicable to Afghan nationals?
No, the instructions issued by the government will be non-applicable to Afghan nationals. They will continue to be governed by separate instructions given by the Union Home Ministry regarding the grant of e-Emergency X-Misc visa, an official was quoted as saying by PTI.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
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