On Thursday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement said that the government has decided to make a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India.
"Therefore, 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. This includes flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission, Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation," the statement said.
"All such travelers will, however, have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/COVID-19 matters," it added.
Further, the Indian government has decided to restore, with immediate effect, all existing visas (except electronic visa, Tourist Visa and Medical Visa).
"If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from Indian Mission/Posts concerned," the statement said.
Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can apply for a Medical Visa including for their medical attendants.
These changes will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc.
In light of COVID-19, restrictions were imposed on visas issued by the Indian since February 2020 on the movement of international passengers.