The Indian government has decided to resume tourist visas for international travelers aiming to lift-off tourism after the COVID-19 forced curbs.
Ministry of Home Affairs will resume the grant of fresh tourist visas to foreigners starting November 15. Foreigners arriving on chartered flights will be able to get visas from October 15.
India had suspended granting new tourist visas a year and a half ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per an MHA statement, the move comes after deliberations among stakeholders including the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and state governments. A senior MHA official has said, “MHA had been receiving representations from several State Governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector to start Tourist Visas also, to allow foreign tourists to come to India. After deliberations we have decided to ease travel restrictions.”
The MHA has asked state government to adhere to COVID-19 protocols as per guidelines from Health Ministry. Other stakeholders, including tourists and airlines ferrying them into India will also have to follow the COVID-19 protocols.
Earlier, the Indian government had permitted foreigners to apply for any type of visas apart from tourists visas to come and stay in India.