On the 22nd of October, the Central Government announced relaxation on visas.
Extending relaxation to the travel internally, amid the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic,, the Government of India (GoI) allowed more categories of foreign and Indian nationals to be able to travel.
All OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) and PIO (Persons of Indian origin) card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa would be allowed to enter by air or water routes, through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts.
According to the new visa rule, besides the Vande Bharat Mission, the air transport bubble arrangements or by any non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the ministry of civil aviation, OCI and PIO card holders would be allowed to visit India.
However, all the travellers would need to strictly follow the Health Ministry guidelines of the Novel Coronavirus prevention.
Under this graded relaxation, the Centre decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visas, tourist visas and medical visas.)
If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories could be obtained from the concerned Indian Mission/Posts.
Any foreign nationals who are planning to visit India for medical treatment can apply for a medical visa including for their medical attendants.
In its earlier order, the Home Ministry allowed four categories of OCI cardholders to travel to India.
1. Minor children who hold OCI cards and whose parents are Indian nationals.
2. OCI cardholders who wish to come to India for some medical emergency of immediate family members or death.
3. Married couples when one is an OCI card holder and the other is an Indian national.
4. Students who are OCI cardholders and at least one of their parents is an Indian national or an OCI card holder.
Now with the new visa allowed rules, all OCI and PIO card holders will be able to travel to India.
Stay tuned for further updates.