Visa Crunch

5 Lakh Foreign Tourists To Get Free Visas

With international flight operations resuming, on April 3, on a regular basis after two years, the Centre has restored all categories of tourist visas for foreign nationals. All tourist visas were suspended on March 23, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Union Minister of State for Tourism G. Kishan Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad on Sunday that visas will be given free for 5 lakh foreign tourists on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The Centre has alerted all the State governments and domestic and international tour and travel operators about the resumption of flight operations and visa concessions aimed to bring the tourism sector on a recovery path.

A meeting of ministers for Tourism and Culture, chief secretaries and secretaries of tourism in State governments will be held at Vignan Bhavan in New Delhi on April 12 and 13 to discuss measures to infuse strength in tourism.

He said e-visa was brought into effect Sunday in 170 countries. Foreign tourists need not go to Indian embassies anymore for visas. Asked if this was a permanent arrangement, he said the situation will be reviewed later.

Mr Reddy disclosed plans of the Centre to conduct International Yoga Day on June 21 on a massive scale to coincide with Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. They will be held at 75 centres across the country to synchronise with 75 years of Indian independence.

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