With immediate effect, India has reinstated all currently valid five-year e-tourist visas issued to residents of 156 countries, as well as ordinary paper visas issued to nationals of all countries, two years after their suspension following the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decision, the government has restored the electronic tourist visa (e-TV) option for 156 countries, just days after announcing that international flights to and from India will resume fully on March 27.
Officials also stated that all currently valid old long-term (10-year) normal tourist visas issued to citizens of the United States and Japan have been restored. New long-term (10-year) tourist visas will also be offered to the US and Japanese citizens. According to an official, the government has decided that the currently valid e-tourist visa issued for five years, which has been stopped since March 2020, will be reinstated to nationals of 156 countries.
According to the Visa Manual 2019, nationals of these 156 countries will also be eligible for the granting of new e-tourist visas. The currently valid regular (paper) tourist visa with a 5-year validity period given to foreign nationals of all nations, which has been suspended since March 2020, will be reinstated. Fresh ordinary (paper) tourist visas with a validity period of up to five years will also be awarded to nationals of the eligible countries, subject to the restrictions imposed from time to time.
The currently valid old long-term (10-year) normal tourist visa, which has also been suspended since March 2020, will be reinstated for nationals of the United States and Japan. New long-term (10-year) tourist visas will also be offered to citizens of the United States and Japan. Foreign nationals on tourist and e-tourist visas will be allowed to enter India only through designated Sea Immigration Check Posts (IPs) or Airport ICPs via flights, including those under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ or ‘air bubble’ scheme, or through any flights permitted by the DGCA or Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Under no circumstances will foreign citizens be permitted to enter via a land border or riverine channels on a tourist visa or an e-tourist visa. According to the official, the government instructions will not apply to Afghan nationals, who will continue to be governed by separate instructions given by the Union Home Ministry regarding the award of -e-Emergency X-Misc visas.
According to the Ministry, foreign nationals with tourist/e-tourist visas may only enter India through specified marine immigration checkpoints or international airports.
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