The government of India on Thursday announces that Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders and People of Indian Origin (PIO) can visit India for any purpose, except for tourism.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement said that, “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 will also 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.
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.
The government’s decision will now enable foreign nationals to visit India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research, medical purposes etc.
While the restrictions on visas were imposed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in February, commercial flight operations were suspended when the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25.
However, the government has been allowing limited operations of Air India flights under the “Vande Bharat” mission for certain categories of OCI and PIO card holders and those Indians who were stuck abroad due to the Covid-19 outbreak since June.