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India to grant tourist visas to foreigners from Oct 15, foreign tourists to be allowed to visit from Nov 15

The decision came 18 months after it shut doors for foreign tourists due to Covid-19 outbreak in March last year.
 

India to grant tourist visas to foreigners from Oct 15, foreign tourists to be allowed to visit from Nov 15-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 7, 2021, 7:01 PM IST
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The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday announced that India will commence granting fresh Tourist Visas to foreigners coming to India through chartered flights starting October 15.

It will also allow foreign tourists to enter the country by flights other than chartered aircraft from November 15 onwards.

“MHA has decided to begin granting fresh tourist visas for foreigners coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15. Foreign tourists entering into India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so from November 15 on fresh tourist visas,” the government said in a statement.

The decision came 18 months after it shut doors for foreign tourists due to Covid-19 outbreak in March last year.

The government said that the decision was taken based on recommendations from state governments as well as stakeholders from the tourism industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the government had given a special thrust on Covid-19 vaccination in tourism-dependent states such as Goa and Uttarakhand with a view to re-start tourist activities.

“All due protocols and norms relating to Covid-19 as notified by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare from time to time, shall be adhered to by the foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India and all other stakeholders at landing stations,” the MHA statement said.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all visas granted to foreigners were suspended last year. Various other restrictions were also imposed on international travel by the Central Government to arrest the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. After considering the evolving Covid-19 situation, foreigners were later on allowed to avail any kind of Indian visa other than Tourist Visa for entry and stay in India", the ministry statement said.

However, the 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. Therefore, the MHA consulted all major stakeholders like the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and various State Governments where foreign tourists are expected to arrive, the MHA statement said.

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