India to grant fresh tourist visas from 15 October

By Rhik Kundu
Foreign tourists travelling to India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so with effect from 15 November. (AFP)

NEW DELHI : In a bid to relax travel restrictions for foreigners into the country the Indian government has decided to grant fresh tourist visas from October, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Thursday. 

Foreign tourists coming into India on charter flights will be given fresh tourists visas by the government from 15 October, the statement said. 

Foreign tourists travelling to India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so with effect from 15 November, it added. 

"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," the statement said. 

 "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," it added. 

The number or fresh infection cases due to covid-19 are on a wane in the country with vaccination rates picking up in last few months. 

The government has recently relaxed few restrictions on domestic commercial flights like increasing capacity cap of airlines to 85%, which means that airlines are from last month allowed to operate upto 85% of their pre covid capacity, up from 72.5% in August. 

International flight operations to and from India however, are limited as flights under bilateral air bubble agreements remain restricted to about 28 countries. 

"With this, the restrictions placed on visa and international travel stand further eased given the present overall COVID-19 situation" the home ministry statement added. 


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