India to grant tourist visas to those coming via chartered flights from Oct 15
India today said it would start granting fresh tourist visas to foreigners coming by chartered flights from October 15 and foreign tourists coming by non-chartered flights from November 15.
It has been decided "to begin granting of fresh tourist visas for foreigners coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15. Foreign tourists entering India by flights other than chartered aircraft would be able to do so only with effect from November 15 on fresh tourist visas," the Home Ministry said in a statement, according to our New Delhi correspondent.
It said all Covid-19 protocols and norms notified by Health Ministry would have to be adhered to by foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India and other stakeholders at landing stations.
With this, the restrictions placed on visa and international travel stand further eased given the present overall Covid-19 situation, our New Delhi correspondent added.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all visas granted to foreigners were suspended last year and various other restrictions were imposed on international travel by India which was hit badly by a devastating second wave of the pandemic in March-April.
However, after considering the evolving Covid-19 situation, foreigners were later allowed to avail any kind of Indian visa other than tourist visa for entry and stay in India.
The Home Ministry said it had been receiving representations from several state governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector to start tourist visas to allow foreign tourists to come to India.
The Home Ministry then consulted all major stakeholders like the Ministries of Health, External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Tourism and various governments of states where foreign tourists are expected to arrive this coming winter before announcing today's decisions to further relax visa curbs.