News alert: India restores e-visa to 156 countries and regular visas to all

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India has restored all currently valid five-year e-tourist visa given to citizens of 156 countries and regular paper visa to nationals of all countries with immediate effect, two years after their suspension follow the Covid outbreak. Officials said all currently valid old long-duration (10 years) regular tourist visa given to nationals of the US and Japan had been restored.

Fresh long-duration (10 years) tourist visa would also be issued to the US and Japanese nationals. The government has decided that currently valid e-tourist visa issued for five years, which was suspended since March 2020, would stand restored to the nationals of 156 countries. Nationals of these 156 countries will also be eligible for issuance of fresh e-tourist visa as per the Visa Manual, 2019.

Currently valid regular (paper) tourist visa with validity of five years, issued to foreign nationals of all countries, which remained suspended since March 2020, shall stand restored. Fresh regular (paper) tourist visa up to five years’ validity will also be issued to the nationals of the eligible countries subject to the restrictions imposed from time to time, the official said.

Currently valid old long-duration (10 years) regular tourist visa which, too, remained suspended since March 2020, shall stand restored for the nationals of the US and Japan. Fresh long-duration (10 years) tourist visa will also be issued to the nationals of the US and Japan.

The foreign nationals on tourist and e-tourist visas will be able to enter India only through designated Sea Immigration Check Posts (IPs) or Airport ICPs by flights, including those under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission or ‘air bubble’ scheme or by any flights as allowed by the DGCA or Ministry of Civil Aviation. In no case, the foreign nationals will be allowed to enter through land border or riverine routes on tourist visa or e-tourist visa.

The government instructions will not be applicable to Afghanistan nationals who will continue to be governed by the separate instructions issued by the Union Home Ministry regarding grant of e-Emergency X-Misc visa, the official said.

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