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The Indian government has decided to grant tourist visas starting October 15 this year, according to a latest release from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Ministry will grant fresh Tourist visas for travellers coming to India through chartered flights with effect from October 15, 2021. Foreign tourists entering into India by flights other than chartered aircraft will be able to do so with effect from November 15, 2021 on fresh Tourist Visas. Travellers have to fulfil all prescribed rules and regulations required for issuance of visa.
The Ministry has also said travellers have to adhere to all due protocols and norms relating to COVID-19 as notified by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare from time to time. Carriers bringing them into India and all other stakeholders at landing stations will also have to follow related pandemic containment regulations.
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 Indian 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.
However, the Ministry said that it has been receiving representations from several state governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector to start Tourist Visas so that foreigners can start visiting India. After consulting 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 Ministry of Home Affairs decided to start issuing Tourist visas.
However, India has extended its ban on scheduled international commercial passenger flights to October 31 this year while flights operating on air bubble pacts with select countries remain in place.
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