India announces relaxation of Visa and Travel restrictions

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Kolkata: Air staff of the special flight from Dhaka to Kolkata that landed with stranded Indian nationals at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport under the Vande Bharat Mission launched by the Central Government to bring back stranded Indians home, during the extended nationwide lockdown imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus on May 18, 2020. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

The Government of India has further relaxed visa and travel restrictions to India during COVID 19 situation, permitting certain categories of foreign nationals enumerated as under for travel by water routes or by flights, including under Vande Bharat Mission or Air Bubble (bilateral travel arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India –

– All OCI cardholders and PIO cardholders holding passports of any country, including Canada;

– All foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose (including their dependents on the appropriate category of dependent visa) except on Tourist Visa;

– All existing visas, except electronic visas [e-Visa], Tourist Visa and Medical Visa, stand restored with immediate effect.

– Since previously held medical visas are under suspension, fresh medical visa [including Medical Attendants] in emergencies has to be obtained from the Consulate;

– In case any foreign nationals (including those of Indian origin who do not have OCI/PIO) not covered by the categories mentioned above, who require to visit India urgently due to any family emergency, they should apply for Entry Visa (X-Misc). Such applicants will be issued single entry visa for 3 months.

2. In addition, the condition of obtaining a visa will not apply to dependent family members of foreign diplomats/officials who are eligible for visa exemption in terms of bilateral visa exemption agreements or visa specific agreements entered into by India with various countries.

3. Nationals of Nepal and Bhutan are permitted to visit to India from any country, including any third country.

4. In respect of quarantine and other health/COVID19 related matters, guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shall be strictly adhered to. Applicants for travel and quarantine guidelines to India may also refer to New Delhi Airport website – https://www.newdelhiairport.in/

5. How to apply for a visa for India: Duly filled in the Regular/Paper Visa Application form at the given link – https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/ may be submitted along with required documents and fee in person at the BLS Brampton office (20 Gillingham Drive, Unit 701, Brampton, ON L6X 5A5).

Only emergency visa requests in cases of death and hospitalization of family members in critical condition may be submitted at the Consulate (365 Bloor St E #700, Toronto, ON M4W 3L4) along with required documents, the fee (payable by debit card or bank draft in the name of Consulate General of India, Toronto), confirm air ticket, etc, one or two days in advance. Prior appointment for visit to the Consulate may be taken from – visa.toronto@mea.gov.in. Please note that due to COVID19, there are restrictions on entry to the Consulate building, applicants visiting the Consulate without a prior appointment will not be entertained.

6. Applicants are also requested to go through the Consulate’s website before referring queries – www.cgitoronto.gov.in.

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