India becomes the first nation in the world to resume travel to India and permit all kinds of visa to India after international travel was suspended worldwide, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government of India, has decided to restore all categories of tourist visas for foreign nationals and also issue fresh visas with immediate effect.
The government has already decided to allow regular international flight operations, which were suspended since March 23, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, from March 27th.
An order issued by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has said that current valid e-tourist visas issued for five years shall stand restored to nationals of 156 countries with immediate effect”. Fresh five-year e-tourist visas to nationals of these 156 countries will also be issued, it added.
“The regular paper tourist visa, which has a validity of five years and is issued to nationals of all the countries, has also been restored. Similarly, the long duration (10-year) regular tourist visa to the citizens of the United States and Japan has also been restored and new ones will be issued with immediate effect.”
All these visas were suspended in March 2020, when regular international flights were stopped after the outbreak of Covid-19.
The Indian Government’s order has been shared with Indian embassies abroad. But government also added that they will not be allowed to enter the country through land border or riverine routes on tourist visas
There are 21 categories of visas given by India with various sub-categories, including tourist visa, medical visa, business visa, conference visa, student and research visa, missionary visa, film visa, journalist visa, sports visa, intern visa and all have been restored.
“All categories of visas are now allowed to travel to India,” said an MHA official requesting anonymity.
Zoe Welsh, a regular visitor to Tiruvannamalai rejoiced and welcomed the decision. “This is a big relief for all foreign devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi and Arunachala. We hope that it will create confidence among foreign tourists that Tiruvannamalai is now safe to travel and they can visit Tiruvannamalai without any hassles. We also hail restoration of all types of visas, which include five-year visas for all eligible countries and 10-year long visas for (tourists from) US and Japan”.A senior official from Tiruvannamalai Tourism said this decision of the India government will boost the travel and tourism sector in Tiruvannamalai.”
As Europe and the west in general are struggling with Covid-19,vaccinations, bad economy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the life in India is back to normal and India is strongly emerging to be a bigger and stronger economic power in the world.