New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday eased visa and travel restrictions amid Coronavirus pandemic for certain categories of foreign nationals including engineers and health professionals. These foreginers can now come to India. The decision was taken by the government as part of India’s “Unlock 1” strategy. Also Read - 'Secrecy, Deception And Cover-Up': Donald Trump Again Accuses China of Spreading Coronavirus
Other categories of foreign nationals who can come to India as part of eased vias restrictions include businessman who wants to come to India on a business visa in non-scheduled commercial/chartered flights; foreign healthcare professionals, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities etc. Also Read - Amarnath Yatra 2020 News: Only 500 Pilgrims Will be Allowed Per Day by Road From Jammu
“The health researchers and technicians must have a letter of invitation from a recognised healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical firm or accredited university in India,” the Home Ministry said. Also Read - ICMR Faces Flak Over Fast-tracking Covaxin Trials; Medical Body Clarifies August 15 Deadline Meant to 'Cut Red Tape'
“The above categories of foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh Business visa or Employment visa, as applicable, from the Indian Missions/ Posts abroad. Foreign nationals holding a valid long term multiple entry Business visa [other than B-3 visa for sports] issued by the Indian Missions/ Posts abroad would have to get the Business visa re-validated from the Indian Mission/ Post concerned. Such foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier,” the ministry said in a press release.
The government on May 7 launched a special operation under the name of Vande Bharat Mission for evacuation of stranded Indians in foreign nations through air and sea.
Subsequently, it allowed Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies.
This was for the first time that foreign nationals are allowed to visit India.
The nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
It was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17. The lockdown was further extended till May 31 and now in containment zones till June 30.