Govt relaxes visa curbs; allows foreign businessmen, technocrats to visit India

The foreigners will have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa

Foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier, said the MHA | PTI Foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier, said the MHA | PTI

The Union government on Wednesday relaxed the visa and travel restrictions, allowing certain categories of foreign nationals, including businessmen, healthcare professionals and engineers, to visit India.

In its order, the Ministry of Home Affairs, however, said that the foreign nationals, holding a valid long-term multiple-entry business visa, would have to get their travel documents re-validated from the Indian missions.

Those who are allowed to visit India are:

Foreign businessmen coming to India on a business visa (other than on B-3 visa for sports) in non-scheduled commercial/ chartered flights.

Foreign healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities, including laboratories and factories.  This is subject to a letter of invitation from a recognized and registered healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical company or accredited university in India.

Foreign engineering, managerial, design or other specialists travelling to India on behalf of foreign business entities located in India.  This includes all manufacturing units, design units, software and IT units as well as financial sector companies (banking and non-banking financial sector firms).

Foreign technical specialists and engineers travelling for installation, repair and maintenance of foreign-origin machinery and equipment facilities in India, on the invitation of a registered Indian business entity.  These could be for equipment installation, or is under warranty, or for after sales servicing or repair on commercial terms.

The MHA said the above categories of foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa, as applicable, from the Indian missions or 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,” the ministry said. 

Such foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier, the MHA further added.

This is for the first time that foreign nationals are allowed to visit India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown on March 24 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.