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Monday, October 18, 2021

India Planning on “Custom Visa Policy”

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With India opening up, the government has decided to provide “reciprocal treatment” to foreign tourists, depending upon their home-country policies for Indians.   

This decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the Union Home Secretary and attended by representatives from all concerned agencies. Many countries have continued to impose restrictions on Indian travellers while opening up for tourists from other countries, said a senior official from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Diplomats from these countries were asked to resolve these issues.

After withdrawing tourist visas 18 months ago, a standard rule was applied for each visa application thereafter. Now, officials will need to apply the latest rules based on how a country treats Indian tourists, and decide whether to grant visas to a visitor from that country. They may have to show their vaccine certificates or undergo quarantine, or face rejection.

The Cabinet Secretary of MHA will chair another meeting to formulate the process framework after discussing with tour operators associations along with the ministry of tourism, the ministry of aviation and other stakeholders. The final decision will depend on any crucial breakthroughs or any ongoing diplomatic negotiations during this period.

Indian tourists can go to several countries like Kenya, Srilanka, UAE, Mauritius, Egypt, Russia, Iceland, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Italy and others provided they are fully vaccinated, undergo a quarantine period, take a pre-departure RT-PCR test, or take a Covid test on arrival.

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