USA to India Travel

Special Provision to Visit India during Pandemic – NEW RULE

Last Updated On: June 5, 2020

In March 2020 the Indian Government had shut its doors to foreign nationals entering the country. This rule has been relaxed now. Here are the updates.

Due to the COVID19 pandemic outbreak, foreign nationals could not enter India since March 2020. All air travel and flights incoming to India were closed until further notice. (Source)

This created a panicky situation for many NRIs and Indian origin-foreign nationals in countries like the USA, UK, and UAE.

Many NRIs had relatives in India and most were even frequent visitors to India for business and other personal purposes. None of them could travel to India during this time (March – June, 2020).

In our WhatsApp groups, many were even complaining of not being able to travel even in emergencies. The Indian Embassy in USA, was the only hope for NRIs but even the Embassy was flooded with applications from NRIs to return to India.

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So, this news from Indian Government comes as a relief to many NRIs who wants to return and visit India during this COVID pandemic situation.

Here is the official order from the Indian Government.

Govt of India Visit India Foreigners COVID
Govt of India Visit India Foreigners COVID
Govt of India Visit India Foreigners COVID

According to which the following categories of foreign nationals and NRIs can return to India in non-scheduled chartered flights.

  • Foreign nationals coming to India on Business visas. (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 traveling 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 traveling 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.

However, there’s a catch.

The foreign nationals allowed under these four categories will need to apply for a fresh visa from Indian Embassies abroad.

Image source – Times of India

About the author

Mani Karthik

Having lived in 3+ countries, worked for companies small and big in the USA, Middle East & India, I have a lot of experience to share about international travel, immigration and living as an NRI in the US. Add me on WhatsApp if you have any queries (+1-408-489-4785)