Nationals of 156 countries are now allowed to visit India on their e-Visas after the changes made by the government in the Covid-affected visa policy. The Ministry of Home Affairs, MHA has lifted restrictions on Medical, Business, and Conference e Visas.
Previously, the Indian government had restricted the mobility of foreigners within its territory under such visa categories. The e-Visas mentioned were suspended last year in March before the national lockdown. The government halted the visa issuance under such categories to limit the increasing number of Covid cases.
The Ministry of Home Affairs announced lifting the restrictions by issuing an order on March 30, 2021. The official release of the MHA stated that the government had restored the e-Visa under the categories including e-Business Visa, e-Medical visa, e-Medical Attendant visa and e-Conference visa with immediate effect. According to the latest order, the nationals from 156 countries may come to India for getting treatment or attending to patients. They can also visit India for business and conference purposes by applying for their respective e-Visas.
Travellers who need to visit India under these categories, Can now apply for an e Visa according to their visit nature:
The decision seems questionable, as the country has seen an enormous rise of Covid patients this month. According to MHA officials, the decision to open an e-visa will not add the burden on health infrastructure in India. He mentioned that the officials would issue an e-Visa for medical reasons only if the applicant meets the condition. According to the new rule, to get a medical e-Visa, the patient needs to show a confirmed appointment at a hospital. So if the hospitals are overwhelmed, they will not be giving appointments to other patients.
The Indian government has still not allowed the nationals of the UK and China to visit the country under e-Visa schemes. The authorities will review the decision regarding restricting travel from these countries this month and then take the final decision.
In October 2020, the authorities had restored all visa types except e-Visa, tourist visa and medical visa. According to the order released, all existing visas, which got suspended, except electronic visa (e-Visa), tourist visa and medical visa, will stand restored with immediate effect.
If the validity of suspended visas had expired, the foreign national might obtain a fresh visa of the appropriate category and sub-category from the Indian Mission or relevant post. In the case of a Medical Visa (including a visa for Medical Attendants), the Indian Mission may grant a Medical visa for an appropriate period to the foreign nationals intending to visit the country for medical treatment under emergencies.