New Entry Requirements for India: The ministry of civil aviation India has started a contactless solution by the name of air suvidha for all the international passengers visiting India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Air Suvidha self-declaration form to be mandatorily filled by all international arriving passengers to India.
The government of India has announced to end the travel ban it had introduced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you plan to book a trip to India after November 16 and your travel purpose is tourism or meeting family/relatives, you are entitled to apply for an electronic visa/e-visa/online visa. Here is all the information you need to obtain the Indian e-Visa.
Tourist visas for India used to be valid for one year, and travellers could stay for at least 90 days consecutively. But this rule was applicable before the pandemic. Now, as per the new guidelines, the government has shortened the visa validity period. From now on, the Indian tourist e visa will be valid for 120 days, and travellers can stay in India for a maximum duration of 30 days on a single visit, non-extendable and non-convertible.
The online visa facility is not yet available for those travelling on a UK passport or are UK citizens. Therefore, UK travellers should apply for the traditional sticker or paper visa by visiting an Indian embassy. It is worth noting that a paper visa may be slightly more expensive than e-Visas, and the application process is a bit more time-consuming. Currently, there is no clarity over when travellers from the UK will apply for an online visa.
Travellers who got fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least fifteen days before travelling to India and have citizenship of any Category A country will not need to undergo quarantine when they arrive in India.
The government only recognises a few vaccines, so make sure you meet this requirement before applying for an online or paper visa. The government approved vaccines include Sinopharm, Janssen, Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Covishield, Moderna, and Sinovac.
Please note that the Indian government can change the countries in the Category A list at any time.
Individuals who haven’t been fully vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) fifteen days before their arrival in India or their nationality is not listed in the Category A countries are required to quarantine upon arrival. They will have to get a PCR test done at the time of arrival in India at the airport. They will then directly be taken to a quarantine location of their choice. The travellers will stay at the quarantine facility for seven days at least. The quarantine facility could be a home of their family or friends or a hotel. After seven days, they will again take the PCR test. If the result is negative, the traveller will be allowed to follow their travel itinerary on the condition that they will monitor their health for another week.
A traveller must be tested negative for the COVID-19 virus before boarding a flight to India. The PCR test must be taken 72 hours before their departure. The result will be submitted along with a health declaration form to the Air Suvidha Portal. When the traveller arrives in India, they will have to take another PCR test.
If you have a paper visa granted before the COVID-19 pandemic, this is also invalid now, and you will have to re-apply at an Indian embassy or consulate.
Many foreign countries have imposed certain requirements for travellers from India. Such as, travellers returning to the UK must book and pay for a PCR test that will be taken before day 2 of their return ends. In case the traveller is not fully vaccinated, they will undergo two more tests, one right before departure and the other one on the eighth day of their return to the UK.
If your travel purpose is business or a medical reason, or you are part of a larger tourist group, you can also apply for an Indian Visa.
Indian nationality holders can travel with their Indian passports. If you are an Overseas Citizen of India, you can also travel using your OCI card. However, if you do not possess any of the two travel documents and are a Person of Indian Origin, you can travel with your PIO card. Travellers holding Indian passports, OCI Card or PIO Card do not need to apply for a visa. They only need to contact the High Commission of India to understand the requirements before travelling to India.