The Home Ministry has allowed foreign businessmen, engineers and healthcare professionals to enter the country on the condition that they get their visas re-validated and fly into the country in chartered flights, a government statement on Wednesday said.
The home ministry order is seen as the first, cautious step to allow foreigners to enter the country, particularly in context of the government’s efforts to restart the economy.
The home ministry order covered four broad categories of foreigners who can enter the country in non-scheduled commercial flights or chartered flights.
The government, which had shut its doors to foreigners in March this year to minimise the spread of coronavirus cases, said foreign businessmen coming to India on re-validated business visas or fresh ones would be allowed into the country.
The other categories permitted to enter the country include healthcare professionals on invitation from a recognised and registered healthcare facility, technical specialists and engineers travelling for installation, repair and maintenance of foreign-origin machinery and specialists who need to travel on behalf of foreign business entities located in India.
The select group of foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa, as applicable, from the Indian Missions/ 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. Such foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier.