Foreign businessmen, healthcare and technical professionals can now fly to India, but only with fresh business or employment visa, says new MHA order. By Tanvi Jain

 

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The Government of India has recently announced relaxations in visa and travel restrictions for a certain category of foreign nationals including businessmen, healthcare professionals, engineers, etc.  

“Relaxation in visa and travel restrictions to permit certain categories of Foreign Nationals to come to India,” Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a tweet. 

As per the MHA, categories of foreign nationals who have been permitted entry in India include:

Foreign businessmen coming to India on a business visa (other than on B-3 visa for sports) in non-scheduled commercial/ chartered flights. 

 

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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 recognised and registered healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical company or accredited University in India. 

Foreign engineering, managerial, design or other specialists travelling 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 travelling 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. 

 

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However, these people will have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa, as applicable, from the Indian Missions/Posts abroad.   

Moreover, foreign nationals holding a valid longterm multiple-entry business visa (other than B-3 visa for sports) issued by the Indian Missions/Posts abroad would also 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.  

This is the first time since the nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, that foreign nationals have been allowed in India. Earlier on May 7, the Government had also launched the Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate Indians stranded abroad via air or sea. The mission is still ongoing and has managed to bring thousands of stranded Indians back to their homeland. 

 

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“Indians continue to return home on Vande Bharat flights from different parts of the world. Today, 2,716 people have returned from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat, Moscow, Jeddah and Kiev. The mission has been further ramped up with the announcement of Phase-3 between 9-30 June,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed in a recent tweet. 

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