India suspends all visas to avoid COVID-19 spread

The government of India has suspended all existing visas issued to citizens of all countries except those issued to diplomats, officials, UN/international organizations, employment, projects until April 15, in a bid to avoid the spread of the global pandemic.

“This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India,” stated the Bureau of Immigration of India in an advisory issued on Thursday.

Visa free travel afforded to OCI card holders have also been suspended till April 15.

“For those foreigners already in India, they can contact the nearest FROO/FRO though e-FROO module for extension/conversion of their visa of grant of any consular service if they choose to do so,” the Bureau stated.

India has also decided to quarantine the travelers, including Indian nationals, arriving to India from abroad including China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France Spain and Germany after Feb 15 for a minimum period of 14 days.

The Indian government has also advised its citizens inside and outside the country to avoid non-essential travel abroad, or they could be subjected to two-week quarantine upon their return.

Also, those traveling through land borders will undergo robust medical screening process at the Immigration checkposts.

(Photo: Getty Image, Advisory source: Bureau of Immigration India)