On March 15, 2022, the Indian government announced a significant relaxation in COVID-19 travel restrictions. Under the terms of the announcement, tourists will be able to enter the country on either paper or e-Tourist visas for the first time since March 2020. All international flights to and from India will also resume as of March 27, 2022. The Indian government’s move comes as several countries throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland, have relaxed or eliminated their pandemic-related restrictions on international travel.
Resumption of Tourist and e-Tourist Visas
Travelers have been prohibited from entering India on tourist visas since March 2020. Under the new policy, the following travelers will now be allowed to enter:
- Travelers holding a long-duration (10-year) paper Tourist visa. New paper Tourist visas will also now be issued for certain travelers, including US nationals.
- Travelers holding e-Tourist visas with either one-month, one-year, or five-year validity.
Foreign nationals holding Tourist and e-Tourist visas will be permitted to enter India only through designated Sea Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) or Airport ICPs. Travelers holding Tourist or e-Tourist visas will not be allowed to enter through land border or river crossings.
Resumption of International Commercial Air Travel
In addition to permitting the entry of travelers on Tourist visas, the Indian government also announced the resumption of all commercial international flight services to and from India as of March 27, 2022. Previously, the Indian government had enacted several “air bubble” arrangements with countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Those arrangements will be displaced in favor of the new, broader policy, effective March 27.
Regardless of whether traveling to India before or after March 27, all travelers must continue to follow the country’s COVID-19 entry requirements, including proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.