Representational image: Credit: Bayut.com

The Centre on Wednesday announced relaxations of the visa and travel restrictions for certain categories of foreign nationals to permit them to come to India amid the ongoing fifth phase of the nationwide lockdown.

“Government of India has considered the matter regarding relaxation of the visa & travel restrictions for certain categories of foreign nationals who need to come to India. It has been decided to permit the following categories of foreign nationals to come to India,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a release.

According to the notification by the MHA, foreign businessmen coming to India on a business visa (other than on B-3 visa for sports) in non-scheduled commercial/ chartered flights would be permitted to enter the country.

Foreign Healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities, including laboratories and factories would also be allowed to come to India according to some conditions, the MHA said.

“This is subject to a letter of invitation from a recognized and registered healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical company or accredited University in India,” it added.

The relaxation in visa and travel restrictions also apply to 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),” the MHA said.

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 would also be permitted entry in the country.

However, these foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh Business visa or Employment visa, as applicable, from the Indian Missions or Posts abroad, the MHA said.

“Foreign nationals holding a valid long term multiple entry Business visas [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,” it added.

Such foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier, it added.

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