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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 27: The Government of India has issued instructions regarding ‘Visa & Travel restrictions in response to COVID-19’, based on which foreign nationals can visit India by water routes or by flights operating under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission or ‘air bubble’ (bilateral air travel arrangements) scheme or by any non-scheduled commercial flights permitted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The Indian Embassy in Kuwait says those permitted to travel to India are Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders holding the passports of any country.
They also include all foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose (including their dependents on appropriate category of dependent visa), except those on tourist visa.
All existing visas, except electronic visa (e-visa), tourist visa and medical visa which remained suspended shall stand restored with immediate effect. Citizens of Nepal and Bhutan are permitted to come to India from any country (including via any third country).
The embassy says, the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare related to quarantine and all other health/COVID-19 must be strictly adhered to.
Meanwhile, the Government of India has also issued guidelines for the OCI card holders. The OCI guidelines which have been in force since 2005 requires the OCI card holder who is 20 years and below to get the card re-issued each time a new passport is acquired and the same applies to the person who has completed 50 years and above.
However, this rule does not apply to those who are between 21 years and 50 years old. The government of India has decided to grant temporary relaxation until June 30, 2021 in the following cases; if the OCI card holder is 20 years old and below and has not got the OCI card re-issued following change of passport, he/she may travel on the strength of his/ her existing OCI card bearing the old passport number provided the OCI card holder carries the new and old passports, as mentioned in the OCI card and the same applies to those who are 50 years and above.
However, it is advisable that the OCI cardholders take steps to comply with the existing OCI guidelines mentioned above and renew their OCI cards as required by the rules. For visa visit the website www.indianvisaonline. gov.in and for the OCI form and OCI related information visit https://ociservices.gov.in.
By Paul Francis X. Fernandes Arab Times Staff