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.

Visit us at mayerbrown.com

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe - Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2020. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.