What is the change? 
The Indian government has suspended visas and restricted travel from a number of countries to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

What does the change mean? Iranian, Italian, Japanese and South Korean nationals with regular visas and e-visas granted on or before March 3, and who have yet to enter India, will not be allowed to do so, as their visas are now suspended. Visas on arrival for nationals of Japan and South Korea are likewise suspended. Further, foreign nationals with regular visas and e-visas who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea on or after Feb.1, will also be refused admission. A previous ban on Chinese nationals with regular visas and e-visas issued on or before Feb. 5 continues to be in force.

  •  Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Regular visas, e-visas and visas on arrival.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, as well as all foreign nationals who have traveled to these countries.
  • Business impact: The suspension affects all forms of travel to India, including travel for business.
  • Next steps: The suspensions and requirements are in force until further notice. Employers should expect that their employees in the target countries may not be able to enter India, and some employees may have to undergo medical screening at ports of entry. Those who need to travel to India for compelling reasons may apply for a new visa from the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.

Additional information: Exceptions to the travel suspension apply to diplomats, UN and other international organization officials, OCI cardholders and aircrew from China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea; however, they will be required to undergo compulsory medical screening.

An additional new requirement is that all foreign and Indian nationals must submit self-declaration forms with personal contact information, addresses and travel history to Health and Immigration officials at ports of entry. Failure to disclose such information may result in compulsory quarantine for Indian nationals or, in the case of foreign nationals, an entry ban.

Foreign and Indian travelers (other than those subject to the suspensions) arriving directly or indirectly from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, must undergo medical screening at ports of entry.

Analysis & Comments:
The new travel restrictions and medical screenings for foreign and Indian travelers represent India’s latest efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19. Those planning travel to India may wish to reconsider their plans. The response to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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