India has taken additional steps to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus by suspending most visas and halting visa-free entry for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders.

Key Points:

  • All visas issued to foreign nationals except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment and project visas will be suspended from March 13 until April 15.
  • Visas held by foreign nationals currently residing in India will remain valid. These visa holders can contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through the e-FRRO module for visa extensions or conversions or grant of any consular service.
  • Visa-free entry to OCI cardholders will be suspended from March 13 until April 15.
  • Foreign nationals who have a “compelling reason” to travel to India are encouraged to contact the nearest Indian mission.
  • Beginning March 13, all travelers including Indian nationals arriving from China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Spain will be quarantined for at least 14 days.This quarantine measure also applies to travelers who had visited any of these seven countries since February 15, irrespective of the country from which they are coming.
  • Officials have also urged Indian nationals to avoid non-essential travel abroad, noting that they may be subject to quarantine for 14 days upon their return . They also said that they would restrict land border crossings through designated checkpoints with robust screening facilities. Additional information is available here.

Analysis & Comments: India has escalated its response to the COVID-19 virus, taking steps that will significantly hamper business and other travel to the country. Deloitte will continue to follow developments in India, and will alert clients to any additional changes in travel or immigration policy.

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