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Govt permits commercial chartered flights from abroad

As per the senior aviation official, the non-schedule commercial charter flights have now been allowed by the MHA order.

Jun 3, 2020 14:14 IST
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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on June 1 permitted the certain other categories of foreign nationals coming to India, including the foreign businessmen who will be coming on a business visa (other than B-2 Visa for Sports), on a non-schedule commercial flight.

As per the senior aviation official, the non-schedule commercial charter flights have now been allowed by the MHA order. India is now beginning to open up again for the business from foreigners in a phased manner.

The scheduled international passenger flights will remain suspended until the end of June 2020. India had suspended most existing visas issued to the foreigners on March 11, 2020, in view of COVID-19, followed by the subsequent nation-wide lockdown.

Categories of foreigners permitted to travel to India:

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, the foreigners allowed under these four categories will have to obtain a fresh employment visa or business visa as applicable from Indian missions abroad.

•  One- Foreign businessmen who will be coming to India on a business visa on a non-scheduled flight.

•  Two- Foreign healthcare professionals, engineers, technicians, and health researchers at Indian Health sector facilities including factories and laboratories along with a letter of invitation from recognized and registered pharmaceutical company, healthcare facility, or a University in India.

•  Three- Foreign managerial, engineering, design, or other specialists traveling to India on behalf of the foreign business entities that are located in India.

•  Four- Foreign technical engineer and specialists who will be traveling for installation and maintenance of foreign origin machinery and equipment facilities in India, only on an invitation of a registered Indian business entity.

Background:

The Indian government had suspended all the existing visas issued to the nationals of any country, except those that were issued to the official, diplomatic UN/International organizations, project, and employment.

The visa suspension came into effect on March 13, 2020. The step was taken due to the rising number of Coronavirus cases in India and WHO declaring it a pandemic. The Indian government had also strongly advised the Indian citizens to avoid traveling abroad.

The release issued by the government also added that any foreign national who intends to travel to India for a compelling reason had to contact the nearest Indian mission. The release also added that the incoming travelers including the Indian nationals will be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.

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