On March 16, 2022, the Consulate General of India in San Francisco, CA, issued a press release announcing that the Government of India has made the decision to restore old valid long-duration (10 years) regular (paper) tourist visas for US nationals, effective immediately.
Additionally, fresh issue of regular (paper) long duration (10 years) tourist visas have also been restored for US nationals.
e-Tourist visas under the three options which include one month, one year, and five years, have also been restored. These were previously suspended from March 2020.
You can now submit an application for a fresh e-tourist visa if you are an eligible national through the Indian E-Visa Portal.
This decision was made only after discussion among the ministries of tourism, aviation, health, external affairs, and the state governments as the number of Covid-19 cases began to drop below 3,000 cases per day in India.
Key Takeaways From The Press Release
- All valid e-Tourist Visas of 1-month, 1-year and 5-years are restored.
- All regular (paper) valid Tourist Visas are restored.
- All valid old long duration (10-years) regular Tourist Visas are restored for US nationals.
- The issuing of new e-Tourist/Tourist Visas will be restored effective immediately.
- The one month stay with a regular Tourist Visa/e-Tourist Visa on gratis basis will continue.
How Might This Affect You?
Indian tourist visas were suspended for 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so this will be great news for those looking to travel to India for business, employment, schooling, and research purposes. The tourism sector in India was significantly impacted due to the 2-year suspension period, so opening back up travel into India will help boost the economy and reinvigorate a sense of normalcy that was lost over the pandemic.
If you are a foreign national looking to travel to India, please note that those entering India with a tourist or e-tourist visa may only enter through designated Sea Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) or Airport ICPs by flight, including those under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission or ‘air bubble’ scheme or by any flights as allowed by the DGCA or Ministry of Civil Aviation. Entering through land border or riverine routes with these visas is prohibited.
For additional guides on traveling into India internationally, please see the Government of India’s Guidelines for International Arrivals. More information on Indian tourist visa’s and eligible nationalities can be found here.