International Travel Updates: India is all set to reopen to foreign travelers, but with a customized visa policy. The Indian Government has decided to execute ‘reciprocal treatment’ to international tourists, which means under India’s customized visa policy, foreign travelers will be put through the same travel restrictions which their home country imposes on Indian tourists.
According to news agency ANI, a senior official of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed that a meeting was held last week with representatives from all concerned agencies, in which the issues emerging from the current travel situation were addressed.
“In the meeting, it was decided to provide reciprocal treatment to tourists visiting India. Many countries have opened for tourists from foreign countries but have posed several restrictions for Indian travelers. The issues have been raised with the diplomats of concerned countries to get issues resolved,” the official was quoted saying.
The discussion on India’s customized visa policy comes against the backdrop of the UK’s bias toward Indian travelers in considering them unvaccinated even when fully vaccinated, which compelled India to implement reciprocal restrictions. Now, the country plans to extend this to all international travelers flying to India.
Reportedly, the concerned officials will now be scrutinizing each visa application based on the latest rules, instead of a standard one that was applicable before tourist visas were withdrawn in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
India’s reciprocal treatment might ask arriving international tourists for a vaccination certificate and/ or negative COVID report, subject them to quarantine, or might even reject their entry, all depending on their home country’s travel rules for Indians.
ANI also reported that the government has also held discussions with the tour operators association, ministry of tourism, ministry of aviation, and other stakeholders to chalk out the framework and the final decision over this would be made during the upcoming meeting to be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary next week.