Covid-19: No flights to India until May 3

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport -Terminal 2; image via http://www.csia.in

Visa free travel for OCI card holders also suspended.

With India extending world’s largest nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic to May 3, it has barred travel to India by all foreigners including OCI (Overseas citizenship of India) card holders, except diplomats and officials.

The Government of India has decided that all scheduled international commercial passenger services to India remain suspended till 11:59 PM (IST) of May 3, the Indian Embassy in Washington said in its latest travel advisory.

All existing visas issued to nationals of any country except those issued to diplomats, official passport holders, those in UN / International organizations, those on Employment, Project visas and those who are operating aircrew of scheduled commercial airlines, and who had not yet entered India, stand suspended until then.

Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders who are not in India presently, has also been kept in abeyance till May 3, the embassy said. However, the OCI card of a traveler presently in India as also visas of all foreign nationals already in India remain valid.

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They may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) through e-FRRO module for extension/ conversion etc. of their visa or grant of any consular service, it said. Visa services granted on account of covid-19 are gratis.

Any foreign national (including OCI cardholder) who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission for fresh visa, the embassy said.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in India, which has repatriated nearly 4,000 American citizens to the US in recent weeks, said it’s working to arrange additional special chartered flights for US citizens and their families departing India over the next week.

It advised those interested in departing India on a US government-facilitated flight and have not already done so, to fill out this form: https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india.

The flights would likely follow the same route as previous flights: New Delhi to San Francisco, and Mumbai to Atlanta, it said.

The flight is not free. All passengers will need to reimburse the US government for the cost of the flight.  Previous flights have cost between $2,000 and $2,500 per person.

According to a notice put out by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, regular visas and e-visas of foreign nationals, whose visas have expired or will expire before May 3, may be extended after making an online application.

Exit of India will also be granted up to May 17 without levy of overstay penalty, it said.

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