Ministry of Home Affairs Terminates Visas Amid COVID Lockdown

On May 5, 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided all existing visas granted to foreigners; except those belonging to diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, and project categories would remain suspended. Until prohibition on international air travel of passengers from/to India lifted by the Government of India.

Earlier, on 17.04.2020, Union Ministry for Home Affairs(MHA), decided to extend the suspension of all existing visas. Explicitly granted to foreigners, except to diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, and project categories, till 3rd May 2020. Further, MHA directed all incoming passenger traffic into India through any of the 107 Immigration Check Posts shall remain suspended. However, no such restriction applied to vehicles, planes, ships, trains, etc. carrying any goods and supplies.

In addition, the Centre also extended the visas of foreigners stranded on a ‘gratis’(free) basis just on submission of online application. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown for a period of 30 days beyond the opening of international travel in the country. Since March 24, 2020,  all commercial flights, international and domestic stood suspended in the country. Due to the lockdown announced to curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, air and rail services continue to remain suspended with the extension of the lockdown till May 17.