After having kept its borders closed for almost two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since November 15, India is welcoming tourists again. To be able to travel to India, tourists do need a valid visa India.
Vaccination and COVID-19 test
India has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions for travellers coming from 99 countries, the so-called ‘A Category’ countries. These include the Netherlands and Belgium.
Fully vaccinated travellers from countries in this category do not need to undergo a quarantine on arrival in India. All vaccines used in Europe (AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson) are valid. The Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are also accepted. Complete vaccination means two shots or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Travellers should also undergo a coronavirus test 72 hours before departure. If the result is positive, the trip to India cannot take place.
Fully vaccinated travellers do not have to undergo a second coronavirus test upon arrival at the airport in India. They must monitor their own health for a period of 14 days.
Non-fully vaccinated travellers
Unlike other countries, India also admits non-fully vaccinated tourists. However, stricter rules apply to them as compared to fully vaccinated travellers. People who have had one dose of a vaccine or no vaccine at all must undergo a coronavirus test at the airport after arriving in India. If the result is negative, these travellers can leave the airport, but must stay in home quarantine for 7 days. Eight days after their arrival in India, a third test must be taken. Only if this test is also negative can they leave the house or hotel.
For travellers from countries which do not fall under ‘A Category’, the same rules apply as for non-fully vaccinated travellers. Even if they are fully vaccinated.
Changes in the visa India
As well as complying with the coronavirus regulations, you also need to apply for a visa to visit India. The country has made major changes regarding the visa India. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the visa India was valid for one year. The new validity period for the visa is now 120 days. Within these four months, you are allowed to make one trip to India. The stay in India cannot exceed 30 days.
India has also made changes to the visa application form. Earlier, it was possible to select three different tourist purposes: ‘Sightseeing’, ‘Visit Family And Friends’ en ‘Yoga’. This has now been replaced by a single purpose: ‘Tourism And Recreation And SightSeeing’. Therefore, it is no longer possible to state that you will be visiting family or friends or that you are going to take a yoga course in India. However, this does not mean that these activities are not permitted any more. The three tourist purposes that could be selected before are all supposed to be included in the new purpose of travel. So, for example, one can visit family and friends without any problem by selecting the option ‘Tourism And Recreation And SightSeeing’. .
Applying for a visa India
The visa India can be applied for as normal by using the online application form. After filling in the form and paying the fee, each traveller must provide a passport photo and a passport scan. For a business visa, a business card is also required. The business card must contain the name, function, contact details and company name and must actually have the appearance of a business card. It should not be a letter of invitation.