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HomeNewsIn tit-for-tat move, India suspends tourist visas for Chinese nationals

In tit-for-tat move, India suspends tourist visas for Chinese nationals


(This story originally appeared in on Apr 24, 2022)

NEW DELHI: Global airlines body IATA says India’s “tourist visas issued to nationals of China are no longer valid”. Top government officials said India is still giving business, employment, diplomatic and official visas to Chinese nationals.

India’s decision to keep Chinese tourists out also comes in the wake of Chinese reluctance to allow Indian students, more than 20,000 of them, to return to China after leaving that country because of Covid.

They have been kept waiting even as Beijing allows students from Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to return. External affairs minister S Jaishankar had taken up the issue with his counterpart Wang Yi during the latter’s visit to India last month but Beijing is yet to respond.

UK and Canada are among the countries whose citizens can’t fly to India on e-tourist visas but can come on regular paper visas issued by Indian missions in those countries. Indian tourist visas with a validity of 10 years are no longer valid, except for those issued to nationals of Japan and the US.

IATA issues these updates regularly so that airlines know which nationalities are allowed to be flown to which countries. The latest India-specific IATA update, issued April 19, is about the countries whose nationals cannot travel to India on e-tourist visas.

India had late last month restored the electronic tourist visa facility for 156 countries, in time for resumption of scheduled international flights from March 27 this year, after a gap of over two years.

The April 19 IATA update issued by India says the following are allowed to enter the country: nationals of Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal; those with a residence permit issued by India; those with a visa or e-visa issued by India; those with an overseas citizen of India (OCI) card or booklet; those having a PIO card; and diplomatic passport holders.



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