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Coronavirus crisis: India suspends all visas with few exceptions

The exceptions are provided for diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment & project visas.

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Coronavirus crisis: India suspends all visas with few exceptions
(Source: AFP)
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In an unprecedented move, India has suspended all visas till April 15 barring few exceptions as fears grow over coronavirus outbreak. This comes into effect on March 13, Friday at 1200 GMT. The exceptions are provided for diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment & project visas.

Visa-free travel facility granted to OCI cardholders has also been suspended till April 15, 2020, and come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020, at the port of departure.

For Indian nationals, the government has "strongly advised" to "avoid all non-essential travel abroad", according to the new travel advisory issued by the health ministry.  On their return, the advisory said, "they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days." 

The development comes even as Worth Health organisation (WHO) has officially declared the crisis as pandemic.

Dr Tedros, Director-General of WHO said, "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic".

If any foreign national wants to visit India for "compelling reason", he has been requested to contact the Indian Mission in the country. 

India till now had suspended visas and visas on arrival nationals of 7 countries-- China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany. 

India is now focusing on bringing back its nationals from Iran and Italy. New Delhi is expected to send a medical team to Italy today, just as it sends a team to Iran to screen it nationals and facilitate there return.

So far, India has evacuated 948 people in 5 missions it has carried out. Out of 948 people, 900 are Indians and 48 are nationals of 10 countries-- Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, USA, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru from corona infected countries.

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