Amidst the current temporary suspension of travel to India for all foreign passport holders, the office of the Indian High Commission in Wellington has released a travel advisory instructing on who can still avail emergency visas to facilitate travel under compelling conditions.

A press release issued by the Indian High Commission today further clarifies upon the initial directive issued by the government of India on March 12 that put a blanket ban on all types of inward foreign travel to India from March 13 to April 15, 2020 to control the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Visa can be issued in compelling situations, which may include family emergencies, death of a family member, unavoidable business meetings, marriage in India (only bride/bridegroom and immediate blood-related family members), major sporting event, minor foreign passport holder of Indian nationals etc,” the new travel advisory stated.

Notably, ever since the government of India issued its first directive of barring any incoming foreign national’s visits and the temporary suspension of the OCI cardholders’ visa-free travel to India, there has been a lot of confusion around, pressing many desperate phone calls and visits to the offices of Indian High Commission in Wellington and the Consulate in Auckland.

The Indian nationals (holder of the Indian passport) can still travel to India unrestricted, however they may, or may not, be subjected quarantine upon their arrival to India based on the decision of health officials and other authorities discretion.

Here are important points of travel advisory to India

  • Those who do not fall into above category can write directly to explaining their compelling reasons for travel to India and the office of the Indian High Commission will decide on a case by case basis.
  • Applicants are encouraged to provide all supporting documents to assist in an expedite and informed decision making.
  • Visa fee may not be charged in following conditions a). Holders of existing regular visa/e-visa who are just being issued a fresh visa in compelling situations
  • OCI card holders who are being issued visas for compelling reasons to facilitate their travel during the period when there is a temporary suspension on their cards due to Covid 19.
  • OCI card holders, however, are required to write at explaining their compelling reasons to travel urgently.