India relaxes visa, travel curbs for select categories of foreign nationals

Government of India has decided to permit relaxation of the visa and travel restrictions for certain categories of foreign nationals who need to come to India, especially healthcare professional, businessmen, engineers, specialists in repair and maintenance, managerial experts, IT and software professional as well as financial sector professionals, as part of the steps to kick-start the economy.

The relaxation will apply to foreign engineering, managerial, design or other specialists travelling to India on behalf of foreign business entities located in India.  This includes all manufacturing units, design units, software and IT units as well as financial sector companies (banking and non-banking financial sector firms).
This will also apply to:
  • Foreign businessmen coming to India on a business visa (other than on B-3 visa for sports) in non-scheduled commercial/ chartered flights;
  • Foreign healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities, including laboratories and factories; and 
  • Foreign technical specialists and engineers travelling for installation, repair and maintenance of foreign-origin machinery and equipment facilities in India, on the invitation of a registered Indian business entity. These could be for equipment installation, or is under warranty, or for after sales servicing or repair on commercial terms.
This permission, however, is subject to a letter of invitation from a recognised and registered healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical company or accredited university in India.
The above categories of foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa, as applicable, from the Indian missions/posts abroad.  Foreign nationals holding a valid long term multiple entry business visa (other than B-3 visa for sports) issued by the Indian missions/posts abroad would have to get the business visa re-validated from the Indian mission/post concerned. Such foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier.