The government has allowed foreign journalists with valid visas to come to India along with family members.
A Home Ministry notification said the decision has been taken after considering the need for further relaxation of visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals who want to travel to India.
Accordingly, in addition to the categories of foreign nationals who were already permitted to enter India, it has been decided to permit foreign nationals holding Journalist (J-1) visas and their dependents holding J-1X visas to enter India, the notification said.
If they have J-1 or J-1X visas, which have been suspended, such visas shall stand restored with immediate effect to facilitate their entry into India.
However, the home ministry said if the validity of such visas has expired, they may obtain fresh J-1 or J-1X visas, as the case may be, from the Indian missions or posts concerned.
It has also been decided that the existing restrictions on incoming passenger traffic into India through the immigration check posts will not apply in respect of these categories of foreign nationals, the notification said.
However, in respect of quarantine and all other health and COVID-19 related matters, guidelines of the Ministry of Health shall be adhered to.
The government has already allowed Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders from the US, UK, German and France, with whom India has signed ‘air bubble’ arrangements, to visit India.
Other foreigners from these countries have also been allowed to avail Indian visa facility for business, medical and employment purposes.
The government has restricted travel of foreigners to India since March 25 when the coronavirus induced country-wide lockdown came into effect.