Indians can now travel to the UK/ USA/ Canada and UAE on all visas (including Visitor Visas) | Visitors from these countries allowed to enter India (for some categories)

One of the by-products of the lockdown imposed in India in March 2020 has been the standstill in commercial aviation, and the inability to move in and out of the country at will. All Visa’s were suspended, and flights were closed. However, these restrictions were being opened up, one by one. In my last update for who can access India, of August 6, 2020, I covered the situation of who can go in and out of the country, there are new updates that have been rolled out over the weekend. Here is the official Ministry of Home Affairs notification of travel restrictions India being eased.

The notification focusses on countries with which India has made a green-lane sort of pact, which includes the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany and France. Other countries could be added later (Update: Canada and UAE added on August 10, 2020). Here is the new DGCA notification.

Accordingly, all Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Cardholders can now visit India from these countries. Earlier, there was a limitation on who could come into the country, and there had to be a need to travel to India proven to get back to the country. No longer.

The good news for Indians is, the confusion about travelling to some countries is gone. You can now travel to the UK and countries even on a tourist/visitor visa as long as you are willing to quarantine yourselves if the other country requires you to. For instance, in the USA, you can get off the plane and go about your business, but in the UK, you will have to first isolate for 14 days. India is not on the recommended list of countries to open travel to by the EU, so perhaps that is the reason that France and Germany are not on this list yet.

USA

  • Inbound flights into India
    • Stranded Indian nationals
    • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding US passports
    • Foreigners (including diplomats) holding a valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines of 3o.o6.2o2o.
  • Outbound flights from India
    • Any Indian national holding any type of valid US visa. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the USA with the particular visa category before the issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.
    • US citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals holding valid US visas
    • Seamen of foreign-nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.

Canada

  • Inbound flights into India
    • Stranded Indian nationals
    • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding Canadian passports
    • Foreigners (including diplomats) holding a valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines of 3o.o6.2o2o.
  • Outbound flights from India
    • Stranded Canadian nationals/residents.
    • Any Indian national holding any type of valid Canadian visa. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter Canada with the particular visa category before issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.
    • Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.

United Kingdom

  • Inbound flights into India
    • Stranded Indian nationals
    • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding British passports
    • Foreigners (including diplomats) holding a valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines of 3o.o6.2o2o.
  • Outbound flights from India
    • Stranded UK nationals/residents, foreign nationals transiting through UK or spouses of these persons, whether accompanying or otherwise.
    • Any Indian national holding any type of valid UK visa and destined for the UK only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter the UK with the particular visa category before the issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.
    • Seamen of foreign nationalities; Seamen holding Indian passports would be allowed subject to clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.

United Arab Emirates

  • Inbound flights into India
    • Stranded Indian nationals
    • All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders holding UAE passports
    • UAE nationals (including diplomats) holding a valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines of 3o.o6.2o2o.
  • Outbound flights from India
    • UAE nationals.
    • ICA approved UAE residents destined for UAE only
    • Any Indian national holding any type of valid UAE visa and destined for UAE only. It would be for the airlines concerned to ensure that there is no travel restriction for Indian nationals to enter UAE with the particular visa category before the issue of ticket/ boarding pass to the Indian passenger.

All of these are still subject to the rules of the other country as well, so you do need to check on the rules of the country you are travelling to before booking your ticket. For instance, the USA is fine with your arrival. The UK wants you to isolate for 14 days on arrival but seems Canada still hasn’t opened up their country for everyone. So check before you book.

Bottomline

We are finally getting closer to a green-lane arrangement with countries in its pure form. Of course, this still does not indicate that regular commercial flights will open anytime soon. Still, it does suggest that the repatriation flights now might have the spare capacity so you can take a vacation or conduct business in the USA if you feel you are ready for it now.

Is anyone ready to make a trip abroad just yet?


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Comments

  1. I am Indian and I am planning to travel to Australia next year for a tour with Australian travel visa. Can I travel to USA with it without needing any visa for US? Please do reply. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the information.

    I am a bit confused about the tag of ‘stranded Indian national’ here. It appears that OCI citizens can travel to India but not Indian citizens unless they are ‘stranded’ – this seems very strange.

    For context, I am an Indian passport holder in the UK and wish to travel to India and then return later. Can I do that? It appears that I am not ‘stranded’ as per the definition.

    Thanks

  3. I am an Indian passport holder and I have a valid visitors visa for US but currently in UK. Can I travel to US in a weeks time

  4. I am holding B1/B2 visa for US, can I travel to US California in Dec or is there any specific guidelines for travel. This is just required for tourist purpose. Any issues being made by the immigration people

  5. Hi, I have booked flights for my parents for Dec 2020 to travel from India to the USA via London (British airways). Is it allowed to travel that route?

  6. I am travelling to New York(through Air India flight) for a transit purpose to another country in November, Would like to know if there is any current restriction on travelling with B1/B2 visa for transit purpose as my final destination is not US?

  7. I am a US national and wanted yo go to India to be with family but wasn’t given a regular visa so I have Now applied for an emergency visa, let’s see

  8. It is great blog post. I am Always read your blog. Helpful and Informative blog. Thanks for sharing these information with us.

  9. hello
    My son is working in San Francisco. He is alone. we want to go USA in october to see my son. we have b1/b2 visas to me and to my wife. can we travel to usa on B2 visa. Are there any restrictions to travel now. Any problems we have to face at delhi airport for immigration checks. Any documents required. Pease any one reply guide me on this immediately to book our tickets.

    • Yes. I travelled in August and came back in Sept – no questions asked.

      And also the quarantine rules in US aren’t as stringent as in India. They recommend a 14 day self isolation but it is not compulsory like in India. However, considering your age, I would highly recommend following that just to be on the safe side.

  10. Hello,
    I am holding b1b2 visa and I want to fly united states. Actually I got usa b1b2 visa from Canada . Can I fly united states from india? . My main purpose of travel is to get done my biometrics and passport stamping for Canada. Is there any chance for me to fly?

    Thanks

  11. Hi every one,

    Kindly advise me. i can travel US on B2 visa to visit my friend over there. I had already booked my Ticket through UA Airlines on 15 Oct 2020 from Bangalore to Mumbai to Newark Liberty International Airport . Is any quarantine there once i reach there,

  12. My mother has B1/b2 visa and she is stuck in Mumbai ever since corona virus but we are all nationals of USA …how can we bring her to us?

  13. I have heard about the air bubble program between India and Canada wherein I ve read that even people with Visitor Visa can travel to Canada for uniting with their family member who is on a study permit in Canada.
    Wanted to know whether this is correct and if so what formalities need to be done before booking the ticket/traveling.

    • Nopes. You cannot enter Canada unless you’re a citizen or PR holder or either a spouse or parent of a citizen or PR holder.

  14. Hi, I have Canada’s and USA Valid visitor visa. Please let me know that can I travel to Canada or USA for tourism under air bubble agreements. I have applied these visas from Auckland, New Zealand and now I am in India and want to travel these countries.
    Thanks

  15. Hi. Can an Indian citizen with a valid tourist visa(B2/3) travel to the US, and on which airlines. Although BA issued her a ticket she was stopped from checking/boarding at the airport. If we got her a direct flight, we she be allowed. You mentioned that it is upto the airline. Are they following a MO home affairs directive? Why does none know the rule. In the us the border patrol and immigration services, and naturalisation etc. All say is ok. It’s being allowed to leave Delhi which is the problem. Please respond. Very anxious for my mom to come. Thanks

    • Hi Parul,
      I also booked my air tickets through BA for visiting USA. Now I came to know that indian passport holders are not permitted to enter US through London. It is not understood inspite of the orders how the airlines or MMT booked my tickets. Please share your experience in cancelling the tickets. I have booked my tickets through make my trip (MMT). Thanks

      • Hi,
        BA is fooling the people to first book the tickets and on the counter they are rejecting the boarding saying that only US, UK and Greencard holder can onboard.

        Before booking the tickets they are not confirming if Indian national have valid visa, as per the guidelines by government of india. They are saying that BA flights are repatriation flight.

        My dependents had to leave the airport after checking is rejected. They(a guy at the boarding pass counter) said BA will refund the amount. And i got the refund from my third party booking agent. Its the responsibility of MMT to check your visa type or the category they allowed before booking ticket. If they reject to pay go to consumer forum.

        DO NOT book BA tickets. Better go with Air India or United Airlies which are directly operating from india to US.

        • Hi, I need your advise!

          Just to confirm that thier will be no problem for holding B2 visa
          to travel and i had booked my air ticket through UA airlines from Bangalore to Mumbai to Newark Liberty International Airport for 15 Oct 2020. Do i need to be quarantine??

            • Hi, Ajay just wanted to make sure that my sister can travel along with her kids and husband on B1/B2 visa. We are US citizens and they are Indian Citizens with valid visas.

              Thanks in adance for your help.

  16. We are a family of UK nationals evacuated from India in May, now want to travel back to our home in India on employment visa (spouse and kids on dependent visa). We are Indian residents. Will spouse and kids be allowed in?

  17. Hi,
    My husband stays in UK with Tier 2 general visa, and I am recently married. I am applying for spouse visa. Can I travel to UK now as the travel has start?

  18. I am a Canadian PR card holder currently stuck in Mumbai for the past 6 months. Lufthansa has started flights to Canada with code sharing with Air Canada. Can I travel by Lufthansa on 03 September to Canada being a PR card holder. Lufthansa website display travel dates of August 2020 and mention that these flights are basically evacuation flights. Therefore, I have booked 03 sept flight. I need to make sure that I will be able to board the flight and to be on the safer side I will be carrying a Covid Test Report to avoid any possibility of denied boarding. Appreciate your views.

  19. I along with my wife , both PR Card Holders of Canada came to India in November but couldn’t return in March due to Lockdown and Ban on International Flights. All our families are in Canada and we are Stranded here . Please tell if we can Return to Canada via Dubai by Emirates Airline. Thanks.

    • As per what I have read everywhere we can only book flights from British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Etihad and Air Canada.

      As these are the approved airlines and you will have no restrictions.

      Keep in mind Emirates flies to New York and Seattle for Toronto and Vancouver legs respectively.
      Hence not on approved list

      • @Nathan, to go to the USA, you need a non-stop flight from India. For Emirates/Etihad/others only India – UAE travel is permitted, not transit via UAE.

        • Hello
          There were two COVID positive cases in the building in which my mom resides but unable to situate her anywhere else. I need her to come here to USA. Her Visitor VISA expires on October 24, 2020. Can she travel in British Airways via London. PLEASE let me know. Lot of stress ! Thanks.

  20. Being an Indian citizen If I travel to UAE in tourist visa… & while returning back will that visa category be accepted to tea back to India?

  21. Hi, we came to USA last September, this March we r suppose to leave USA but due to cancellation of flight’s our qatar airwsys given us voucher ( money not refund), so by 1 st week of September, one year is over so we r suppose to leave US
    But indisn govt still not accepting for qatar. Pl enwuirr with aviation ministry pl rrply at least by 1 st September redume all flights. Pl reply

  22. I read in gulf news and some other news, Indian can travel to Dubai on tourist visa and can get any airline ticket. Anyone have any info about this. because i talked to couple airlines and some travel agent ,but they saying they don’t have info about if Indian can go to Dubai on tourist visa.

    • Hi. Do let me know if u get this info….As I need my dad to travel to uae on tourist visa.
      Will they allow him to board the flight or will he be returned back?

  23. I have valid USA B1/B2 multi visa
    I have to meet my friend who is alone in California.
    He is from my village, anyhow have to meet him in this difficult time
    My question is that Can I fly on this B1/B2 visa from New Delhi to California or need to get permission first from Airlines or Embassy ??

    Thanku in advance

  24. I need to go back to India since I am on extended stay for 6 more months since 1st April. I prefer home quarantine in India. Which is better? Lufthansa viz. Germany or Vande Bharat? Via chicago/Bangalore?

  25. I have to fly back to India Chennai by Singapore Airlines as I had come from Chennai to Auckland by Singapore Airline. When will I be able to fly to Chennai India by Singapore Airlines.

  26. My friend & his wife are citizens of Netherlands, they are now in Delhi with medical Visa .now they want to go back to Netherland can they travel to German?because European Union citizens can enter to any EU country

  27. This is great news. Thank you for vetting the info and sharing with us all.

    I have a question
    We are traveling to India from Canada via Germany on Lufthansa airlines.
    Lufthansa allowed us to book the tickets for next week (20 August) as we are Canadian nationals with OCI cards.

    Do you think we will get any issues entering India?
    We are going back due to medical reasons in the family.

    Please advise.
    Thx

  28. We are having visitors visa of Canada, my 3 son’s are in Edmonton Canada all of them are engineer 1 is citizen, 1, is permanent resident, 1 has work visa qualified for PR, we want to reunite with them under parents and grandparents can come to Canada of citizen, PR Holders and also Grand kids are citizen.
    Iam having valid TKT to Edmonton also but Lufthansa airline official didn’t allow as to fly as they told us only repatriation passenger only will fly.
    Can we fly having qualified passenger.
    Please let us know.

  29. Whether Indian National holding
    Valid UK Family Visitor Visa can
    Travel to UK on 17 Aug by British
    Airways flight.Kindly clarify

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