An Indian family arriving at Mumbai airport. Indian Ministry issues new advisory to quarantine Indians on arrival from coronavirus hit countries Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Indians who have visited seven countries — China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany — on or after February 15 2020 will be quarantined for 14 days, the Ministry of Home Affairs in India said in a new advisory for Indians.

In a tweet posted on Friday, March 13, the Ministry, in light of Covid-19 outbreak, answered in detail all queries related to Indian citizens living in the country and abroad — and for expats living in India or travelling to and from India.

At Gulf News we have put together all that the Ministry has detailed in a question and answer (Q&A) format.


Will Indian nationals planning on returning home be quarantined?

immigration Indira Gandhi Airport
The immigration and arrival hall at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Indians who do not require emigration clearance feel the government is restricting their right to travel freely. Image Credit: Agency

Yes, but only those Indian nationals who have visited China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany on or after February 15, 2020 will be quarantined for 14 days.

Is “COVID-19 Negative Certificate” mandatory for Indians?

Only for those who are coming from Republic of Korea or Italy.

Will Indians transiting through these seven countries — China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany — be quarantined on arrival in India?

No. Transit through airport is not considered stay.

For Indians who want to go abroad

Can Indians travel abroad?

Yes, but Indian national are strongly advised to avoid non-essential travel to coronavirus-affected countries.

On their return to India from affected countries (China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany) they will be quarantined.


Do visas of foreigners in India remain valid? Can foreigners extend their Indian visas before expiry?

Yes, the visas of all foreigners in India remain valid.

They may contact the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO)/ Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for extension or conversion of their visa or grant of any consular service.

Can foreigners living in India travel out of the country and return?

Yes, they can go out of India.

However, before April 15, 2020, they would require a fresh visa to enter India again.

About the new norms introduced on March 11 by Indian government

Indians now to be quarantined for 14 days. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: AP

Meanwhile on Wednesday, March 11, the Bureau of Immigration under the Home Ministry of India announced it is suspending visas to the country to curtail the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

The statement said: “All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020.”

With regards to foreign nationals applying for Indian visas, which visa categories are allowed to enter India?

Those who hold employment and project visa, diplomatic passport holders, official passport holders, those in UN / International organisations.

Are dependents of exempted visa category allowed?


Are infants / children who hold foreign passports but parents Indian, allowed?

No. They are required to get fresh visa from Indian Mission / Post.

Are Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives passport holders allowed?

Nepal and Bhutan nationals are allowed. Maldives nationals require visa.

Are foreign nationals with RC/RP/Stay visa allowed to enter?

Only those foreigners who have RC / RP / Stay visa with respect to employment  / project visas.

Is COVID-19 Negative Certificate mandatory?

Only for those foreigners who are travelling to India from / visited Italy or Republic of Korea.

Can foreigners avail direct transit facility at Indian airport?

Yes. However, even in transit, medical screening is mandatory.

Who is the competent authority to issue COVID-19 Negative Certificates in Italy and Republic of Korea?

Hospitals / labs recognised by Governement of Italy and Republic of Korea respectively.


Are OCI Card holders allowed?

No. They are required to get fresh visa from Indian mission / post.

Are infants / children who hold foreign passports with OCI cards but parents are Indian passport holders allowed?

No. Infants / children are required to get fresh visa from Indian mission / post.


All existing visas issued to nationals of any country stand suspended until April 15, 2020.

However, exemptions have been made for diplomats, officials, UN/ international organisations, employment and project visas. The new norms have taken effect from March 13.

What about those with Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards?

Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders shall be kept in abeyance till April 15, 2020.

What if a foreigner has a pressing need to visit the country?

Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian mission for fresh visa.

Is there any restriction on international travel over land?

International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated immigration check posts with medical screening facilities.