Stricter medical visa rules for foreigners

Stricter medical visa rules for foreigners

After noticing loopholes in the registration process of foreigners coming to India on medical visa, the Union Home Ministry has asked states to be cautious and to implement the guidelines in a uniform way.

The ministry's instructions said all those who hold medical visa for more than 180 days would have to register with the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 14 days. If the medical visa is for a period of less than 180 days, there is no need for registration.

However, these instructions are not for people from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Instructions for Pakistanis coming to India on medical visa (Med Visa) or medical attendant visa (Med X Visa) will be issued separately. The fresh letter from the ministry to states and other ministries, including the Tourism and Health Ministries, came after it was noticed that provisions relating to registration of foreign nationals coming on medical visa are not being implemented in a uniform manner.

Officials said the loopholes in the registration process of various agencies could pose a security threat as undesirable elements could sneak into the country. Though other countries were treated liberally,  conditions for people from Pakistan are stringent owing to the security scenario in the region.

Those from Afghanistan are exempt from the requirement of registration if their visa duration is of 30 days or less, provided they have given the Indian mission their local address. 

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