India has now excluded citizens of Hong Kong, China and Macau from availing the e-tourist visa facility to visit the country.

India will allow individual foreigners to visit India for tourism purposes from November 15. According to reports, tourists from the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have also been excluded due to lack of reciprocity.

Officials said citizens of Vietnam, Taiwan, the United States, Singapore and 152 other countries will have access to e-visa facilities for tourists.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a guideline, regular tourist visas and existing e-visas issued before October 6 will also remain suspended. Reportedly, new visas for single entry with a validity of 30 days can be used within 120 days of issuance.

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, India provided e-tourist visa facilities to a record number of 171 countries, including the United Kingdom, China and Canada, but there appears to be a lack of reciprocity and border tensions with China.

Furthermore, the standoff with the United Kingdom over the recognition of vaccine certificates and mandatory quarantine for Indian travelers prompted the Indian government to implement similar guidelines for British travelers visiting India. As with Canada, the suspension remains in place in response to testing restrictions that the Canadian government continues to ferry travelers from India.

Travelers to the United States of America are allowed to obtain an e-tourist visa as per the latest guidelines. As the United States reopened to international travelers from November, it has allowed Indian travelers to enter without any quarantine, and has even recognized WHO-approved vaccines, including CoviShield and Covaxin.

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