Travel News: 15 countries that are open to Indian travelers

Subject to certain conditions, some foreign countries are now opening to Indian travelers; however, those arriving from India will either have to provide a negative RT-PCR report or will be required to undergo quarantine there.

Travel News: 15 countries that are open to Indian travelers

Travel News: 15 countries that are open to Indian travelers

Some of these countries are slated to open their borders in July, and some direct flights are not yet operational. So do check the dates and details before firming up any travel plans.

As India was struggling with the second wave of Coronavirus, many countries restricted the entry of Indian travelers to their countries. However, with the cases gradually declining now, and with the threat of a third wave looming at large, it is advisable that one travels with caution. Subject to certain conditions, some foreign countries are now opening to Indian travelers; however, those arriving from India will either have to provide a negative RT-PCR report or will be required to undergo quarantine there. So, if you are keen to pack your bags once again, here is a list of 10 countries that are open to Indian travelers right now.

1. South Africa

Download the South African visa application forms from: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/southafrica/india/english/pdf/VISA-APPLICATION-FORM.pdf

Submit the completed visa application form in person at the nearest VFS Visa Application Centre listed on the website.

Fee: No visa fee for Indian nationals. VFS logistics fee to process visas from Mumbai and Delhi is INR 2,040; INR 2,301 to process visas from Gurugram, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru, and Goa.

Flights operational right now: Qatar Airways flights available daily via Doha; Ethiopian Airlines flights available every Friday via Addis Ababa; Emirates slated to fly from India to South Africa (via Dubai) starting July 7, 2021. Check respective airline websites for more information before booking. Basic return flight cost (economy): Approximately Rs 30,000 (subject to change).

2. Turkey

Apply for a visa on https://gatewayglobe.com/en/india

Vaccine passport: Not mandatory currently. Gateway offers travel health insurance services at the visa application center at the best value price.

Fee: Gateway Service Fee; Rs 4,201. Premium Lounge visa service charge: Rs 6,195. Call 022 67866029 to schedule an appointment.

Processing time (minimum working days) in Turkish embassy:  New Delhi: 4; Kolkata: 6; Mumbai: 10; Bengaluru and Chennai: 11; Hyderabad: up to 9 working days.

Total visa costs are charged only in INR and only in cash. A credit card is not accepted.

Flights: No direct flights from India to Turkey at the moment. Qatar Airways is operating flights to Turkey from Dubai and Doha. Flights between India and UAE will remain suspended until July 6, as per Air India.

3. Mauritius

Visa on arrival: When Mauritius opens its doors on July 15, you can opt for a visa on arrival at the immigration counter. No visa fee for Indians. Documents required for a tourist visa are passport, confirmed return ticket, proof of hotel booking (voucher issued by hotel or travel agent).

Premium visa: The other option is a long-stay Premium visa that one can apply for online at https://mauritiusnow.com/mauritius-visa/. This visa allows a non-citizen to stay in Mauritius for up to a year with a chance to renew. There is no visa fee.

To qualify for a Premium visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be able to produce proof of your long-stay plans, accommodation, and the purpose of your visit;
  • You must have sufficient travel and health insurance;
  • You can work remotely from the island but cannot enter the Mauritius labor market;
  • The main place of business and source of income and profits should be outside of Mauritius;
  • All passengers under the Premium visa will have to go through the sanitary and health protocols established by the country's ministry of health and wellness.

Flights: Air Mauritius has not announced the resumption of direct flights to Port Louis. You can fly to Emirates via Dubai.

4. Kenya

Online visa applications for Kenyan are open now. Visit the official website, www.ecitizen.go.ke, to apply. Check safety and health guidelines on https://www.kaa.go.ke/airports/passenger-guide/

A single-entry visa is valid for three months from the date of issue.

Travel itinerary, return ticket, hotel bookings mandatory for visa application.

Fee: Single entry: US$ 51; Multiple-entry: US$ 101 + card handling charges.

5. Zambia

Register and apply for visas online at https://eservices.zambiaimmigration. gov.zm/#/sign-up

Evisa: Indians are eligible to apply for e-visas. Persons below the age of 16 cannot apply for an e-Visa. If traveling with an adult, they must be included in the adult’s application during the application process.

Stay duration: Ordinary visitors and tourists are entitled to a free 90-day visit in any period of 12 months from the day of first entry into Zambia, while business visitors are entitled to a free 30-days visit in any period of 12 months.

Fee: Single entry visa fee is US$ 50; double-entry: US$ 80; multiple entries: US$ 150

6. Saudi Arabia

Visa on arrival: Indians holding a valid US, UK, or Schengen visa (who have traveled to the visa-issuing country) and are traveling by the Saudi national carrier for tourism will be offered visa-on-arrival in Saudi Arabia. Such visa holders must have visited the visa-issuing country before landing at any Saudi airport via a Saudi air carrier.

Fee: Fees for all visit visas, including e-Visa, visa-on-Arrival, and Consulate visa, are SAR 300, and the cost of the new comprehensive medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment is SAR 180, including tax, bringing the total to SAR 480 (1 SAR = INR 19.79)

Only those who are 18 years old or above can apply for a visa. For travelers below 18, a person over 18 must be your guardian when applying for the visa.

7. Ukraine

E-visa: Indian nationals are eligible for E-visa to Ukraine. E-visa is valid for up to 30 days. Check details of required documents and apply online at www.visaukraine.com

Apply at least a week or two before the date of departure, in cases of unexpected delays. The Ukrainian visa fees can be paid using a credit or debit card. The approved e-Visa is sent to the applicant by email.

Visa on arrival facility is currently not available.

8. Armenia

Official website: https://www.mfa.am/en/visa/

E-visa: Indians can apply for E-visa at https://evisa.mfa.am

Documents required include air ticket, hotel reservation, invitation, medical/travel insurance, and proof of sufficient funds, etc.

Fee: Visitor visa up to 21 days of stay in the US $6. Visitor visa up to 120 days of stay is US$ 31. Multiple entry visitor visas for up to 60 days of stay with 6 months validity: US$ 41. Multiple entry visitor visas for up to 120 days of stay with one-year validity: US$ 82

Processing time: The typical wait time for processing is up to 3 working days when applying by the E-visa system.

9. Tanzania

Official website: https://evisatanzania.org/

E-visa: Indians are eligible for E-visa which is a single-entry visa, valid for 90 days, that allows travelers to enter and travel to Tanzania and Zanzibar.

You can enter Tanzania through the following ports of entry: Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA), Namanga border, Tunduma border.

Fee: Single entry: US$ 50; Multiple-entry: US$ 100. Business visa single entry: US$250.  Next day service is an extra US$ 50 and same day service is available for US$100.

Multiple entry visa is valid for one year, 90 days at a time.

Processing time: If you are applying at an Embassy/Consulate, visa processing takes a minimum of 5 working days.

10. USA

Student visas: “Student visas remain a top priority for the U.S. Mission to India, and we are making every attempt to facilitate student travel in time for the fall semester,” according to the official website https://in.usembassy.gov/visas/

If you have not yet been able to schedule a visa appointment, check https://ustraveldocs.com/in for availability. Additional July and August student visa appointments are being added at posts across India as conditions allow.

Non-immigrant travel visa: On April 30, US President Joe Biden signed Presidential Proclamation 10199 suspending most nonimmigrant travel from India.  In light of the travel suspension and due to the current pandemic situation in India, most other routine nonimmigrant visa and VAC appointments at US Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai remain extremely limited.

Scheduled appointment: If you scheduled an upcoming appointment, check your account at https://ustraveldocs.com/in to determine whether your appointment is still valid.

For detailed information about the current status of visa services and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, visit travel.state.gov

11. Russia

Russia recently resumed flight operations in a move to revive its tourism industry. Travelers will, however, be required to carry a negative RT-PCR test result, which must be issued not less than 72 hours before their arrival. Note, antibody tests will not be accepted.

Visa: Tourist Visa is required in case you enter Russian Federation for tourism purposes. A tourist visa can be valid for up to 30 days and can be issued for single or double entry. Dates of validity of the visa will correspond with the dates mentioned on your tourist confirmation. https://www.vfsglobal.com/Russia/india/Tourist.html

12. Iceland

All travelers‘ regardless of their origin’ can now visit Iceland. A proof of previous infection and recovery or certificate of vaccination (Covishield in India’s case) will even exempt one from providing a negative PCR-test result. However, all travelers will be required to undergo a COVID screening upon arrival, without any exceptions. Travelers will be required to undergo quarantine till one takes another test five days later. If that test result comes negative, your quarantine period will also end.

13. Serbia

Serbia’s doors are also open for Indian travelers. But, unlike most countries, where travelers are required to show a negative RT-PCR report, which is less than 72 hours older prior to boarding their flight, Serbia requires one to provide a report that is no older than 48 hours for entry.

14. Egypt

Indians can now travel to Egypt, although the number of flights to the country has been reduced. However, you will need to produce an RT-PCR test report that is not older than 72 hours prior to arrival. Travelers are expected to undergo quarantine at their place of stay till they receive a negative test result.

15. Uzbekistan

If you want to holiday in Uzbekistan this year, along with providing a negative RT-PCR test report that is not older than 72 hours prior to arrival, they will also be required to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

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