The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has advised its member airlines that India has prohibited Chinese citizens from obtaining tourist visas.
The protest appeared to be in response to Beijing’s failure to listen to India’s complaints about 22,000 Indian students enrolled in Chinese institutions who are unable to return for physical classes. Until recently, the neighbouring country has refused to admit them.
When the COVID-19 virus broke out in early 2020, these students were compelled to leave China and go to India.
Tourist visas provided to nationals of China (People’s Republic) are no longer valid, the IATA noted in an April 20 advisory referencing India.
According to the document, the following visitors are authorised to enter India: Passengers with an Indian residence permit; passengers with an Indian visa or an e-visa; passengers with an overseas citizen of India (OCI) card or booklet; travellers with a person of Indian origin (PIO) card; and passengers with a diplomatic passport.
The IATA also announced that tourist licences with a validity duration of ten years are no longer valid.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an international airline organisation with over 290 members that account for more than 80% of global air traffic.
According to MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, India has encouraged Beijing to take a “congenial stance” on the issue because the continuation of the harsh restrictions jeopardises the academic careers of thousands of Indian students.