India has asked China to consider issuing visas to students and professionals who meet travel conditions such as taking Chinese-made vaccines amid the pandemic.
The Chinese embassy in India had in March said it would consider giving visas to those taking Chinese-made vaccines for COVID-19.
“Currently, people from China, including Chinese nationals, are able to travel to India despite the absence of direct connectivity. However, for Indian nationals, travel to China has not been possible since last November as the Chinese side had suspended existing visas,” India’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In November last year, China had said the travel ban from India and some other nations was a temporary measure.
“In March this year, the Chinese embassy issued a notification about facilitating visas for those taking Chinese-made vaccines. It is understood that several Indian nationals have applied for Chinese visas after getting vaccinated in that manner but are yet to be issued visas. Since these Indian nationals have apparently met the requirements laid down by the Chinese side, we hope that the Chinese embassy would be able to issue them visas soon,” the Foreign Ministry said.
India said it is in touch with the Chinese side for early resumption of travel by Indian citizens to China, especially for those who work or study there.
“While we recognise the need to ensure safety and strictly follow Covid protocols, essential two-way travel should be facilitated, especially keeping in view the fact that Chinese nationals are able to travel to India,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign nationals stranded in India because of lockdowns and flight disruptions due to the second wave of the pandemic don’t need to apply for extension of their visas till August 31.
Travellers entering China from abroad must endure lengthy hotel quarantines, with major cities tightening quarantine rules in recent weeks over fears of coronavirus variants that were first detected overseas.