New Delhi: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued a letter to its member airlines on April 20 addressing India, stating that tourist visas for Chinese nationals will be suspended.

The circular stated, “Tourist visas issued to people of China (People’s Republic) are no longer valid,” according to news agency PTI.

India has expressed concern about Indian students studying in Chinese colleges who were forced to return to India in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak and are now unable to return for physical classes.

Beijing, on the other hand, has so far refused to let these students into the nation.

Travelers from Bhutan, India, the Maldives, and Nepal; travellers with an Indian resident permit; and passengers with a visa or an entry permit are all permitted to enter e-visa issued by India; passengers with an overseas citizen of India (OCI) card or booklet; passengers with a persons of Indian origin (PIO) card; and passengers with a diplomatic passport, IATA’s statement read further.

Tourist visas with a 10-year validity period are no longer valid, according to the IATA.

According to MEA spokeswoman Arindam Bagchi, India has urged Beijing to take a “congenial position” in the subject because the persistence of tight restrictions is jeopardising the academic careers of thousands of Indian students.

According to Bagchi, a Chinese foreign ministry official claimed on February 8 that China was conducting a coordinated investigation into the matter and that plans for allowing international students to return to China were being considered.

“However, let me stress that the Chinese side has yet to respond categorically to the return of Indian students.”

“We will continue to press the Chinese side to take a more accommodating posture in the interests of our students, and to make it easier for our students to return to China and continue their studies,” Bagchi added.


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