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India cancels tourist visas for Chinese nationals in a tit-for-tat move Tourist Visa
Image Credit: Pixabay

India cancels tourist visas for Chinese nationals in a tit-for-tat move

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 24 Apr 2022, 03:39 pm

New Delhi: The global airlines body International Air Transport Association (IATA) has told its member carriers that the Indian tourist visas issued to Chinese nationals are no longer valid, media reports said.

In a circular issued on April 20 regarding India, the IATA said, "Tourist visas issued to nationals of China (People's Republic) are no longer valid."

The IATA also said that tourist visas with a validity of 10 years are no longer valid, except for those issued to nationals of Japan and the US.

India's move is being viewed as a tit-for-tat response to China's continued reluctance to allow the return of approximately 22,000 Indian students enrolled in Chinese universities, barring their attendance from physical classes.

This is in contrast with the treatment meted out to the students of some other countries Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

These students had to come back to India when the COVID-19 pandemic began at the beginning of 2020.

However, the circular said that "nationals of Bhutan, India, Maldives and Nepal; passengers with a residence permit issued by India; passengers with visa or an 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."

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart during the latter's visit to India last month but China is yet to give a response in this connection.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said on March 17 that a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had stated on February 8 that China was looking into the matter in a coordinated manner and that arrangements for allowing foreign students to return to China were being examined.

"But let me clarify that till date, the Chinese side has not given any categorical response about the return of Indian students. We will continue to urge the Chinese side to adopt a congenial stance in the interest of our students and that they facilitate an early return to China so that our students can pursue their studies," Bagchi said.