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Q.679 Medical visa to foreign tourists

November 21, 2007

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 679
TO BE ANSWERED ON 21.11.2007

SHRI BADIGA RAMAKRISHNA:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a)whether the Government has introduced a new kind of visa called ‘Medical Visa' to foreign tourists;
(b)if so, the details thereof including the period of validity;
(c)the objective of introducing medical visa;
(d)whether there is any difference between tourist visa and medical visa; and
(e)if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS(SHRI E. AHAMED)

(a) Yes.

(b) Medical Visa was introduced in June 2005. It is granted to foreigners who have sought preliminary medical advice from their country of origin/residence and have been advised to go for specialised medical treatment. The Indian Missions/Posts abroad scrutinise the medical documents to satisfy themselves about the bona fide purpose for which medical treatment visa is being requested. The initial validity of medical visa is one year or the period of treatment, whichever is less. It can be extended for a further period of one year by the State Governments/Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs)/Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs) on production of medical certificate from reputable/recognised/specialised hospitals in India. Further extensions can be granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the recommendations of the State Governments/FRROs/FROs supported by appropriate medical documents. The visa is valid for a maximum of three entries during the year. Foreigners coming to India on medical visa are required to get themselves registered with the concerned FRROs within 14 days from the date of their arrival in India.

(c)The objective of such a visa is to help foreigners who wish to utilise specialised medical health care facilities in India and to promote medical tourism.

(d)&(e) Yes. The purpose of tourist visa is tourism and such a visa cannot be converted into any other type of visa or extended beyond six months i.e. the initial period for which it is granted. Foreigners holding tourist visa are not required to register themselves with the concerned FRROs if their continuous stay in the country does not exceed six months. Medical visa is initially granted for one year and can be extended as per the requirements of the medical treatment. Medical visa holders are required to register themselves with the concerned FRROs within 14 days of their arrival in India.

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