India’s immigration officials have warned against making holidaymakers travel overseas by air, claiming it could cause a “major security issue” and could create a major security risk for the country.
India’s Home Ministry on Tuesday said it had raised concerns with the United States about visa applications submitted on a Chinese flight to the US, adding that the government was concerned about possible security implications.
It said visa applications from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands had been denied for the trip.
India is currently seeking to increase its number of visitors by around a third this year, according to the Home Ministry.
The country’s economy is growing, and officials have said they are looking to attract more tourists to India by 2020.
The government said in a statement that it had “concerns” about the potential security risks that might arise if people were to travel on flights that had not yet been approved.
“The issue of a visa for travellers to China was raised by the US Government on December 13, 2016, and was considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with the Ministry for Home Affairs,” the statement said.
“This issue was then considered by Home Affairs and the Home ministry acted accordingly.”
“If the US Administration for International Migration (USAID) decides to accept a visa application on a flight to China, it will have to submit the visa application to the Ministry, which will then send it to the relevant Ministry for Foreign Affairs,” it added.
The statement said the Home Minister has asked US authorities to “consider carefully the security implications of the situation”, adding that any such decision will have an impact on India’s economy.