For a while now, the Indian government has been cracking down on tourists remaining in India long-term, and going on visa runs to neighboring counties such as Nepal. It's become quite difficult to get back to back six month tourist visas for India, without going home.
Now, the restrictions placed on Indian tourist visas are even tougher. Earlier this month, the government introduced a new rule that has the potential to affect EVERYONE with a valid multiple entry tourist visa who wants to re-enter India.
Alarmingly, the new rule requires people with multiple entry tourist visas to wait for a period of two months before returning to India. Initially, it was deemed relevant only to those holding five and 10 year tourist visas. However, the consensus now seems to be that it affects all categories of tourist visas.
So, even if you have a six month multiple entry tourist visa and you leave India, you most likely won't be allowed to return to India for two months. Exceptions can be made by applying for special permission from the "Mission/Embassy" abroad.
It's not surprising that the rule is causing a great deal of angst to tourists. Even more so because it is not widely understood, even by Indian authorities, or consistently applied.
There's a thread, containing some excellent information about the current situation, on the India Mike Forums. Let's hope some clarity is reached soon. The Indian government has a lot to answer for.
Have you been affected by the new Indian tourist visa regulations? Share your visa issues here.
Read about the Indian government's subsequent clarification of the new rule here.