India Introduces Ayush Visa to Encourage Medical Tourism for International Visitors

India, known for its rich heritage of traditional medicine and wellness practices, has taken a significant step towards promoting medical tourism by introducing the Ayush Visa. This specialized visa scheme is designed to attract foreign nationals seeking various forms of medical treatment, therapeutic care, wellness, and yoga in the country. The Ayush Visa not only aims to boost India's medical tourism industry but also seeks to make Indian traditional medicine a global phenomenon.

Ministry of Home Affairs Notification

The Ministry of Home Affairs, recognizing the potential of medical tourism and traditional healing practices, has announced the creation of a distinct visa category known as the Ayush Visa. This visa is intended for foreign nationals who are interested in visiting India for medical purposes, including Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (collectively referred to as Ayush).

Objectives of Ayush Visa

The Ayush Visa has been established with several key objectives in mind:

  • Boosting Medical Tourism: The primary goal of introducing the Ayush Visa is to stimulate the growth of medical tourism in India. By providing a dedicated visa category for individuals seeking traditional healing therapies, India aims to position itself as a premier destination for medical value travel.
  • Globalizing Indian Traditional Medicine: The Ayush Visa aligns with the Indian government's vision of making traditional Indian medicine systems globally recognized. This initiative aims to showcase the efficacy and benefits of Ayurveda, Yoga, and other traditional healing practices to international visitors.
  • Supporting the Heal in India Initiative: The Ayush Visa is a strategic component of the Heal in India initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This initiative focuses on enhancing healthcare infrastructure and promoting India as a leading medical tourism hub.

Collaborative Efforts

To ensure the successful implementation of the Ayush Visa and the growth of medical tourism, several collaborative efforts have been undertaken:

  • Heal in India Portal: The Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have collaborated to create the Heal in India portal. This platform serves as a comprehensive resource for medical tourists, providing information about various treatment options, accredited healthcare facilities, and travel arrangements.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITDC: An important step in the direction of promoting medical tourism is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), under the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. This collaboration aims to further enhance medical value travel, particularly in the field of Ayurveda and traditional medicine.

Projected Growth and Prospects

According to the 'The Global Wellness Economy: Looking beyond COVID' report by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the global wellness economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 9.9%. This growth trend also extends to the Ayush-based healthcare and wellness sector. The Ayush Visa is anticipated to play a pivotal role in driving the growth of this sector, with estimates suggesting that the Ayush-based healthcare and wellness economy could reach $70 billion by 2025.

Implications for Kerala's Ayurveda Tourism

The introduction of the Ayush Visa has raised hopes within the Ayurveda treatment providers in Kerala, a region renowned for its traditional healing practices. With the new visa category in place, Kerala anticipates an upsurge in medical tourism, with international visitors seeking authentic Ayurvedic treatments and experiences.


The Ayush Visa initiative marks a significant stride towards establishing India as a global leader in medical tourism and traditional healing practices. By creating a specialized India visa category and promoting collaboration between various ministries and agencies, India is poised to tap into the growing demand for alternative and holistic healthcare experiences, attracting visitors from around the world to explore the country's rich heritage of wellness.