Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 22
The Centre today issued an order allowing certain categories of Overseas Citizens of India cardholders, who have been stranded abroad, to come to India.
After the Covid-induced lockdown measures were put in place from March 25, the government had prohibited the entry of all visa-holding foreigners, including Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders.
According to the order issued today by the foreigners division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), all minors born to Indian nationals abroad and holding OCI cards and other such cardholders who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies like death in family have been allowed to travel to India.
Similarly, the couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the other an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India have been allowed entry. The MHA order also relaxes entry norms for university students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors), but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India.
“The travel restrictions imposed vide this ministry’s official memorandum on May 7 would now not apply to any aircraft, ship, train or any other vehicle deployed for bringing back the above mentioned categories of OCI cardholders who are stranded abroad,” the MHA order read. The government is currently undertaking a special operation, ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, to bring back stranded Indians from abroad.
The OCI scheme was operational since December 2005, which provides facilities like lifelong visa, exemption from registration with FFRO and also having parity with non-resident Indians in economic fields except agricultural properties, political and public employment rights.
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