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Certain categories of OCI cardholders can now travel to India: MHA

MHA released an Office Memorandum (OM) with the subject line- “Visa and Travel Restrictions in response to COVID-19”, in which the ministry has relaxed the travel restrictions for certain categories of OCIs. 

May 23, 2020 10:00 IST
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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on May 22 has allowed a section of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders to travel back to the country. The new announcement will benefit those who have been stranded abroad amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

MHA released an Office Memorandum (OM) with the subject line- “Visa and Travel Restrictions in response to COVID-19”, in which the ministry has relaxed the travel restrictions for certain categories of OCIs. 

As per the OM, the travel restrictions imposed earlier by MHA on May 7, 2020 will not be applied to any train, aircraft, ship, or any other vehicle that has been deployed to bring back the mentioned categories of OCI cardholders who have been stranded abroad.

Although all the other terms and conditions laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on May 7, 2020 will continue to remain in effect.

The official release by Ministry of Home Affairs:

MHA released OM

Categories of OCI cardholders permitted to travel to India:

•  Minor Children who are born to Indian Nationals abroad and are OCI cardholders.

•  OCI cardholders who wish to travel back to India because of family emergencies such as a death in the family.

•  Those couples where one spouse holds OCI card and the other one is an Indian National. They also must have a permanent residence in India.

•  Those University students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors) but their parents must be Indian citizens living in India.

Background:

The central government on May 7, 2020 had suspended the visas granted to foreign nationals except for few categories. The government had also temporarily suspended the visas given to OCI cardholders till the time international travel was prohibited.

However, it was mentioned that the OCI cardholders who were already in India were permitted to stay in the country for any length of the time.

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