Certain categories of OCI cardholders allowed to visit India

The government on Friday relaxed visa and travel restrictions on foreign nationals to allow certain categories of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders to visit India.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said those allowed to travel to India include OCI cardholders who wish to come to the country on account of family emergencies.

Minor children born to Indian nationals abroad and holding OCI cards and couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the other is an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India are also allowed to visit the country, the MHA said. 

University students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors) but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India, the ministry said.

"The travel restrictions, imposed earlier by MHA on 07.05.2020, would 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.  All other terms and conditions laid down by MHA on 07.05.2020 would continue to remain in effect," the Union Home Ministry said. 

Earlier, the government launched a special operation under the name of 'Vande Bharat Mission' to bring back stranded Indians from abroad as international flights remain suspended in the view of the novel coronavirus. 

A nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days to stop the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown has been extended thrice till May 31.