The Union Home Ministry on Friday allowed certain categories of foreigners, including Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders, to enter the country amid several restrictions on the entry of people from abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among those allowed to enter India are married couples where one spouse has to be an OCI cardholder and the other an Indian national, and also students who are OCI cardholders and whose at least one parent is an Indian or OCI cardholder.
With the relaxations in place, dependent family members of foreign diplomats and official and service passport holding service staff accredited to foreign diplomatic missions, consular offices or accredited international organisations can now come to India. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown on March 24 to combat the novel coronavirus, foreigners were restricted from visiting India.
However, foreign nationals who are single parents to minor children having Indian passports or OCI cards, students who are foreign nationals and have at least one parent who is an Indian citizen or an OCI cardholder were allowed to visit India. Apart from single parents and students, OCI cardholders who wish to come to India in case of family emergencies like severe medical conditions of immediate family members or death were also allowed to visit India.
The foreign nationals who were allowed to enter India before on electronic visas will now have to get a fresh visa under the appropriate category from the Indian missions and posts abroad. Foreign nationals who hold a valid long-term multiple entry visa under the appropriate category issued by Indian Missions and posts abroad will have to get their visas revalidated from the Indian Mission and the post concerned.
(With inputs from PTI)