The central government on Friday allowed certain categories of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders, who are stranded abroad, to come to the country.
According to a Ministry of Home Affairs order, 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, couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the other an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India, and university students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors) but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India are also allowed to visit the country.
The Home Ministry also made it clear that the travel restrictions imposed 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 due to the lockdown.
While initiating the evacuation of Indian nationals stranded abroad, the government had said on May 7 that the issue of permitting certain categories of OCI cardholders, who are stranded abroad, to visit India has been considered by it.
Meanwhile, in a separate order, the Home Ministry said the right of multiple entry life-long visa facility granted to the specified categories of OCI cardholders has been restored to facilitate their hassle-free travel to India.
The government is currently undertaking a special operation under the name of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring back stranded Indians from abroad.
A nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
It was first extended till May 3 and again till May 17. The lockdown has now been extended till May 31.