Indian government bars travel of all OCI card holders, suspends all visas

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@DelhiAirport
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@DelhiAirport

The Indian government on Tuesday announced that it has kept in abeyance multiple-entry life-long visas given to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders till international travel remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, OCI card holders who are already in India can stay in the country for “any length of time”, said the Union Home Ministry.

Any foreign national holding an OCI card who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons during the period may contact the nearest Indian mission, added the ministry.

Additionally, the government also announced the suspension of all existing visas granted to foreign nationals, barring a few categories, till international air travel to and from India remains suspended. 

The only visas exempt from this are those belonging to diplomatic, official, UN international organisations, employment and project categories. 

The Union Home Ministry also said it has extended on ‘gratis’ basis the visas of foreigners stranded in India due the lockdown. The extension will be for a period of 30 days beyond opening of international travel in the country.

This extension applies to regular visas, e-visas or stay stipulations of foreign nationals whose visas expired post-midnight February 1 or would expire during the ban on international air travel from India upon submission of an online application.