In a bid to allay fears of overseas' citizens of India (OCI) cardholders over the temporary suspension of their ability to visit India, the Indian government indicated that it would soon take an appropriate decision on the issue even as consulates in the USA assured Indian-Americans that OCI cardholders would be allowed to travel to India for 'compelling reasons' despite the ban being in effect.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, participating in a virtual panel discussion with Indian-Americans on COVID -19, organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) and the Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America (BAJNA), said that PM Modi would announce the government's decision soon.
India's top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Home Minister Amit Shah, are personally aware about it and they have no doubt whatsoever about the Indianness of the overseas Indian community, Muraleedharan said in response to a question.
A large number of Indian citizens whose children are OCI cardholders and several people of Indian origin having the card are unable to travel to India. Consul-General in New York Sanjay Chakravorty explained that Indian citizens whose children were OCI cardholders should apply to their nearest consulate explaining their circumstances and their children would likely be issued a temporary visa for travel back to India with them.
"Any foreign national (including OCI cardholder) who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission for a new visa," the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC stated.