Centre issues advisory for OCI carder holders, foreign nationals stranded amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Centre issues advisory for OCI carder holders, foreign nationals stranded amid COVID-19 pandemic

The central government on Thursday issued an advisory to help foreign nationals including Canadian nationals stranded in India due to coronavirus pandemic. According to the issued guidelines, regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation of the foreign nationals whose visas have expired or would be expiring till the date on which prohibition on the international travel ban is lifted, would be extended on ‘Gratis’ basis. 

This extension would be without payment of the due fees, on submission of online application. Meanwhile, such extension would be granted for a period up to 30 days from the day of the lifting of the international travel ban. 

The applicants are required to get in touch with the concerned FRRO in India. 

However, in the case of Canadian Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholder who are already in India, the OCI card shall remain valid for stay in India for any length of time.

Meanwhile, all existing visas granted to Canadian national except those belonging to diplomatic, official, UN/International Organisation, employment and project categories shall remain suspended till the ban on international air travel is lifted. 

According to the advisory, the validity of OCI cards for visa-free travel to India shall continue to be kept in abeyance till the ban on travel to or from India is lifted. Any OCI cardholder wishing to travel to India for important reasons may approach the High Commission or the nearest Indian Consulate. 

All scheduled international commercial passenger flights to India shall remain suspended till 11:59 pm on May 17, 2020. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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