In March 2020, when the Government of India put the country on lockdown, they suspended all existing issued Visas and also clubbed the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders with them. OCI cards are basically lifelong visas to India issued to people who have a connection with the country via their bloodline.
This decision put a lot of people in a tight spot. For instance, those who were OCIs via marriage to an Indian or were Indians working abroad had kids who were born overseas and got the citizenship of the other country. A lot many Indians who lost their jobs in the USA and are expiring the 60-day grace period to get another visa sponsors are not being able to return to the country on repatriation flights because they have kids who are US Citizens and OCI cardholders.
Anyhow, the good news is that the Government has reversed their stance today, and will allow specific categories of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders to travel to India. These include minor children born to Indian nationals abroad; those who want to travel for family emergencies and university students who are OCI cardholders but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India.
According to the order, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs today,
It is now been decided to permit the following categories of Overseas Citizens of India cardholders who are stranded abroad.
1) Minor children holding born to Indian nationals abroad and holding OCI cards
2) OCI cardholders who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies like death in the family.
3) Couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the others is an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India.
4) University students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors) but whose parents are Indian Citizens living in India.”
This is good news for those who have been waiting for an opportunity to come back to India but were not able to go back because of various permutations and combinations of their family which included people who were OCI cardholders.