The Central Government has given great relief to the people of Indian origin living around the world. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders will no longer be required to bring their old passports with them during travel. The center has now decided to extend the period of renewal of the OCI card to 31 December 2021 by issuing new guidelines.
The reason is that when the cardholder is between the ages of 20 and 50, the OCI card is also required to be issued when he is getting a new passport in the country in which he is living. Also, the earlier condition has been removed, in which it was mandatory to keep the old passport with this OCI card.
Now the compulsory requirement to bring an old passport with your OCI card during any journey has been removed. Prem Bhandari, chairman of Jaipur Foot USA, who works for the interests of overseas citizens around the world, was in touch with the central government for this for a long time. They wanted the guidelines related to OCI to be changed so that the problems of the people would be removed. Now when this happens, Bhandari has thanked the central government. He thanked the Central Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola on behalf of the immigrants for solving the different problems of NRI and OCI in the last year.
The system was started during the Vajpayee government
It was started during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to make Indians who live abroad and are citizens of it feel like being an Indian. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) who is called NRIs. For them, it started issuing cards just like a passport. It can be called long term visa which is applicable for Indians. So that they do not have to take repeated visas for their country only and through this card, they will remain visa-free for a long time.
Here is the problem
Bhandari said that even though the government extended the period of renewal of OCI from time to time, it left a technical flaw in it. Hundreds of Indian-origin citizens were forced to return from the airport due to mandatory passports. The cancellation of tickets, the cost of commuting, then the waste of time and extra money in the emergency visa application were also causing trouble for those passengers. Bhandari had been in demand for a long time to address this problem.
Penalties: This guideline was from 2005, but it was never implemented seriously. Recently, the Bureau of Immigration under the Union Home Ministry imposed a penalty of one lakh rupees per passenger on all airlines including Air India due to that relaxation. By doing this, companies started strictly at airports all over the world. The reason for the penalty was obvious, that passengers who had a valid OCI card but did not have an old passport and airlines had given them flight permission because of a valid card, violated the 2005 Guidelines of the Bureau of Immigration. agreed. Only after this penalty, companies started returning all such passengers from the airport itself. This problem has occurred since then.
This was the reason for the old passport’s imperative
The OCI card contains the number of the passport of the citizen’s own country. For this reason, when coming to India from there, the passport was also to be kept along with the card of citizens of OCI cardholders of Indian origin, so that the number could be matched. However, all citizens were demanding that this compulsory be abolished, so that there was no need to keep two documents together. Now another new problem had arisen for the last few years. At the end of the passport of these citizens, their new passports were created. Now people usually do not even keep old passports. While the government did not abolish the mandatory to keep the old passport also due to the matching of the OCI number.
Now the government has given this relief
After long demand and negotiations, the central government has finally removed the old passport requirement with OCI. The Center has removed the old passport mandatory clause in the new guideline, extending the period for renewal of OCI cards till 31 December 2021. With this, citizens of Indian origin living abroad will neither have to return after arriving at the airport nor will they have to bother for an emergency visa. They will also avoid the time and extra expenses incurred due to this mess.