A group of 85 depressed Indians in the US has launched an SOS campaign to travel home, urging the Indian government to allow their young children to have American citizenship with a valid Indian visa to accompany them to India. Travel to India by non-Indian citizens, except for certain categories of those who have an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card, is prohibited due to strict travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. OCI cards are issued to people who are from India, which allows them to travel visa-free in most cases. It also gives them certain rights like Indian citizens except to buy agricultural land, vote, run for elections and work in government. The group of Indian parents on Saturday, in a letter to the Foreign Ministry, Indian embassy and diplomatic missions in the US, expressed their desire to travel back to India and urged the authorities to allow their small children with US citizenship to travel together with them. Parents, who for the past few weeks have joined hands on WhatsApp and Facebook, have children born in the US, thus are American citizens and do not have an OCI card. “For this reason, we humbly ask you to allow minors who are American citizens with valid Indian visas to travel to India,” the parents wrote. sure the Government of India does not intend to discriminate against us just because a completely unexpected and unprecedented event is completely out of our control. “Like our fellow Indians who flew back to India thanks to the Vande Bharat mission, we also have a valid reason to fly back to India. But we cannot do it because our small children cannot be left alone in the US to fend for themselves, “the group said. Members of the group come from various parts of the US, including California, New Jersey, Washington, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Maryland, South Carolina, and Minnesota. One Indian parent who was stranded also joined a group from Malaysia. “We are Indians stranded in the US because of this tragic pandemic. We want to fly back to India. We are also parents of small children. Our children are American citizens based on their birth here. “Our children have a valid Indian visa on their passports,” they said in a letter sent by email. While the number of signatories is 85, but if they take into account their spouses and children, the number of those who are stranded and want to fly home will meet more than 250. According to the letter, at present their young children cannot obtain OCI status (Foreign Citizens India) now because OCI processing has been stalled for several months and many of us submitted an application in January this year and are still waiting for it, and some of them have babies too young for them to apply for OCI before the COVID crisis. “Some of our American visas will expire or have expired (and will not be extended due to max out or job losses) making our children ineligible to apply for OCI. Some of us have entry visas, electronic visas / emergency visas, but not OCI. Some of us, after waiting for OCI for so long, have applied for visas but cannot obtain them, “said the letter. Furthermore, OCI students with OCI parents cannot travel even though their parents are residents of India, the letter said. “We are grateful for the mission of Vande Bharat and for the recent government orders to allow certain categories of OCI card holders to travel to India. But Indian parents of children holding a visa should not be treated differently from Indian parents from children holding OCI cards, “they wrote in the letter.” My younger daughter has an emergency visa but there is no OCI preventing me from going to India, “one of Deeprekha De’s parents told PTI. She, along with her daughters Sahana (11) and Sohana (6), have lived in Liverpool. , New York, Deeprekha and her husband are IT professionals but her husband works from Canada and is currently stranded there, saying he has applied for an emergency visa for his younger daughter after his mother had kidney failure in India but his family cannot fly to India. due to the cessation of flight operations due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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