If you are an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) Card holder, you can travel to India without need for visa. But, with the recent Coronavirus situation, Indian Government has put in restrictions on OCI Card holders saying that the visa free entry for OCI Card holders is not available until April 15th, 2020 as per Travel Advisory for COVID-19 given by Indian Bureau of Immigration .
Many Indians abroad have OCI cards for their children and this travel advisory impacts all of their travel plans. Many users have asked this question and we reached out to Emergency Consular Services setup by Indian Govt and got guidance on what are the documents required and general process for getting Indian visa for Emergency purposes with OCI card in abeyance until April 15th, 2020.
Step 1 : Reach out to the Indian Emergency Consular Services
Depending on where you live, you will need to reach out to the Indian Embassy or High Commission for emergency consular services via email or phone call. It varies by Country, where you live and the email and contact info will be different. You should only email to the relevant Indian embassy tied to your country and region.
Explain your Emergency Situation : You should email the Indian Embassy regarding your situation like visa expiration or any similar emergency and they will email you all the details that you need to submit for consideration. This is totally on a case by case basis based on your situation. It is not taken for granted. It is up to the discretion of the Indian Embassy.
If you are living in US, below are the details of the emails and phone numbers that you need to reach out to for support and help for the Emergency Indian Visa.
|Residents of Bermuda, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginiaemail@example.com Tel: 202-213-1364 and 202-262-0375|
|Residents of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virgin Islandsfirstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 404-910-7919 and 404-924-9876|
|Residents of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsinemail@example.com Tel: 312-687-3642 and 312-468- 3276|
|Residents of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Nebraskafirstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 713-626-2149|
|Residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont||Reach out through PRAMIT available on our website: https://pramit.indiainnewyork.gov.in/ Tel: 212-774-0607/347-721-9243|
|Residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyomingemail@example.com Tel: 415 483 6629|
Step 2 : Submit Scanned Copies of the Documents to Indian Embassy.
Depending on your case, if they believe your OCI Card holders would qualify for emergency visa, they will ask you to submit scanned copies of the below documents. You cannot directly walk-in to the Indian Embassy, you need to submit scanned copies of the documents asked by them, before you go there. You need to get few of them notarised too, see below.
Documents Checklist for OCI Card Holder Emergency Visa :
You need to send scanned copies of the below to Indian Embassy via email.
- Completed Indian Visa Application form ( see below the copy of PDF). You will get something similar from Indian Embassy.
- Digital Passport Photo 2×2 inches with white background, JPE file ( > 10kB and less than 300 KB)
- Address Proof Documents such as Utility bill, lease copy of where you live
- Copy of Passport and OCI Card or Existing Visa
- Copy of your Expiration of your Visa or Status ( like I-797 approval notice with expiry date)
- Copy of your Electronic I-94 form or physical copy of I-94 with approval notice ( only applicable to USA, for other countries it would be different )
- If minor, Parents’ Consent Form for OCI Card holders. It needs to be signed by both parents with copies of their passports and notarized.
- If minor, Copy of Indian Passports of parents.
The Indian embassy will review these documents and then respond, if you are eligible for visa and indicate the process for the same like how to send passports, fees, if any. etc.
Below is the confirmation email from Indian Embassy indicating the above process.
Step 3 : Indian Embassy Process for getting Visa
If you are eligible for emergency Indian visa, based on your situation, you would be asked to submit passports and they will outline the next steps. We do not know how long it can take. You should confirm with Indian embassy.
Overall, if you have travel plans already made and they cannot be deferred due to situations such as you Visa expiration, then you should reach out to the Indian Embassy and get Emergency Indian visa for your OCI Card situation. Nothing to panic.
Depending on your situation, it may be a better idea, to get the emergency Indian visa for your OCI card holders and leave to India as per your plans than to apply for B2 COS or B2 Extension to stay in US as the processing times of USCIS will be long with COVID-19 situation
What has been your experience with OCI Card and Travel to India ? Any experiences to share ? Add your thoughts in Comments…