Sunday 20 December 2020 10:40 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON Dec 19: A Keralite from UK was denied travel to Kochi from Heathrow Airport in London by Indian Airlines because he did not carry his old British passport alongwith his OCI card. The traveller had acquired a new British passport since him securing the OCI card.
OCI guidelines have been in force since 2005. According to the rules OCI card is required to be obtained each time a new passport is acquired by the cardholder up to the age of 20 years and OCI card is required to be obtained once on acquiring a new passport after completing 50 years of age.
Due to the prevailing Covid pandemic situation the Government of India had decided to grant further extension on the above rules till 30th June 2021 to get the OCI cards re-issued in accordance with above guidelines.
However, the government advised that such OCI cardholders are allowed to travel to India on the strength of existing OCI cards bearing old passport number. But, this will be subject to the condition that the OCI cardholder will need to carry his/her old and new passports and the OCI card having an old passport number.
In this instance the traveller didn’t carry his old British passport and moreover the time for visa on arrival facility was also over and thus was denied travel by the airline operators at Heathrow.
The passenger was offered the option to go back home and get the old British passport but as he lived 132 miles away it wasn’t practical for him to do it. He managed to secure a copy of his old British passport emailed to him by his relatives back home and although he showed it to the travel operators it was considered to be not acceptable.
Please ensure you have all the documents prior to travel.
OCI TRAVEL ADVISORY – RE-ISSUE OF OCI CARD (ON GETTING A NEW PASSPORT)
Re-issuance of OCI is mandatory every time passport is renewed up to the age of 20 years, and again after attaining the age of 50 years in view of frequent biological change in facial features in these age group.
The following OCI guidelines have been in force since 2005:
OCI card needs to be re-issued each time a new passport is acquired by the cardholder up to the age of 20 years.
OCI card is required to be re-issued once on acquiring a new passport after completing 50 years of age.
Re-issuance of OCI card is not required each time a passport is issued to a cardholder between 21 and 50 years of age.
This is to inform that Government of India has decided to extend the temporary relaxation period till 31st December 2020 in the following cases:
In case an OCI card holder below the age of 20 years has not got the OCI card re-issued on change of passport, he/she may travel on the strength of his/her existing OCI card bearing old passport number subject to the condition that along with the new passport, the OCI cardholder carries old passport mentioned in the OCI card.
In case an OCI card holder who has attained the age of 50 years and has got his/her passport renewed subsequently but has not got his/her OCI card re- issued on renewal of his/her passport, he/she may travel on the strength of the existing OCI card along with the old and new passports.
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