Prior to the spread of Covid-19, NRI’s who came to visit India are now stuck in the country due to the flights and every other transport system being closed down.
According to some statistics, around 700 of the NRI’s are stuck in India and almost every one of them fear of losing their jobs. The main reason for this is the expiration of visas. For several NRI’s the visas are going to expire in the upcoming months.
According to the rules of USCIS(the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), the visas can only be extended from within the country. Although the website had mentioned some ‘special situations’. The website states that Natural calamities, catastrophes can sometimes affect the processing of visas, immigration requests, etc. The website also further added that the USCIS has the right to take the following measure on request basis if a person is affected by the natural catastrophes.
The NRI’s feel that this current situation is similar to a natural catastrophe but not sure whether their request will be considered from India. Several members had written to USCIS but they did not get back any reply. Most of them cannot work from India due to the restrictions imposed by their employer. Also, several NRIs have loan to clear and monthly rents to pay. It has become a huge burden for them.
NRIs are happy with the steps being taken by the Indian government in controlling the virus by imposing the lockdown. They are requesting the government to understand their situation and help them get back to their working country by enabling the flights even on a case by case basis.
The Indian administration has yet to respond back to this situation but previously said that they were in talks with the US government about the visas. Candidates with several kinds of visas, H1B, green card holders, are struck in the country with the deadline for extensions is approaching.
Many of them are said to have contacted Aviation Ministry, DGCA, PMO, MEA to send them back to other countries. Trump administration has recently said they are barring all the immigration activities to their country. Acting Homeland Security also said that soon there will be more measures to follow which could be critical to immigration.