As the Christmas and New Year holiday travel season kicks off, reports have emerged of some Indian origin travellers using the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) document to board flights to India from the U.S. running into difficulties with certain airlines.
Some travellers who have not updated their OCI documents after having renewed their passport were denied boarding permission for their flights to India, according to Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India in New York.
“Travellers had reported issues around these rules with Qatar Airways and Air India,” Mr. Chakravorty said. The Qatar Airways issue was reported at Boston Logan International Airport and the Air India issue, at JFK airport in New York City, as per Mr. Chakravorty.
“While Indian immigration authorities will accept an OCI card with an old passport number on it for individuals above 20 years of age, airlines flying to India may still cause a problem. So we are advising everyone who hasn’t renewed their OCI card since they got new passports to also carry their old passports with them,” Mr. Chakravorty told The Hindu .
The New York Consulate also issued a press statement with the rules following these incidents.
For every OCI cardholder “who is 20 years of age or younger, OCI card must be renewed each time a new passport is issued” as per the rules. OCI cards need not be renewed for those between 21 and 49 years of age. And for an OCI cardholder “who attains the age of 50 years or more, OCI card must be renewed only once after the issuance of a new passport,” the statement says.
The OCI advisory from the Consulate General of India, New York, can be accessed here .