Kerala

Indian embassies helping NRIs in Gulf countries

The Indian Embassies in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations have swung into action for helping Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who are unable to return or struck at airport of these nations owing to travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19 spread globally.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke over telephone with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, about the welfare of the over 20 lakh Indians living in the UAE and contributing to its economy.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai, having jurisdiction in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm-Al-Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, has taken steps to accommodate the 19 Indian nationals who were stuck at Dubai airport for past several days.

They had got stranded due to various restrictions to deal with COVID-19 pandemic. Hotel rooms have been given to them inside the airport. Ten Indians who are residents of UAE and have arrived from various parts of the world in Dubai airport have been put in quarantine.

In its efforts to combat the spread of the virus, the UAE government has suspended all passengers flights for two weeks from March 25.

In Qatar, all tourist visas on arrival have been extended automatically up to April 22. However, the main immigration office has to be approached for the purpose of extending family visas.

The Embassy of India in Doha, has also set up a round-the-clock helpline to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It has also made a list of doctors for counselling. Incidentally, Mr. Modi had already held a telephonic conversation with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani, the Amir of Qatar.

In Saudi Arabia, the General Directorate of Passports in coordination with the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has facilitated for overstaying pilgrims to submit an exemption request from legal effects and penalties. Besides, the exit-entry visas for expatriates with commercial professions that have not been used and for expatriates with expired residences will be extended for three months free of charge and without the need to visit the General Directorate of Passports.

The Oman Embassy of India in Muscat has set up a 24/7 helpline functional for COVID-19 related queries. These are at the consular - [24695981 (cons.muscat@mea.gov.in)], Community Welfare – [80071234 (Toll free) / 96568908 (cw.muscat@mea.gov.in)] and through WhatsApp (+968 93577979).

Likewise the Indian citizens in Bahrain can seek help for any COVID-19 related emergency at the Embassy (973-39415772).

In Kuwait, the Indian Embassy has revised the working hours for CKGS centres for normal and emergency passport and visa-related services.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 2:31:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/indian-embassies-helping-nris-in-gulf-countries/article31185379.ece

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