Wednesday, January 27, 2021

US citizen stranded in Dubai given 'exceptional entry' to India to attend dad's funeral

Dubai: An American national of Indian origin, who was transiting via Dubai International Airport (DXB), to attend his father’s funeral back home, was granted an exceptional entry to India because of the tragic circumstances amid the raging novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

However, Naresh Ram, a US resident since 1996, was left stranded at DXB for over 48 hours.

Ram had left his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, immediately after he learnt of his father’s death at night last Thursday.

He reached DXB the following day since he wasn’t allowed to board the Bengaluru-bound flight because of the restrictions.

Rules stipulate that foreign nationals such as Ram and tourist visa-holders aren’t allowed entry into India because of the country’s stringent Covid-19 protocols.

At present, only Indian nationals, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders, and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders are allowed entry to the country.

Ram, who didn’t tick any of these boxes, had applied for a tourist visa prior to his departure from New York. But the Indian consulate in New York didn’t give approval for a tourist visa.

Ram went ahead with his trip since US nationals don’t need a visa to enter Dubai or any other emirates in the UAE.

The Consulate General of India in Dubai considered Ram’s case on humanitarian grounds and swung into action.

Ram flew to Bengaluru on Monday morning on the same Emirates Airlines' ticket after being stranded for over 48 hours.

27/01/21 DHanusha Gukulan/Khaleej Times

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