All Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders will need special permission from the central government if they want to take up any journalistic, missionary or 'Tabligh' activities in the country.
As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday, March 5, the OCI cardholder will now need to seek permission from the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to take up any research work, an internship in any foreign missions or to take up employment in any foreign diplomatic missions in India, or if they need to visit areas designated as restricted or protected by the central government.
According to the new rules, OCI cardholders are entitled to get multiple entry lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose excluding the activities of research and to undertake any missionary, Tabligh or journalistic activities.
The OCI cardholders are free from registration with the FRRO or Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) for any length of stay in India but they have to inform them via email whenever there is a change in their permanent residential address and occupation.
The Hindu reported, "They have parity with Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in airfares in domestic sectors in India, entry fees to be charged for visiting national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India."
They will be treated the same as non-resident Indians when it comes to inter-country adoption of Indian children and appearing for all-India competitive exams like NEET, JEE; purchase or sale of immovable properties other than agricultural land or farmhouse or plantation property and for pursuing professions like doctors, nurses, architect or chartered accountants."
'Tablighi Jamaat' members had faced tremendous criticism for purportedly defying government guidelines issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Over 2,500 Tablighi Jamaat members were found residing at the organisation's headquarters in Delhi.
As many as 233 foreign Tablighi members were arrested for violations of visa rules and many of them got blacklisted by putting a ban on their future visit to India.