Dubai: Indian expats, whose children are stranded back home in India, are urging UAE authorities to issue them visit visas to return to the UAE during a special arrangement for flights between the two countries, which lasts until July 26.
India is currently not on the list of countries from which passengers are eligible to secure visit visas.
Indian parents, who spoke to Gulf News, urged the UAE Embassy in New Delhi to take up their humanitarian cases to the immigration authorities in the UAE and help them with special permission to bring their children home.
Dubai resident and a single mother, Varsha Nitin Adani said her daughter Pankti, who is studying architecture in Manipal Academy of Higher Education in Karnataka, is struggling alone and needs a visit visa to join her mother here immediately.
“Since my husband’s death three years ago, my daughter used to come to the UAE on visit visa. I got her visit visa on March 15. But the lockdown happened and the college closed on March 18 and they said the exams will happen online. Now my daughter is alone in the room as her roommate left for Bangalore to return to the UAE,” Adani told Gulf News.
She said she had approached an Amer Centre and realised that the visit visa was cancelled automatically after the COVID-19 developments and new visit visas are not being issued to passengers from India.
“I am very much worried about my daughter. I want to bring her here on one of the special flights that are operating until July 26. I hope authorities will help me get a visit visa for my daughter,” said the concerned mother.
Hostel converted into quarantine centre
Another resident, Dheerendra Patil, said he has been desperately trying to bring back his son who just finished his engineering course and had to move out of the hostel since it has been converted into a quarantine centre in India.
“My son studied until 12th grade in The Indian High School Dubai.
“He went to NIT Surathkal for mechanical engineering. He was on resident visa till last year and as I shifted my job, I had cancelled his visa,” said Patil.
“Now he has completed the engineering course and wants to be back home. He needs a visit visa and an approval to board the repatriation flights. He is staying with his friend as his hostel is converted into a quarantine shelter. Since he is now 22 years, I cannot get a residence visa for him. We request the government to issue visit visas on humanitarian grounds.”
Patil said when he called an Amer Centre he was asked to apply for visit visa through any travel agency.
“When I contacted travel agencies, they informed me that the immigration department is not approving visit visa if the person is coming from India. If the same individual is coming from the UK, they would get a visit visa. This is not possible for everyone. So, we request the authorities to issue visit visa for allowing children like my son to be with their families.”
Boarding school closed
Sharjah resident Deepak Kumar Khare said he and his son Vedant, who studies in The Scindia School in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, had been stuck in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh for four months.
“I am on investor visa and have ICA permission to return. But my son, who studies in ninth grade here, needs a visa to enter the country. I have to fly back to the UAE at the earliest as my wife and younger son are alone in Sharjah and they are having difficulties in managing thigs,” said Khare.
He appealed to the authorities to help him get either a visit visa or a new entry permit for residence visa for his son.
“I have spoken to my free zone. They said they are not issuing any entry permit to anyone outside the country. My son’s boarding school will not open till January 21 and I cannot leave him here and go to the UAE,” he said over phone from India.
He said he had heard that the UAE Embassy in New Delhi would consider humanitarian cases to allow special permission for Indians to return to the UAE and urged the mission to consider issuing permission for students like his son stranded in India. However, he said he could not connect with anyone at the embassy.