Indian Embassy in US calls for registration of Indian Citizens to be transported back to India
Almost 200,000 Indians have registered with the country’s missions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for repatriation flights that will begin operating from May 7, with officials saying priority would be given to workers who have lost jobs and people with medical emergencies.
The Indian government had on Monday announced it would begin repatriating Indians stranded around the world because of the Covid-19 crisis from May 7 and authorities said naval ships and chartered flights would bring back hundreds of thousands of people in phases.
“Given that the Embassy/Consulate have received almost 200,000 registrations for travelling back, it will take time for all people to be accommodated on these flights,” said a statement issued by the Indian consulate in Dubai late on Monday.
The first two special flights from the UAE to India will operate from Abu Dhabi to Kochi and from Dubai to Kozhikode on Thursday, the statement said. “The passenger lists for both these flights will be finalised by the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, and the Consulate General of India, Dubai, on the basis of registrations in the…database for this purpose launched a few days back,” it added.
The statement said priority would be given to “workers in distress, elderly people, urgent medical cases, pregnant women as well as to other people who are stranded in difficult situations”.
The cost of tickets and other facilities, such as quarantine after reaching India, would be “conveyed in due course and will have to be accepted by each passenger”, the statement said.
However, experts from the UAE’s aviation and travel industries indicated to Gulf News that the cost of a ticket on the special flights would be almost double the price of a normal ticket for this time of the year.
“A one-way repatriation ticket to Delhi will cost approximately Dh 1,400-Dh 1,650 – this would earlier have cost between Dh 600-Dh 700 [during these months],” said Jamal Abdulnazar, CEO of Cozmo Travel.
“A one-way repatriation flight ticket to Kerala would cost approximately Dh 1,900-Dh 2,300,” he said.
Gulf News reported that price could be a burden for a majority of people taking these flights because they had “either lost their jobs or are sending back their families because of uncertainty on the work front”. The aviation and travel industry experts said the higher rates couldn’t be avoided because social distancing norms would limit the number of passengers on each flight.
Indian ambassador Pavan Kapoor told the daily that the missions in the UAE had “prioritised the list of passengers and given it to Air India”. He added, “We would call and email each passenger to contact Air India to get their tickets issued. The first two flights on Thursday would be to Kerala, considering the high number of applicants from the state.”
One of the three Indian Navy ships that set off on Monday night to evacuate stranded Indians – INS Shardul – will go to Dubai to bring back expatriates, the defence ministry said. The other two warships – INS Jalashwa and INS Magar – were sent to the Maldives. All three warships will return to Kochi.
Kapoor also said there would be flights almost on a daily basis to various destinations in India. Other officials said Indians stranded in the UAE with visit and tourist visas and those with cancelled visas would also be given preference for returning home.
The Indian missions in the UAE will convey details of further flights to different destinations in India in the coming days. “We seek patience and cooperation from everyone as the Government of India undertakes this massive task of repatriation of Indian nationals,” the statement said.
The UAE is home to more than two million Indian expatriates. Their welfare figured in a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed on March 26.
Transport from USA
As per the press release issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on 4 May 2020, Government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in phased a manner. Details may be seen at Click Here
The purpose of this form is only to collect relevant information for planning purposes by the Government of India. The Embassy/Consulate will inform you about the commencement of flights from US to India. Incomplete forms will not be considered.
In case of any flights arranged from the U.S. to India, one must agree to:
- Undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, on my arrival in India as per the protocols framed by the Government of India;
- Bear the expenditure of travel and mandatory quarantine for self and family members;
- Abide by the instructions and requirements as detailed by the crew of the flight/Embassy or Consulate/Government of India/ medical personnel before, during and after boarding of the flight, and also after disembarkation at the designated airport in India; and
- Submit the undertaking as provided at (Download Undertaking Form), to authorized Embassy/ Consulate staff before boarding the flight.
- Register on the Aarogya Setu App on reaching destination
In order to register online, please apply online at: https://indianembassyusa.gov.in/reg_indian_nationals