Panaji, Nov 1: Here’s relief for those hundreds of thousands from the Goan diaspora settled around the world.
A move by the union ministry of home affairs (MHA) to streamline the overseas citizen of India (OCI) process will now ensure that those settled abroad can now visit their home state without going through the rigmarole of Delhi’s bureaucracy.
“The MHA has now delegated the powers to grant OCI status to foreign citizens at the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Goa,” a Goa government spokesperson said Thursday.
The Goa government has been lobbying for streamlining of the OCI card process, even as the office of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Commission for Goa had received several complaints about hardships faced by the non-resident Goans.
Former NRI commissioner Eduardo Faleiro had also petitioned the home ministry on several occasions to delegate the powers of granting OCI to a central authority located in Goa.
“Goan NRIs has to go through horrors dealing with the bureaucracy in Delhi, very often making special trips for the OCI purpose alone,” Faleiro said.
“The OCI card will help NRIs, especially the elderly ones, to settle down permanently in Goa on the strength of their OCI status. And they can do it in Goa,” Faleiro said.
Thousands of Goans have migrated to foreign countries, especially, the Middle East, Canada, Australia and Europe.