Washington: At least 16 Indian-Americans with valid OCI cards, headed to New Delhi from the US, experienced some anxious moments at the John F Kennedy airport on Sunday as the national carrier Air India was unable to process their boarding passes since they were not carrying their old cancelled passports, officials said.
As per the new temporary rules, which they were unaware of, these passengers were required to carry their old cancelled passport whose number is mentioned in their Overseas Citizens of India card.
Under provisions of the OCI card, which gives the cardholder lifelong visa to India, those below 20 years and above 50 years need to renew their OCI card every time they have their passport renewed.
Early this month, the provision has been relaxed till June 30, 2020, but the concerned OCI cardholders have been asked to carry their old passport with them to fly to India. However, not many OCI cardholders are aware of these new rules, officials said.
While all of these Indian-American passengers were carrying a valid OCI card, they did not have along with them their old passports.
Among the 16 Indian-Americans briefly stranded at the airport included Somesh Khanna, who co-leads McKinsey's global banking and securities practice, who was flying First-Class on board Air India along with his family.
With less than 30 minutes for the Air India counter at the JFK airport to close down, these 16 passengers, through Milliendrid Thivalapali, an Air India employee, reached out to Prem Bhandari, a community activist, and sorted out the matter.