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Monday, July 31, 2017

Chennai immigration officials have not allowed 19 UK citizens entry in the country

Chennai immigration officials have not allowed a team of 19 UK citizens (16 ‎students & 3 children) entry in the country. The group was part of a ‎programme under which UK children support underprivileged children, ‎through monetary and 'in kind' donations and also interacting with children ‎through painting murals & other constructive work for about a day. Their other ‎part of activities included sight-seeing in the city and nearby villages. ‎

However immigration authorities decided that this was working in the NGO ‎and their tourist visa, which the group was holding, did not allow the same. ‎They deported the entire group. ‎

Infact this has implications for a number of NGOs, whose programmes often ‎include visits / internship / exchange programmes by foreigners in their field ‎areas. ‎

India basically has issues tourist visa, business visa & Employment visa. A ‎person who comes to India to work for an NGO needs to apply for an ‎Employment Visa, even if it is on honorary basis. ‎

In the present case, where idea was for UK school children to interact with ‎children at a children's Home, it seems to be a case of overkill, but is a lesson ‎for all NGOs to be careful when inviting foreigners in their offices / workplace. ‎

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