October 03, 2020

Overseas Citizens, Diaspora and the Processes they Follow to get Back Home to their Country of origin

By Sona Mathews

Living in an age with airfare that is significantly lower than the previous decades allowed a lot more people to travel from one part of the world to another.

These changes lead to many more opportunities, whether it meant finding new work, traveling for business to open companies in two countries, or just allowing better, faster and smoother coordination between countries.

The changes seen were immense, allowing a lot of people to leave their countries and work abroad.

Overseas Citizens, Diaspora and the Processes they Follow to get Back Home to their Country of origin: eAskme
Overseas Citizens, Diaspora and the Processes they Follow to get Back Home to their Country of origin: eAskme

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With time these changes lead to people migrating for better prospects while traveling home whenever they got the chance.

Now countries had to create new rules for people who were citizens of one country but working in another, or people who were nationals in another country but had family in the first.

When it comes to countries and their diasporas, Bangladesh has one of the largest diasporas in the world with a very high number of people leaving the country and going to other countries in search of work.

The Bangladeshi diaspora consists of people of Bangladeshi descent who immigrated or were born in another country.

According to their statistics, the first generation migrants may have moved abroad from Bangladesh for multiple reasons with the primary reason for the largest number of them was finding better job opportunities.

Furthermore, others moved for better living conditions, to escape poverty, better financial conditions, or to send money back to families in Bangladesh.

The annual remittances received in Bangladesh were 15.4 billion dollars as of 2015.

For the sake of traveling out of the country, whether for a short trip or to immigrate Bangladeshi people need a passport.

The Bangladesh Department of Immigration and Passports issues these documents, and they are valid in all countries except Israel.

Furthermore, most of the passports holders, immigrating to other countries, do make trips back home since they rarely migrate with their entire family but alone and send the money back home to support their people.
For people to be a part of another country, they usually surrender their passports and accept  those of the other country.

While this is not a requirement, there are several benefits that they could be missing out on, if they stay holding on to the passport of another country.

However, one of the positives of Bangladesh is that it permits dual citizenship under limited circumstances.

Citizens of the United States, UK, Australia, Canada, and Europe of Bangladeshi origin may apply for a Dual Nationality Certificate.

The dual nationality certificate makes it legal to possess a Bangladeshi passport in addition to a foreign passport.

Those eligible for a Dual Nationality Certificate can apply for it through a local consulate or embassy. 

Those in Bangladesh can apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka.

Until recently, Bangladesh was not using the passport protocols followed around the world and were providing their handwritten passports. In 2010, the Government of Bangladesh announced a plan to replace more than 6.6 million handwritten passports, with new bio-metric machine-readable ones, also called the MRP passport.

Since there were a large number of Bangladeshi people traveling around the world, following the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Bangladesh government started issuing machine-readable passports (MRP) and machine-readable visas (MRV) in April 2010.

However, they did not cancel the already issued, traditional handwritten documents and honored them as bona fide Bangladesh government-issued travel documents until their expiration date.

All traditional handwritten passports were successfully withdrawn from circulation before ICAO's international deadline of November 2015.

Even the initially stamped visas improved to create the new machine-readable Bangladesh visa.

These were a lot easier to coordinate when traveling through airports since they could be marked out easily.

Furthermore, the new system reduced the number of fake passports and visas out there, since there were a lot more security features added, making the process a lot easier.

Unlike Bangladesh, the Indian constitution does not support dual citizenship, so the rules vary when dealing with Indians immigrants in countries.

People from India have to surrender their passport when they are in another country if they are planning on becoming citizens of that country.

However, after a lot of negotiation that people had with the Indian Government, they implemented changes and are allowing people with foreign passports, who can prove their roots in India, to apply for an OCI card.
The OCI card is a document that allows people who are not from the country to have a few rights when they travel to India.

Most importantly, having an OCI card allows people, without an Indian passport but a foreign one, to travel to India without a visa, and they do not have to keep applying for a visa either.

Additionally, they can stay in the country for as long as they want and leave whenever they want. The OCI card only expires when their passport does, and they would have to reapply for the OCI card again, post renewing their passport.

To make a simple process, applicants can apply for an OCI card online and can coordinate with the various Indian missions around the world.

Otherwise, they can choose to handle the process when they travel and visit India.

The websites make the entire process easier and allow people to get through the process without having to leave their houses, which is a blessing while in the middle of a pandemic since people can download the O CI application at their convenience and get through it.

Furthermore, coordinating with the Indian missions abroad are not a challenge since they are easy to get through.

In case of any questions, feel free to ask me via comments.

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