Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said that 3,20,463 Kerala expatriates have registered on the online portal of NORKA (Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs) from Sunday to Wednesday, to return to their home state amidst the pandemic. Of this, over one lakh non-resident Indians (NRIs) have registered to return to the state due to job loss or for annual holiday.
Loss of job, annual holiday, expiry of visas and being released from jail are some of the reasons cited for returning home. The Chief Minister also said that there are 9,561 children and 9,515 pregnant women among the people who have registered with NORKA for this purpose.
According to the Chief Minister, the figures are expected to go up in the coming days.
As per the update till Wednesday evening, 56,114 people who lost jobs in foreign countries have made the request to fly back home by registering. Meanwhile, 58,823 people have registered to get back to their home state for their annual holiday, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
About 41,236 individuals whose visiting visa has expired, 23,975 people whose visa period got expired or dismissed, have registered to fly back to the state.
There are also about 2,448 students abroad who have completed their studies wanted to get back home. A total of 748 people, who were recently released from jails in foreign countries, have also registered on the portal. Meanwhile, over 1.8 lakh people who have expressed their wish to return to Kerala do not belong to any of the categories and are classified as others, said the Chief Minister.
Classifying the people as different visa holders, Pinarayi Vijayan said that about 2,23,624 people had been living in these countries on work or resident visa, 57,436 people on visiting visa, 20,219 persons with dependent visa and 691 individuals with a transit visa.
About 7,276 people are students among this, while 11,327 people are classified as others.
The state government on Wednesday opened the NORKA portal for those who are stranded in other Indian states.