Kerala: US man moves high court to settle down in Kerala, says ‘I don't want to go back’
Many migrant workers stayed back in Kerala after the coronavirus pandemic broke out, believing that they are safe in the state. Now a US citizen has moved the Kerala high court seeking to convert his tourist visa into a business visa without having to leave the country.
Kochi: A 74-year-old US citizen has moved the Kerala high court seeking conversion of his tourist visa into a business visa. He wants to spend the rest of his life in God's Own Country.
Johnny Paul Pierce has been staying in Kerala for the past five months.
According to a New Indian Express report, he said that the easiest way to become a resident is to marry an Indian, but he is 74 and probably past that option. He added that his aspiration is to show a viable business model and get a five-year business visa.
Johnny is planning to set up a centre for foreigners and explore the tourism potential in Kerala. He added that he could recruit residents from the USA. Those who could afford to stay long term are generally the retired folks who are at the risk of contracting the virus in the USA.
Johnny reached India on February 26. This is his fifth visit to India as a tourist. The guidelines of the Indian government permit continuous stay for only 180 days for foreigners on tourist visas. His 180 days will expire on August 24.
The US citizen cannot apply for conversion of his tourist visa into a business visa without leaving the country. It is risky for him to travel at this age to the US. He also doesn't want to go back and would like to live in Kerala peacefully.