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YouTuber Karl Rock Blacklisted From India For One Year, Visa Cancelled

Karl Rock and his wife. Photo posted by Rock on Twitter.

Karl Rock and his wife. Photo posted by Rock on Twitter.

In an response to Karl Rock's complaint, an MHA official confirmed he was banned for 'violating multiple visa norms, he was found doing business on a tourist visa.'

Popular YouTuber Karl Edward Rice, who goes by the name ‘Karl Rock’ on Friday alleged on social media that he has been barred from re-entering India. On his YouTube channel, Rock posted a video sharing that the Indian government had allegedly blacklisted him and blocked his entry to the country. His wife, an Indian national who lives in Delhi, has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the move. On Friday, Rock uploaded a YouTube video titled ‘Why I haven’t seen my wife in 269 days’, where he claimed he has been separated from his wife and in-laws because he was blacklisted by the Indian government.

Rock is a New Zealand national and visa holder who is married to an Indian national, Manisha Malik, since 2019 and resided in Delhi’s Pitampura till October 2020. Along with his YouTube video, Karl also started a change.org petition. “I left India to go travel Dubai and Pakistan in October 2020 and upon leaving they cancelled my visa at the airport. They wouldn’t tell me why. So in Dubai I applied for a new visa. They called me in for a meeting and told me I had been blacklisted and therefore they couldn’t issue me a visa to go home," he writes in the petition. He adds that he wasn’t given a notice for the reason of his blacklist. “Before someone is added to the Blacklist they’re meant to be given the reason, and time to reply. I wasn’t."

In response to Rock’s complaint, an MHA official confirmed to ANI that the YouTuber was indeed barred - for violating the terms of his visa, which included “violating multiple visa norms, he was found doing business on a tourist visa, he is barred for one year, his visa is cancelled."

Being married to an Indian national, Rock was issued an X-2 visa, meant for spouses and children of Indian nationals, which was valid till 2024. One of the conditions of the visa was that he had to exit India every 180 days or intimate the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) concerned. His last entry into India was in November 2019, reports Indian Express.

While Rock was exiting India to travel to Dubai and Pakistan in October 2020, his visa was cancelled at the Delhi Airport. In Dubai, he applied for a new visa and was then called to the Indian High Commission and informed that he had been blacklisted.

Rock had shot to popularity in Indian audiences when last year, he had donated plasma earlier for Covid-19 patients in India. Even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted about Karl, saying that he set an example for many. “Karl Rock, a New Zealand origin Delhiite donated plasma at Delhi govt’s plasma bank. You must watch his video about his experience. I am sure this will encourage many more to come forward to donate their plasma and help save lives," Kejriwal had tweeted in July.

Karl Rock has been residing in India for the last few years, has thousands of followers and travels to different cities of India, exploring their nooks and crannies.

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first published:July 10, 2021, 10:53 IST