Poorva Dixit and her husband Kaustubh Talathi pose for a photo with their children in San Francisco, California [Reuters]

In early March, Poorva Dixit rushed to buy a ticket to India from the United States, her home for more than a decade, after she learned her 72-year-old mother had fallen from her bed and was in critical condition.

She decided to leave her two young children and husband in California because of the risks of the novel coronavirus spreading around the world. Dixit and her husband are Indian nationals, their children are US citizens.

A software developer with a temporary permit to work in the US, Dixit knew that to return she would have to go to the US consulate in Mumbai to

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