New Delhi, Aug 16: The Centre is actively considering granting multiple entry long-term visas to Bangladeshi tiols.
“A proposal to grant multiple entry long-term Tourist Visa for a period of 5 years to Bangladeshi tiols above 65 years age is under consideration in consultation with all stakeholders. Concerns of the stakeholders including the State governments and security agencies will be duly considered before taking a fil decision in the matter,” said a top Home Ministry official.
State governments of Assam and West Bengal are reportedly opposing such a move of giving long term visa to Bangladeshi tiols, apprehending more influx from across the border.
“Whatever decision we take, it will be after full consultations with concerned state governments as well as the security agencies,” the official said.
The official, however, ruled out any possibility of giving free entry to Bangladeshi tiols. “There is no proposal to grant visa-free entry to Bangladeshi tiols under the age of 18 years and above the age of 65 years,” the official said.
Presently, e-Tourist Visa scheme is available to tiols of 150 countries at 16 intertiol airports in India. Inclusion of more countries in e-Tourist Visa scheme is a continuous process which is done after due consultation with stakeholders.
Being aware of the development that took place after the Central government’s decision to give refugee status to Hindu migrants coming from Bangladesh and Pakistan, India’s Home Ministry is seriously examining all options before taking a fil call on the visa issue.
Getting easy and long-term visa has long been a demand of Dhaka. On several occasions, officials of Bangladesh government had raised the issue with their Indian counterparts.