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India’s New liberalised Visa policy for Afghans

Afghan nationals will soon be allowed to stay in India on visa/resident permit up to 2 years at a time.

“The Government is introducing a new liberal visa policy for Afghan nationals to stay in India on humanitarian grounds for two years with effect from July 01, 2014. The new policy further streamlines procedures being implemented in the current visa policy for citizens of Afghanistan,” said a Home Ministry release here on Monday.

As per the broad elements of the policy, Afghan nationals may be allowed to stay in India on stay visa/resident permit up to two years at a time and exemption from police reporting will be granted for Afghan nationals, up to the age of 12 years or those above 65 years of age.

Also, there would be liberal provisions in relation to exemption from the requirement of police reporting under various categories, including for Afghan students, medical patients, short-term visitors, businessmen, scholars, eminent persons etc., the release added.

“The amenities at Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Delhi, have been upgraded for the Afghan nationals visiting FRRO office. A system of biometric enrolment and photography would be introduced to ensure that such facilities are not misused by unscrupulous elements,” the release added.

While many Afghans come to India for studies and medical treatment, a large number of them are displaced people. According to UN refugee agency UNHCR, which conducts registration and refugee status determination, mostly for arrivals from Afghanistan and Myanmar, there are over 24,000 refugees who are protected and assisted in India.

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