Union Government on 16 December 2014 announced that members of the minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will be given five years visa as part of government's effort to address their grievances and accord citizenship in future. Earlier, they were granted one-year visa.
• The long-term visa for five years will be issued initially by the Home Ministry on the specific recommendation of the state government or union territory administration.
• The government also delegated powers to Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) and Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) concerned to grant extension for a period up to six months on the short-term visa of the minority nationals from neighboring countries applying for long-term visa. Earlier, they had power to extend the visa for maximum three months.
• Also, for processing such applications, a time-line of one month for FRRO and FRO and 21 days for the state government and union territory administration has been fixed.
• These long-term visas will allow children of minority nationals from neighbouring countries to stay in India and take admission in schools, colleges, universities, technical and professional institutions.
• They also will not require any specific permission from the state government or union territory administration for the admission. Only intimation is to be given in this regard to FRRO or FRO concerned.
• Minority nationals from neighbouring countries staying in India on long-term visa can also engage themselves in employment of purely private nature, as the state governments and union territory administrations have also been empowered to grant permission to them.
Who: Union Government
When: 16 December 2014