What is the Stapled Visa and why is it issued?
Generally, when you go abroad, immigration officer put a stamp on your passport so that it can be known that why are you visiting that country. But in case of Stapled Visa, the stamp is put on an additional paper instead of the passport of the traveller. This additional paper contains all the detail related to the trip of the Stapled Visa holder. So this additional paper is known as Stapled Visa.
Which countries issue stapled visa?
Stapled Visa is issued by many countries. These countries are; Cuba, Iran, Syria and North Korea. These countries used to issue Stapled Visa to the citizens of China and Vietnam, but after a mutual agreement between these countries this process is stopped.
China still issues stapled visa to the citizens of two Indian states i.e. Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir but China does not apply this policy to the residents of other states of India. Since China considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet and China has confiscated the territory of Tibet that is why China considers Arunachal Pradesh as a part of its country. China considers Arunachal Pradesh as its part, but people living in Arunachal Pradesh are not considered as the Chinese citizens. That is the reason China issues Stapled Visa to citizens of Arunachal Pradesh.
According to China, citizens of Arunachal Pradesh do not require a visa to travel to their own country i.e.China, but the area of Arunachal Pradesh comes under Indian possession, hence Stapled Visa or Nathi Visa issued for Arunachal people.
Why it is called Stapled Visa?
The main reason to say " Stapled Visa " is simply that the paper which is attached separately with a passport is stapled with the help of "stapler". That is why it is called Stapled visa.
Implications of issuance of Stapled Visa:
1. It is rule in the Stapled Visa that when an Stapled Visa holder passenger (such as Arunachal resident) wants to return to his home country after completing his work in China, then his stapled visa, entry and exit pass are torned off. The passport of the person traveling does not record any details of this trip which creates a security challenge for the administration of a country like India.
International Airports of India
2. A Stapled Visa does not leave a permanent trace on one's passport. If China leaves a permanent mark on a J&K citizen's passport. It implies that China is accepting that J&K is the territory of India, which China does not want to do.
3. If the Stapled Visa is issued for the citizen of India then it is a challenge for the Indian government that an enemy country considers the land of an "independent country" as its territory.
4. A country opposes the issuance of stapled visa because the visa issuing country may conspire against the country whose citizens are getting the Stapled Visa because stapled visa does not leave any proof of trip done by the stapled visa holder. The journey of Jammu and Kashmir's separatist leaders to China is strong evidence of the same. It is worthy to know that since 2009, China has started issuing visas to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
image source:India TV
The message from the Chinese Foreign Ministry for the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir is as follows:
"Since the Indian government keeps an eye on your foreign visits and after checking your passport the Government of India may come to know the detail of your trips to China. So the Indian government may ask you to explain the reason of your trip to China. Hence Chinese government has decided to issue stapled visa to you."
In summary, it can be said that the Stapled Visa Policy of China is a conspiracy to invite anti India elements in their country and conspire the strategy to divide the united India. Perhaps this is the reason that Indian government always criticised the Chinese government for issuing Stapled Visa to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.