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India announces new liberal visa policy for Afghans

New Delhi : India Monday announced a new liberal visa policy for Afghan nationals who will now be allowed to stay in the country on humanitarian grounds for two years.

According to a home ministry release, the new policy further streamlines procedures being implemented in the current visa policy for citizens of Afghanistan. The new policy will be implemented from July 1.

Under the policy, the government may allow Afghan nationals to stay in India on stay visa/resident permit up to two years at a time.

“Exemption from police reporting will be granted for Afghan nationals up to two years or those above 65 years of age,” the release said.

It said there would be liberal provisions concerning exemption from police reporting for categories such as Afghan students, medical patients, short-term visitors, businessmen, scholars and eminent people.

The release said that the amenities at the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Delhi have been upgraded for Afghan nationals.

It said that a system of biometric enrolment and photography would be introduced to ensure that such facilities were not misused by unscrupulous elements.