Afghan nationals must travel to India only on e-visa: Govt
Keeping in view some reports that certain passports of Afghan nationals have been misplaced, previously issued visas to all Afghan nationals, who are presently not in India, stand invalidated
All Afghan nationals must travel to India only on e-visa, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday.
"Owing to the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and streamlining of the visa process by introducing the e-Emergency X-Misc visa, it has been decided that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-visa", the MHA said in a statement.
Earlier, the Centre had announced that it would "facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan" and said Hindus and Sikhs from the country will be given priority.
Keeping in view some reports that certain passports of Afghan nationals have been misplaced, previously issued visas to all Afghan nationals, who are presently not in India, stand invalidated with immediate effect, said the MHA.
Afghan nationals wishing to travel to India may apply for e-visa at www.indianvisaonline.gov.in, the Ministry added in the statement.
In view of the prevailing critical condition in Afghanistan, the MHA on August 17 had decided to issue the "e-Emergency X-Misc Visa" to fast-track applications of Afghans who have been willing to come to India.
Under this category of visa, the applications of Afghanis are processed quickly so that they can visit India at earliest.
However, the Centre is yet to clarify what will happen after this validity period expires. India does not have a refugee policy and grants shelter to foreigners facing persecution in their countries on a case-to-case basis.
After the Taliban taking full control of Afghanistan on August 15, many Afghan nationals have been fleeing the war-torn country.
Hundreds of visa applications have been coming up at the 'Afghanistan Cell' set up in the Ministry of External Affairs as the Indian Embassy was closed on August 17 as most of the personnel were evacuated from Kabul, while all the Consulates were already closed a month ago.