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Minorities of Indian neighbours to be given 5-year visa now

“The central government has decided that henceforth the long-term visa will be granted initially by the Home Ministry for five years at a time on the specific recommendation of the state government or union territory administration instead of one year at present,” a Home Ministry statement said on Tuesday.

Powers have been delegated 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 neighbouring countries applying for long-term visa.
A time-line of one month for FRRO and FRO and 21 days for the state government and union territory administration has been fixed for processing of such applications.

Children of minority nationals from neighbouring countries staying on long-term visa can now take admission in schools, colleges, universities, technical and professional institutions without any specific permission from the state government or union territory administration, the statement said.

Only an intimation is to be given in this regard to FRRO or FRO concerned. The state governments and union territory administrations have also been empowered to grant permission to minority nationals from neighbouring countries staying on long-term visa to engage themselves in employment of purely private nature.

State governments and union territory administrations have now been empowered to grant a maximum of two additional places at any given point of time, in addition to the place of stay, grant of return visa for a maximum period of 90 days at a time and permission for change in mode of travel and port of exit in respect of minority nationals from neighbouring countries living in India on long-term visa or whose such proposal is under consideration.

The central government has been constantly reviewing the hardships faced by the applicants from the neighbouring countries especially the minorities in those countries for grant of Indian citizenship and long-term visa, the statement said.
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