India has tightened visa approval norms for Pakistan-born US citizens by making it mandatory for such applications to be cleared by New Delhi and is also mulling similar action on American nationals born in China, Afghanistan and Iran.
The step comes in the wake of the FBI foiling an LeT plot to use Chicago resident David Coleman Headley to target Indian facilities.
Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had recently issued instructions saying all applications for Indian visa from Pakistani-born US nationals would be processed and cleared by New Delhi instead of its missions in America.
In New Delhi, Home Ministry officials said similar action is likely to be taken on American citizens born in countries like China, Afghanistan and Iran.
The measure has been taken in view of the unearthing of the Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) plot, in which the Pakistan-based terror group was planning to use Pakistan-born Headley, 49, to launch major terror attacks in India.
FBI investigations have revealed that the National Defence College in Delhi, five star hotels in key tourists locations were among the LeT targets.
American citizens have been having easy access to Indian visa because of the good relationship between the two countries. Besides, Indian embassy in Washington, its consulates in New York, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco issue Indian visas.
All the Indian missions in the US have now been directed to adhere to the new instructions in this regard from New Delhi.
Around eight lakh Americans visit India every year.