India makes e-Visa must for Afghan nationals, all previous visas invalidated

Updated on Aug 25, 2021 01:45 PM IST

Previously issued visas to all Afghan nationals stand invalidated with immediate effect, the government declared.

Afghan nationals at the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul (File Photo / REUTERS)
Afghan nationals at the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul (File Photo / REUTERS)
Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Centre on Wednesday said all Afghan nationals must travel to India only on an e-Visa owing to the evolving security situation in Afghanistan. The government said that the introduction of the e-Emergency X-Misc visa has streamlined the application process, thus it has been decided to make the e-Visa mandatory for all Afghan nationals coming to India.

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Previously issued visas to all Afghan nationals, not presently in India, stand invalid with immediate effect, the government declared. It added that the decision was taken keeping in view reports that surfaced, indicating that certain passports of Afghan nationals have been misplaced.

For Afghan nationals who wish to travel to India, an official release issued by the ministry of external affairs pointed to the authorised visa application portal of the Indian government.

"Afghan nationals wishing to travel to India may apply for e-Visa at www.indianvisaonline.gov.in," the government release stated.

India introduced the new category of e-Visa earlier this month for Afghan nationals to streamline and fast-track the application process for their entry into India.

“MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan," the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) said in a statement this month, adding, that "a new category of electronic visa called 'e-Emergency X-Misc Visa' introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India.”

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Foreign nationals applying for a visa on a purpose that is not specifically covered under any other existing visa category may be granted the 'X-Misc' visa for an appropriate duration, according to the home ministry's visa policy.

“Such a visa may be granted only with a single entry and for the specific duration, taking into account the purpose of visit," the MHA policy document on the X-Misc visa reads. "If the visa is granted for a period of stay exceeding 180 days, the foreigner will have to register himself/ herself with the FRRO/ FRO concerned within 14 days of arrival. This visa will be non-extendable and non-convertible to any other type of visa.”

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