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Easy visas, closer ties

India announce 'streamlining' of visa regulations for Chinese businessmen and professionals, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 01:22 IST

India has offered a bouquet to Chinese businessmen and professionals — coinciding with President Hu’s visit— in a bid to boost trade and intellectual exchange.

India on Monday announced “streamlining” of visa regulations for Chinese businessmen and professionals. The new guidelines will “Chinese business people to stay relatively longer for bonafide purposes,” a Union home ministry spokesman said. “The new provisions will ensure easier movement and stay of Chinese business people, professionals and their dependents in India,” the official added. Last month, New Delhi had spoken about its decision to issue a modified set of guidelines for visa to Chinese nationals, but held on to the details of the new regime. The formal announcement on modifications to the China-specific visa regime was made on Monday to address “complaints” from Beijing that Delhi’s visa policy was unfair to Chinese nationals. India denied “discrimination” and insisted through the debate “over security concerns associated with Chinese investment and visa regime that the government did not intend to target investments from a particular country.”

“Business visas of six-months’ multiple entry can be extended in India, on merit, up to a year,” the home ministry spokesperson said. Similarly, business visa of 60 days can be extended up to 180 days and the entry can be increased from single to multiple in India, on merit. Employment visas for Chinese nationals can also be extended on a yearly-basis for a maximum of five years provided the foreign national concerned keeps his job and is not accused of “adverse activity”.

Dependents of the employment visa-holders will get ‘X’ visa co-terminus with the duration of the visa of the principal holder.


First Published: Nov 21, 2006 01:22 IST