Given the current situation in Afghanistan, Afghan citizens are desperately trying to flee the country. In a development, with the launch of a new category in e-visa by India, Afghans now have a new ray of hope. The home ministry on Tuesday has created a new e-visa category – the e-Emergency X-Miscellaneous visa that will allow Afghan nationals wanting to evacuate to India, to apply online.
As per the sources, the new type of visa is expected to benefit Afghan nationals that are stranded in Afghanistan and staring at the prospects of victimization and persecution by the Taliban. The e-visa will have an initial validity of six months and will be granted to the applicants only after security clearance.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Tuesday, “MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India.”
“India already provides X Miscellaneous category visa to foreigners whose purpose of entry into India does not match with any prescribed category. In the case of Afghanistan, the e-visa facility was not extended to the nationals of that country until now. However, since our mission is now shut in Afghanistan, people are being allowed to get online visas. All these applications, however, will first be cleared by security agencies,” the ministry added.
As per MHA’s visa policy, the visa for a purpose, which does not fall under any visa category, will be named ‘X-Misc’ Visa. This visa will be granted to foreign nationals for an appropriate duration.
The MHA policy document on X-Misc visa reads, “Such a visa may be granted only with single entry and for the specific duration taking into account the purpose of visit. 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.”
The new visa category named the ‘e-Emergency X-Miscellaneous visa’ has emerged as a ray of hope for those who are assumed to face persecution under the Taliban rule. For many, this visa will be ticket out of the hell-hole that Afghanistan is soon to become.
Those who claimed that the Modi government has been suppressing a particular community or religion need to see how Afghan citizens irrespective of their religion are being evacuated and accommodated by India while other countries have abandoned them.