GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

In the wake of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban have seized power, India has introduced a new category of e-visa for Afghan nationals to fast-track their applications for entry into India. These visas will be valid for six months only and will be granted only after security clearance.

What

  1. 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, a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on 17 August 2021.
  2. The visa is being granted to facilitate the stay of Afghan nationals fleeing Afghanistan for six months in India. There is no clarity yet on what will happen after this validity period expires. India does not have a refugee policy and grants shelter to foreigners facing persecution in their countries on a case-to-case basis.
  3. India already provides X Miscellaneous category visa to foreigners whose purpose of entry into India does not match with any prescribed category.
  4. 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, home ministry said.
  5. According to MHA’s visa policy, foreign nationals applying for a visa for a purpose, which is not specifically covered under any visa category, may be granted ‘X-Misc’ Visa for appropriate duration.
  6. X-Misc visas are granted in general either independently or in conjunction with other visa categories such as to a dependent child of a medical visa applicant.