Granting visa process liberalised for minorities from three nations

In a bid to curb corruption and money extortion involved in "Visa extension, Visa transfer and grant of Citizenship in India" for minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afganistan, the Home Ministry has come up with liberalised process for granting long-term visas (LTVs) to them.

Under the initiative the security clearance time limit of applicants has been reduced from 45 days to 21 days. An application is forwarded to three agencies for verification - 1) State government, 2) Intelligence Bureau and the 3) Home Ministry. State governments has to pass the application within 21 days, otherwise the application will be deemed to be cleared.

Visa facility for persecuted Hindus from Pakistan was started in 2011 and further liberalised in 2014.

What is Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2015 ?

In 2015, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Afghanistan nationals who came to India on or December 31, 2014 and belonging to the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian and Jain communities got concessions from the government regarding their stay in India without proper documents or expiry of documents. These persons were also allowed to register properties and take up employment in all Indian states except Assam.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2015 was proposed to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.

The bill was strongly opposed in Assam saying, the move will pave the way for granting citizenship to illegal Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh in Assam and that is in violation of the Assam Accord, 1985.

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