Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai on Tuesday said that 26,786 Long Term Visa (LTV) have been granted to foreigners.
Among them includes 25,782 from the minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, who came to India from January 2015 to December 2019.
He said in the Lok Sabha that LTV is granted to the people coming from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan on valid travel documents i.e. valid passport and valid visa, and seeking permanent settlement in India with a view to acquiring Indian citizenship.
He said that LTV is being given to members of minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.
“LTV is given Bangladesh and Pakistan women married to Indian nationals and staying in India, or Afghanistan nationals married to Indian nationals in India and staying in India,” he said.
“LTV is also given to Indian origin women holding Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan nationality married to Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan nationals and returning to India due to widowhood, divorce and having no male members to support them in these countries are given LTV,” he added.
Rai also informed the House that the Government has extended various facilities to such persons living in India on LTV.
These include a grant of LTV for a period of 5 years at a time, allowing children of such LTV holders to take admission in schools, colleges, universities, technical/professional institutions etc. without any specific permission from the State Government/UT Administration.
“They are also permitted to engage in employment in the private sector, purchase of dwelling unit & accommodation for carrying out self-employment, Re-entry (Return Visa) to go to their native country/third country, allowing free movements within the State/UT, reduction of penalty on non-extension of LTV on time, the opening of bank accounts, issuance of Driving License, PAN card and Aadhaar number etc,” Rai said.
The Minister also stated that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 facilitates the grant of citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, and who have been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule/order made there-under.