New Delhi, The Union home ministry on Wednesday announced that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-Visa in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan.
The decision comes days after the government introduced a new category of visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc visa” for the Afghan nationals after the Taliban captured power in that country.
“Owing to the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and streamlining of the visa process by introduction of the ‘e-Emergency X-Misc visa’, it has been decided that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-Visa,” a home ministry statement said.
The home ministry also announced that keeping in view some reports that certain passports of Afghan nationals have been misplaced, previously issued visas to all Afghan nationals, who are presently not in India, stand invalidated with immediate effect.
“Afghan nationals wishing to travel to India may apply for e-Visa,” it said.
Officials said since Indian missions in Afghanistan are shut, the applications will be examined and processed in New Delhi.
The “e-Emergency X-Misc visa” will initially be valid for six months, they said. All Afghans, irrespective of their religion, can apply for the travel document.
Thousands of Afghans rushed into Kabul’s main airport after the fall of the city to the Taliban, some so desperate to escape the insurgents that they held onto a US military plane as it took off and plunged to their deaths.
India has evacuated all its embassy staff and several hundred Indians staying in Afghanistan. New Delhi has also evacuated many Afghans, including two MPs, Hindus and Sikhs who faced threats from the Taliban.
The Taliban have already enforced their rule over the capital of five million people after a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to dethrone the country’s Western-backed government in mid-August.