Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh now open to Bangladeshi visitors
- A Monitor Report 22 Nov, 2018 | 2577 Views|-+
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan opens the IVAC centre on July 14, 2018
DHAKA: Bangladeshi tourists can now apply at Indian Visa Application Centres (IVAC) to secure unrestricted access to Indian states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, the northern-most state of the country, and Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian High Commission in a press statement said beginning this November 22, IVACs across Bangladesh will accept applications for additional route endorsements on valid visas.
Sikkim is a place in northeast India while Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, those were among the places where foreign tourists were restricted.
Previously, Bangladeshis had to seek permission from New Delhi to visit those places, but most were denied.
India is the number one destination for Bangladeshi tourists. Last year, about 1.4 million visas were granted from Bangladesh, according to the high commission. This year, the figure will be even higher, it said.
IVAC has introduced an application form to give permit to those who want to visit those restricted places.
In order to visit those places, a Bangladeshi citizen with a valid Indian visa will need to download the special endorsement application from Indian High Commission website and submit it at IVACs.
The new Indian visa centre located at the Jamuna Future Park is known as the world’s largest visa centre. An official of the State Bank of India which is operating the centre said they are working to get it listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
A diplomat at Indian High Commission in Dhaka said, “Yes, we have lifted the restrictions and Bangladeshis now can access those places through a special endorsement on their valid Indian visa.”
A maximum of three days might be needed to process and approve the application, the diplomat added.
The high commission in Dhaka or the Assistant High Commissions in Chattogram, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Khulna will no longer accept those applications.
The IVACs will have separate counters for the purpose and will charge BDT 300 processing fee for each application.
An applicant can request additional two routes, in addition to existing 24 international airports and Gede or Haridaspur rail and road routes.
The forms are available on the website of the High Commission of India (https://www.hcidhaka.gov.in/pdf/endorsementofportapplicationform.pdf) and the Indian Visa Application Centres (http://www.ivacbd.com/Other-Forms)