10 lakh Bangladeshis get Indian visas in 8 months last year
Visa applications had increased further at the last end of 2022, an Indian visa centre official saysPhoto: UNB
With the easing of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic on the use of land ports, including for tourist visas at the end-March last year, travel volumes to India from Bangladesh have started increasing to pre-pandemic levels.
Over 10 lakh Bangladeshis received Indian visas, including 2.73 lakh medical visas, in eight months last year (from January to November) for travelling to the neighbouring country, according to the data provided by the Indian High Commission, Dhaka.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, India had issued over 16 lakh visas to Bangladeshi nationals, the largest number of Indian visa issuance. In 2021, the neighbouring country issued over 2.3 lakh visas, including 1.96 lakh medical visas, for Bangladesh nationals despite the lockdown, it added.
Kingshuk Mitra, deputy chief operating officer of the Indian Visa Application Centre (Dhaka), told TBS that applications for Indian visas had increased further at the end of 2022. Indian visa services in Bangladesh are the largest visa operations network in the world.
With 15 Indian visa centres spread across Bangladesh viz. at Dhaka (at Jamuna Future Park), Chattogram, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Khulna, Jashore, Satkhira, Mymensingh, Barishal, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Bogura, Noakhali, Cumilla, and Brahmanbaria.
Visas to all Bangladeshi nationals are issued free of cost. However, a processing fee of Tk800 per application is charged by Indian Visa Application Centres (IVACs) to facilitate the submission of visa applications, he added.
No other country has such a diverse means of visa-based travel to India. Bangladesh nationals travel to India by crossing land borders on foot and by bus, by inland waterways, by sea, by rail, and by air.