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Indian Embassy in Bangla issues highest number of visas

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, May 5 - The Indian Embassy in Bangladesh issues the highest number of visas in the world. Disclosing this, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup said today that India�s Embassy in the neighbouring country issues the highest number of visas in the world.

�We are trying to upgrade the visa application centre. We are engaging more people. We have taken cognizance of the problem there and trying to streamline the system,� the spokesman said.

Swarup was reacting to reports about online complaints lodged by visa applicants in Bangladesh about the electronic token system for visa application alleging that money changes hands in the process.

As reported, India is also alarmed over the continuous reports of overstaying and disappearance of Bangladeshis after their arrival in the country with over 70,000 people travelling on valid documents still missing since 2006, in addition to illegal immigrants.

On an average about 21,000 Bangladeshi nationals, who come with regular visas, either go missing or have been overstaying every year in the country. This is in addition to the scores of illegal immigrants who regularly cross the porous Indo-Bangla border.

The Centre reckons that 25,712 out of 5 lakh Bangladeshi nationals, who came to India, did not return after expiry of their visas, while over 24,000 remained missing in 2006-2007 when 4.84 lakh had entered India with valid travel documents.

Besides, some illegal migrants from Bangladesh also enter India with forged documents, including voter identity cards, driving licences and ration cards.

However, in order to strengthen the immigration system and monitor the entry and exit of foreigners, the Central government implemented projects like Mission Mode Project on Immigration, Visa, Foreigners� Registration and Tracking (IVFRT), the Minister said.

The projects seek to provide unified access to the immigration and law enforcement authorities about the visa application data, immigration data, registration data and other relevant information about the stay and travel of foreigners in India, for effective tracking of the foreigners, he added.

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