DHARAMSHALA: In what comes as a good news for Tibetans living in India and abroad, the government of India has streamlined stay and travel regulations for Tibetans.
According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs/Foreigners Division, regulations regarding renewal of Residential/Registration certificates for Tibetans in India have been slightly relaxed, and the validity and the number of entry for return visas for those who wish to travel abroad have been increased from single to multiple entry lasting a year.
Responding to the decision which was made public on December 7 this year, the President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay thanked the government of India for relaxing the regulations and said:
“Over the years, Kashag and the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been pursuing the matter with the Indian Government and on many occasion have diligently requested for provisions to ease travel for Tibetans holding Identity Certificate and to facilitate easy process for renewal of Registration Certificate for Tibetans living in India.”
“On behalf of CTA, I want to extend my deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Government of India for not only heeding to our requests, but for putting in place all possible measures for CTA and the Tibetans people.”
The circular reads as follows:
(i) Tibetan migrants who are registered online may be granted Residential/Registration certificate for 5 years and such certificates may be renewed for five years on each occasion as and when applicable. However, if a Tibetan Migrant faces difficulty in online registration and desires renewal of Residential/ Registration Certificate without online registration, his/her Residential/Registration Certificate may be renewed as per extant instructions i.e registration will be valid for one year with provision of extension by one year on each occasion. The present instructions of issuing five-year extension of Residential Certificate to those Tibetan Migrants, who have stayed in India for more than twenty years, will continue to remain valid.
(ii) Transfer of Residential/Registration certificate in case of migrants shifting from one place to another may also be done online, avoiding need for personal visits and delays in manual transfer of registration.
(iii) In case of delays in renewal of Registration Certificate by any Tibetan Migrant due to any unavoidable reason or oversight, stringent action like prosecution/imprisonment may be resorted to only if a serious offence has been committed which is not compoundable. In normal cases, pecuniary fine/penalty as per provisions of Law/Rules/Instructions may be imposed.
(iv) Tibetan migrants, who wish to visit abroad, may be granted one year multiple entry Return Visa which may be issued by FRRO/FRO, or Indian missions abroad. This one-year Return visa will be given to Tibetan migrants whose cases are recommended by the Central Tibetan Administration.
2. All concerned authorities may be sensitized that as a general policy Tibetan migrants in India may be dealt with dignity. It should be the endeavor of officers concerned to facilitate them within the provisions of Law/Rules. However, in case of any specific violation of any provision of Law/Rules/instructions, due action may be taken as applicable to other foreigners.
3. All authorities concerned are requested to strictly comply with the above mentioned instructions.
4. These instructions shall come into force with immediate effect.