Visa hassle for crew of chartered flights crew from 9 countries

Visa hassle for crew of chartered flights crew from 9 countries

Crew of chartered and non-scheduled flights from nine countries, including Pakistan and China, will not get business visa within three days like those from other countries due to security reasons.

The Union Home Ministry has issued elaborate instructions on Thursday in this regard. The Indian embassies can now grant visas within three days for foreign crew of chartered and non-scheduled flights, except those of nine countries. The Indian embassies and posts abroad have been authorised to grant business visa for appropriate duration to the crew subject to usual checks.

However, this facility will not be applicable for citizens of Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Somalia and Sri Lanka as well as foreign nationals of Pakistan origin. Security concerns are the reason cited by officials for denying such facility for those from these countries.

Any application for visa from these countries will have to be forwarded to the Home Ministry by the embassies for clearance. The visas for the crew from these countries will take around one month to be cleared.

The embassies will have to upload these visa applications on the online visa processing system immediately for clearance by Home Ministry, which will then give its decision within 30 days.

In all these cases, the visas will be endorsed on their national passport and not on the crew member certificate. The Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) will intimate clearances for such non-scheduled flights to the Bureau of Immigration and Director General (Police) concerned well before the arrival of the flight.

On Temporary Landing Permit (TLP), the ministry said crew members of scheduled and unscheduled flights operated by scheduled operators should not be charged a fee for the grant of landing permits up to a period of seven days. In case the stay exceeds the permitted period, $40 or equivalent amount in Indian rupees should be charged.

The seamen who arrive by ship and have to leave India either by another ship or by flight will also have similar restrictions.

The TLP for crew from the nine countries of tourist charter flights, the permit will be granted subject to usual checks. The tourist or travel agency sponsoring the tourists should compulsory fill in the visa applications for the crew members of the charter flights online.

"A complete list of crew members along with printed visa applications and their itinerary should be submitted by the tourist or travel agency to the FRRO/ FRO concerned, 72 hours in advance," it said.