Kashmiris skirt stapled visa ban

Kashmiris skirt stapled visa ban


The Chinese Embassy here had started issuing visas to Jammu and Kashmir residents by not stamping their passports but by granting visa on separate sheets, which was seen by observers as a Chinese attempt to question the state’s status as an integral part of India.

The government took up the matter with China in October, making it clear that no one would be allowed to travel on a stapled visa. In a novel way to skirt around the Home Ministry’s objection, people, whose birthplace is mentioned as Kashmir in their passport, started using the Hong Kong or Macau route to enter mainland China. In five cases noticed by immigration authorities people, born in J&K, visited Hong Kong and later to mainland China by getting visa stapled to their travel document.

They said after the trend was brought to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs,  the Home Ministry has issued an advisory to all airports to make proper enquiries of all passengers departing for Hong Kong and Macau. Even airlines have been asked to verify and cross-check passengers’ final port of disembarkation.

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