Agatti and Minicoy Islands to allow entry, exit from India

Agatti and Minicoy Islands to allow entry, exit from India

Agatti and Minicoy, two small islands of Lakshadweep, have been designated as authorised transit point for entering and exiting India by the Home Ministry.

Agatti has an area of 3.84 square kms, whereas Minicoy is spread over 4.80 sq kms. Minicoy lies near one of the busiest shipping routes and is about 130 km from the northern-most island of the Maldives.

"The central government hereby designates Agatti and Minicoy Islands in Lakshadweep Union Territory as an authorised Immigration Check Post for entry into or exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers," a notification issued by the Home Ministry said.

It has also appointed Superintendent of Police (SP), Lakshadweep UT, as the "Civil Authority" for the Immigration Check Post located at Agatti and Minicoy Islands with effect from June 30, 2015, it said.

Home Ministry officials said the two new immigration check points will help easy access to ships, mainly luxury cruises, to India. "It will take less time for them to enter or exit India after their operationalisation," a ministry official said.

There are 82 Immigration Check Posts all over the country catering to international traffic. Out of these, 37 are functioning under the Bureau of Immigration, while the remaining are being managed by the state governments concerned.

In addition, there are 12 Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) in major cities -- Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Calicut, Kochi, Trivandrum, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

There are 11 Chief Immigration Officers in Goa, Jaipur, Gaya, Varanasi, Nagpur, Pune, Mangalore, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bagdogra and Guwahati. At remaining places, District Superintendent of Police or the prescribed authority functions as FRO to facilitate foreigners.

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