`Relief for PIOs, to be allotted extendable visas only`

Persons of Indian origin (PIO) visiting India will now be issued only long-term extendable visas and not tourist visas, Goa`s Non-Resident Indian (NRI) commissioner Eduardo Faleiro said Wednesday.

Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 15:24 PM IST

Panaji: Persons of Indian origin (PIO) visiting India will now be issued only long-term extendable visas and not tourist visas, Goa`s Non-Resident Indian (NRI) commissioner Eduardo Faleiro said Wednesday.

Faleiro, a former union minister of state for external affairs, told reporters here that the union government`s visa manual has been revised to ensure that PIOs do not face hardships when they visit their home country.

"Goans holding foreign passports were being given tourist visas and asked to leave the country as soon as the rather short period of the tourist visa expired. But that has changed for the better now," Faleiro said.

"As per the revised visa manual, all Goans as well other PIOs holding foreign passports will henceforth be issued only long-term `X` visas (extendable visas) and not tourist visas," he said, adding that the earlier conditions were inhuman and unfair to PIOs, who had roots in India.
"I had earlier received several complaints from Goans holding foreign passports that some of our embassies and high commissions abroad, issue them tourist visas (valid for three to six months) at the end of which they have to leave the country though they have property matters to deal with and have families here," Faleiro said.
The NRI affairs commissionarate in Goa looks after the interest of a large number of Goans who are employed abroad, a majority of whom are concentrated in countries located in the Gulf region.

IANS