India plans to remove Iran from prior referral category

India is likely to remove Iran from the prior referral category to facilitate easy and quick visa for its nationals.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 22, 2015, 21:17 PM IST

New Delhi: India is likely to remove Iran from the prior referral category to facilitate easy and quick visa for its nationals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured President Hassan Rouhani of removing Iran from the prior referral category so that its nationals can get visas quickly and easily.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with the Iran President in Ufa on July 10 had assured of him of positive action with regard to removing Iran from PRC," says a note sent by the Prime Minister's Office to Union Home Secretary L C Goyal, Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker, and Director of Intelligence Bureau Dineshwar Sharma. A copy was also marked to Indian Ambassador to Iran D P Srivastava.

Prior referral category country means visas are issued by the respective Indian missions and consulates after running a thorough background check on individual applicants.

The move comes in the wake of an agreement reached between P5 (USA, UK, China, Russia, France) plus one (Germany) countries and Iran to cap the latter's nuclear programme.

The pact seeks to lift economic sanctions on Iran.

Attaching deliberations of a meeting, chaired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval following confabulations between Modi and Rouhani, the PMO has sought a status report within a month from the Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry and the Intelligence Bureau for removal of Iran from the prior referral category.

Sources said India has been considering removing Iran from the prior referral category to enhance bilateral relations.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia figure among prior referral category countries.

During his visit to Iran in February, Doval had underlined the need for widening cooperation between the two countries in fighting terrorism. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to visit Iran later this year.