Visiting Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday inaugurated the world’s largest visa centre in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to reduce the waiting time for applicants.
Singh, who is in Dhaka on a three-day visit, inaugurated the Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) at Jamuna Future Park (JFP along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan.
Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who was present at the inauguration, told media that it was the largest Indian visa centre in the world and possibly the largest anywhere.
The new integrated state-of-the-art IVAC spreaded in an 18,500 square feet commercial area will replace all the existing centres in Motijheel and Uttara from July 15, 2018.
The remaining two centres in Dhaka, Gulshan and Mirpur Road will also be shifted to this centre by August 31.
To mark the inauguration, the Indian home minister Singh presented a five-year multiple-entry tourist visa to a Bangladeshi national Mohammad Nazrul Islam under the Muktijoddha category while the Bangladesh home minister presented a five-year multiple-entry tourist visa to Amal Chandra Natta under the Senior Citizen category.
Singh also announced the withdrawal of the existing e-token (appointment) system for submission of visa applications from July 15, 2018.
Bangladeshis constitute one of the largest number of visitors from a single country to India. In 2017, India issued 1.4 million visas to Bangladeshi nationals.
(With inputs from agencies)