India has gone one step further to liberalising travel between India and Afghanistan in a bid to ‘boost people-to-people ties”. Visa policy has been eased to make it easier for Afghans to visit India. The length of a tourist visa has been extended to a year with a continuous stay allowance increased from 30 days to 90 days. However, the gap of 60 days restriction between visits remains in place. Business visa regulations have also been eased to encourage more trade between the two nations who have a long history of trading. The instability in Afghanistan over the past years has led to a reduction in trade and the visa easing is seen as an attempt to increase trade once again.
In another bid to increase ties between the two countries the regulations for business visas have also been relaxed. It is hope that these easing of restrictions will encourage increased business and tourism travel between the two nations and that this signal a start of closer ties between the two countries. The Indian embassy have issued a statement informing Afghan businessmen wanting to invest in the country that they will be offered a visa for a stay of between one and five years.
It is hoped that these visa relaxations will be the next step along the road of increasing ties between the two countries. It is hoped that these regulations will encourage both business and tourism travel between the two countries and boost trade and economic relations between India and Afghanistan. The governments of both countries have yet to say whether further relaxations are to be discussed or announced in the near future.
There is long history of travel between the two countries and it is hope that in a bid to boost the Afghan economy the relaxation of visa rules will help foster closer economic ties. More announcements are expected soon that will continue the fostering of relationships further.