Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata to outsource its visa services
Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata is set to become the country's first diplomatic mission in India to outsource its visa services.
However, the free-of-cost visa service will be replaced by an Rs 800-plus processing fee to be charged by a private agency at its office in Salt Lake sector V in the eastern part of Kolkata, diplomatic sources said today.
The visa service will start this month but the exact date has not been confirmed yet, reports our New Delhi correspondent reports.
However, visa service will continue to be issued by the Bangladesh missions in other Indian cities -- New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Agartala and Guwahati.
Among all the diplomatic missions of Bangladesh across the world, the Deputy High Commission in Kolkata issues the highest number of visas -- 15,000 on an average (before Covid-19) per month, a figure which goes up to 20,000 to 22,000 during the Durga Puja, the sources told The Daily Star.
One of the reasons for outsourcing the visa, they said, is to avoid the congestion at the Deputy High Commission in the Park Circus area of Kolkata.
The rush of visa-seekers creates traffic snarls on the road where the mission is situated, according to the sources.
A number of diplomatic missions of other countries in Kolkata have already outsourced their visa centres and the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission will be the newest entrant to that list.