There is a possibility that India may introduce resident visas for live-in partners soon, according to sources in the government.
According to The Tribune, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will introduce this policy after consultations with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Government sources say that they will grant visas to people who have been in a live-in relationship with their partners for more than two years. The documents these people need to submit as proof of their relationship may include birth certificates of any children they have had together, a partnership certificate of civil union, documents related to joint ownership of property and so on, all of which would be determined to decide on granting of visas.
It is said that this step would prove helpful to foreign diplomats who get posted in India. Earlier, it was very tough to procure a visa for these diplomats’ live-in partners who were living in Delhi or in any other city.
In 2013, Sujatha Singh, the then Foreign Secretary had to suspend Neena Malhotra, a senior IFS officer, who was serving in the MEA’s passports’ and visa division, for refusing to grant a visa to a same-sex partner of an American diplomat who shifted here from Islamabad.
Although the new policy will cater to serve live-in partners, it is ambiguous whether it would be extended to gay partners as in India homosexuality is still not legal.
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