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No Indian business visas for Chinese: Chidambaram
  | Thursday, October 15, 2009
India has made it clear to China it will only issue employment visas to its highly skilled workers and that it has decided against giving business visas, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday.

"Chinese workers can come to India only on employment visa, no more on business visas," he told a press conference here.

"We are going to issue employment visas only to highly skilled workers and it do not apply only to Chinese workers but to other countries as well. We are not going to issue any visas to unskilled and semi-skilled workers as we have plenty of them in India," the Home Minister said.

Chidambaram was replying a question on the controversy after Beijing issued visas on loose sheets rather than stamping the passports of people from Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.

The government has already directed 20,000 Chinese nationals working in different projects across India to convert their visas from business to employment.

"We have given them time till October 31 to change their visas from business to employment. Even after that time if any Chinese national fails to change his or her visa status, the person will have to leave India," a Home Ministry official had said recently.

The decision came after China's Ambassador to India Zhang Yan met Home Secretary G K Pillai requesting him to extend the September 30 deadline given to the Chinese citizens to change their visa status.

Around 25,000 Chinese are working in various power, communication and petroleum sector projects across the country. The Indian missions in China have issued 1, 60,190 business visas from 2007 to June 30, 2009.
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