Long-term stay visas will be granted to more than 2,500 asylum-seekers from Myanmar,the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Tuesday.
Many of the asylum-seekers have been staying near Sultangarhi mosque in Vasant Kunj since last Sunday.
The issue of granting them refugee-status,however,remained unaddressed.
In a meeting held between UNHCRs Chief of Mission Montserrat Feixas Vihe and 10 representatives of the asylum-seekers from Myanmars northern Rakhine state,UNHCR announced that the Government of India will be issuing long-term stay visas for asylum-seekers registered with them. The visas will reportedly be issued from their places of residence in India by the local foreigners registration officers (FRO).
UNHCR also urged the asylum-seekers to return to their residences in various parts of the country without delay and begin applying for long-term visas. Leaders of the asylum-seeking community have been invited for another meeting in September.
Speaking to Newsline,UNHCR Assistant External Relations Officer Nayana Bose referred to Tuesdays developments as a huge step and asserted that the asylum-seekers will be treated at a par with other refugees in India.