June 17, 2010

The Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi has removed Bangladesh from the Prior Reference Category List, effective immediately.

What’s the Prior Reference Category? 

Visa applications from nationals listed in the “Prior Reference Category” may not be decided by the Indian diplomatic post (i.e. Embassy or Consulate), but must be referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi for approval.

The Prior Reference Category includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the People’s Republic of China as well as any nationals “of Pakistani origin”.  Applications for such nationals will take several months to be processed and are approved only at the discretion of the Ministry of Home Affairs – in practice, such approvals are rare.  

What’s New? 

Until recently, Bangladesh was listed under the “Prior Reference Category”.  However, following due consideration by the Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been removed from the list.  Effective immediately, Indian diplomatic posts may adjudicate visa applications from Bangladeshi nationals without the need to refer to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

As always, when a decision is made centrally and implemented by diplomatic posts around the world, Pro-Link GLOBAL expects some delay and some confusion.  However, in the long run, we expect this change to make visa application processes considerably easier for Bangladeshi nationals. 


  • Note that visa applications in any category for Bangladeshi nationals should no longer be subject to greatly extended process times; however, there may be some delay in implementing this change at the Indian diplomatic posts worldwide.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in Hong Kong to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.