Tibet Sun Online News
ON THE WEB, 1 August 2018
Central Tibetan Administration President Lobsang Sangay announced that the Government of India has scrapped the “No Objection to Return to India” (NORI) permit for the Tibetans to travel abroad.
The NORI is a permit stamped in the Identity Certificate (aka Yellow Book, because of the colour of the cover of the document), which is issued by the Government of India to Tibetans living in India, and also serves as a travel document, similar to a passport.
Until this change, the permit was given after a lengthy process that included police verification. It had taken a minimum of one year, or up to a few years in some cases, to process the NORI.
Now the requirement to undergo this verification has been rescinded. However it is not clear if the NORI will still be stamped in the Yellow Book without the process. And if it is not stamped, whether immigration officials will be adequately informed so there will be no problems on return to India.
Sangay also announced that two other travel permits can now be applied for online from eight zones. Applicants from a few places outside those eight zones will still have to apply in person, and will not be able to apply online.
These are an “Exit Permit”, required for a Tibetan to leave India, and then a “Return Visa” which is required to re-enter the country.
Obtaining these permits takes about a week in Dharamshala, whereas it takes about three months in South India. It is not clear how long it will take with the new online processing.
The “Return Visa” and “Exit Permit” can be applied for at the same time depending on the situation. Some embassies ask for the “Return Visa” as part of processing the visa. The “Exit Permit” is issued only after a visa is obtained.
Both the permits are valid for three months. Multiple exits and entries can be done within the validity period of the permits.
Due to lack of proper guidelines or access to copies of the rules, even the immigration officials are vague about the rules, ending up in confusion and sometimes major inconvenience for Tibetan travellers.
India doesn’t want to give citizenship to Tibetans – they think lots of them are Chinese spies.
Look at the speech by Ngari Rinpoche recommending vigilance against newly arrived Tibetans or sanjor from 1979 onwards. He said he has proof that many of them want to cause problem in our society.
India anyway doesn’t trust Tibetans. We are bit too close to China in many ways, people visiting there and coming back, dalai lama secretly contacting Beijing, etc.
Indian secret service thought HH Dalai Lama himself might be a Chinese spy in 1960s to use as a tool to grab Buddhist communities in the Himalayan regions. So, you see the Indian paranoia when it comes to rehabilitating Tibetans.
What has happened is that the timeline of one year or so in getting IC renewed and issued, has been brought down a little by few months. Now you will apply and get IC in about 6-8 months, may be. That’s it.
This is typical of this Sikyong. He will brag and blow his own trumpet even when lifts a chair in office.
Why would Tibetans in India want a Yellow Book, when the Indian passport could be acquired now. With all the hassles and the long waits, and the embassies’ hesitation to issue visa on a Yellow Book, why bother to get an IC. I saw our Sikyong saying getting IC has become easier, so people shouldn’t rush. I felt like he’s trying to distract people from applying for Indian passports. Really no use to go for the Yellow Book. It’s only wasting your time and energy and opportunities.
For those Tibetans who go for Yellow Book, why can’t India write Passport on the Yellow Book in place of “Identity Certificate”. Passport is just a travel document. It’s not a proof of citizenship. There could be passport in few different colors for a country. Didn’t India talk about issuing an orange passport to a group of people?
Why India is operating like in 18th century? There are so many brilliant and educated Indians, what happened to them? May be they have all left for the greener grasses. India could do better.
India is not binded by UN Refugee Convention so they can pretty much do what they want.While they have been very kind in granting asylum to the largest no.of Tibetans in exile, the fate of Tibetans are really not secure.With all the hinderances in securing citizenship for Tibetans born in India,I am really worried what future holds.The recent bullying and mass student protest in North Eastern India is quite disturbing.Unless we are secured citizenship by birth,it is impossible to get equal rights.There will always be some discrimination.Tibetans in India are asset to the country and productive in their respect fields.I really don’t understand why the Indian government is making it difficult for Tibetans to secure citizenship.The various rules and impositions for securing citizenship by birth rights is mind boggling.I am always stressed out about,”what after his Holiness “.We can never tell what the new government stand will be.If they can make it difficult for Gyalwang Karmapa with all the scrutiny,imagine the prospects of common Tibetans.
This “exit permit” seems to me like a release order for prisoners. India is a great country and a mother of software geniuses. Still, India is living far behind in information systems. With a little more effort from CTA, India can easily discard the other two services (exit permit and return visa), like nori, through improved networking systems. If the IC is in lieu of passport, why can’t it act as passport. CTA should raise the issue with the GOI and convince the concerned that the other two services don’t make any sense.
If you get ‘No Objection to Return to India (NORI)’, does that mean you don’t need a ‘Return Visa’?
Or, how do these NORI and Return visa benefit the Tibetan refugees?
In Nepal, Tibetans don’t need things like return visa or NORI.
So, why is India bullying refugees with unnecessary redtape and paperwork?
I am fortunate to be living in the US. I have never heard of anything like NORI or Return Visa and Exit Permit here in the US. All these are sounding like a lot of work and time wasted for no good reason.
I know although NORI has been trashed, but I am curious to know what’s the difference between NORI (No Objection to Return to India) and Return Visa. They both seemed to be one and the same thing. Sounding like very much Indian style. Sab kuch chalta hai. Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
Why do Tibetans need ‘Return Visa’ to come back to their habitual residence? Tibetans have been living in India since 1959.
And why was there an ‘Exit Permit’ in the first place? It is not necessary.
Maybe hindering obsacles are placed on the footpath of indigent Tibetan refugees to make their lives difficult in India? I don’t get it.
I live in UK as a refugee. I don’t need a ‘return visa’ or ‘exit permit’ to move in and out of my adopted country.
Dear Modi, please don’t be too tough on Tibetans and Dalai Lama. Treat Tibetans like all other refugees. we need equality
What is this new so elated among Tibetans here in India?, which doesn’t seem to make any differences to the present ongoing troublesome documentation problems and time consuming when Tibetan has to make short visits to abroad and return back to India.
If the reference of NORI (No Objection To Return India) in the present news refers to non necessary of RETURN VISA, then it is of some news and elation, rest it all same and nothing really has changed!
You are absolutely right. There is nothing to feel so elated for this development. I feel Tibetans have lost one of their special rights that they used to enjoy until now. Who would want to be objected to return to their home. NORI was a privilege for Tibetans; unfortunately, we lost this right. If Tibetans were given replacement privilege such as return visa waiver or something, then it is something to feel elated.