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India may relax visa norms for SL monks

SL monks
Days after the visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Indian government is examining a proposal to relax the visa regime for Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka.

More than 55,000 monks visit India every year on employment visa to work in monasteries at New Delhi, Dharamshala, Varanasi, Kushi Nagar and Bodh Gaya, said officials.

As per the rules, monks are required to pay a visa fee of $150 for employment permit every year.
The one-year visa can be extended up to five years after which they are required to go back to Colombo and apply fresh, added officials. Sri Lanka has not only sought a relaxation of rules for these monks but has also urged the Indian authorities to waive of the visa fees. (Economic Times)