In the last few days a number of Aurovilians, some of whom have lived here for several decades, have only been granted a 3 month extension. The shortest Entry visa previously given to Aurovilians was for one year. Reportedly the RRO in Pondicherry does not know how to process these short visa extensions as they have never come across them before. The Auroville International (AVI) Board made a welcome intervention this week, echoing Dr Karan Singh’s request that visas not be ‘disturbed’. The Working Committee has also sent out a mass bulletin regarding the issue, and asked for anyone affected to email them and outline the number of years they have been in Auroville and what work or service they have done in Auroville. It is worrying that some old-time Aurovilians are being asked to prove their value in this way. In addition, the declaration form is still required for any visa request despite previous assurances from the WC that it was only a ‘pulse’ and not compulsory.
A summary of the visa situation for the last three months:
58 visa have been requested
25 are still pending
9 people received 1 year visas instead of 5 years
8 received less than 1 year visas (including 3 month visa extensions)
18 received the visa that was recommended.
1 person refused to sign the self declaration