Recently, the Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra said that there would be No Visa Required for Travel to Bangladesh (NVR) for Bangladesh-origin citizens in several countries around the world. Bangladeshi citizens in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and countries in Europe who were using their foreign passports were told that they could enter the country, without a visa, if they had origins in Bangladesh. 

However, this rule does not apply to people from SAARC countries. Furthermore, their spouses and children (unfortunately, not their grandchildren) are also eligible for endorsement, because of their connections to Bangladeshi origin citizens.

This endorsement allows the foreign passport holder to enter Bangladesh as long as the passport remains valid. There is no upper limit on the duration of their stay either and they can spend as long as they want in Bangladesh with the NVR seal on their passports. They would have to apply for a new passport, post-expiration and would get the same perks again.

How does this process work?

The Bangladeshi origin citizens have to prove their connections to the country through the submissions of documents to the High Commission. Furthermore, once proved, they receive a stamp on their passport allowing them to travel back and forth from Bangladesh to the country of their nationality without a visa. Furthemore, for people applying for regular visas, the High Commission now issues machine-readable visas (MRV) NVR visas as well. These work like regular ones but are computerised and have a few additional security benefits.

What are the requirements for an NVR (no visa required) seal on a foreign passport?

The process can be handled through MRP passport and also by visiting the High Commission in that respective country. The steps for getting a seal are:

Fill out the application form
Pay the registration fee and submit the receipt
Submit the necessary documents
Original passport with minimum six months validity.
A printed copy of the electronically submitted visa application form.
Proof of Bangladesh origin:
For a fresh applicant- certified copy of Bangladesh passport, national identity card, birth certificate
For children born outside Bangladesh- original and a copy of the birth certificate along with a certified copy of Bangladesh passport (valid or expired) and the national identity card of father or mother
For foreigner spouse- original and a certified copy of marriage certificate and a certified copy of passport (valid or expired) or national identity card of the spouse
For those who had NVR endorsement on their previous passport- a copy of the old passport with the NVR endorsement page.
Proof of payment usually handled through the submission of the receipt
Two recent photographs
If the documents were sent through the mail, send a self-addressed, pre-paid registered return envelope (requiring a signature on delivery) or arrange for a pre-paid return courier.

The processing of all the information takes between five to seven days depending on the content submitted and well the verification process goes. Furthermore, there could be a greater delay if some coordination is needed between the High Commission and Bangladesh for clearance.

A few pointers to keep in mind when handling this progress.

The Consulate General of Bangladesh has the right to request for any additional document at any stage of the authentication process.
The Consulate General of Bangladesh reserves the right to withhold any application to examine them further.
The applicant may be requested for an interview with the Consulate General of Bangladesh if there is a need for it.
All payment made to the Consulate General of Bangladesh in most countries is non-refundable.