A hotline has been launched to provide immigration-related services to Bangladeshi migrants, expatriate workers and their families.
The number, 08000102030, will provide immigration-related information free of cost round the clock while same services will be available at another number at +9610102030 from 7am to 11pm every day.
If anyone calls the 2nd hotline number anytime other the stipulated one, the call be recorded and a return call will be made later.
Additional Secretary of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry Dr Ahmed Munirus Salehin inaugurated the hotline initiated jointly by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Brac at a programme at the Brac Centre on Tuesday.
The hotline has been launched under ‘Prottasha’ project led by the government and financed by the European Union with collaboration of Brac and IOM Bangladesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Salehin said, “Information is like sunlight. Information makes things transparent like daylight and enables all to make right decisions.”
At least 1.20 crore Bangladeshi people live abroad and some of them who face mental, social and financial problems return home and a sustainable reconciliation process is important for them, said Phineas Jasi, Monitoring Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Department Chief of IOM Bangladesh.
A five-day director general-level border conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) will begin at BSF camp in Chhawla of New Delhi on Wednesday.
BGB Director General (DG) Major General Md Shafeenul Islam is leading an 11-member Bangladesh delegation including officials from the Home Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office, in the border talks.
On the other hand, BSF Director General Shri Vivek Johri is leading a 19-member Indian delegation at the border conference.
High officials from BSF headquarters, Indian Home Ministry, Foreign Ministry and frontiers IGs, are among the delegation members, said BGB Headquarters Public Relations Officer Md Shariful Islam.
The conference will conclude with the signing of a Joint Record of Discussion (JRD) on December 29, he said.
Shooting and injuring or killing of unarmed Bangladeshi citizens at the borders will be the top agenda for Bangladesh in the conference and the country would put emphasis on resolving the matter.
Besides, other security issues, including preventing smuggling of Yaba, Phensidyl, alcohol, hemp, heroin, Viagra/Sanagra, arms and ammunition, from India to Bangladesh will be discussed at the conference.
The two countries will also exchange information regarding drug smuggling on the borders.
BGB DG Major General Md Safinul Islam will pay a courtesy call on Indian Central Home Minister Amit Shah during the conference.
Meanwhile, a seven-member delegation of Simanta Paribar Kalyan Samity (SPKS) of the BGB, led by its president Shoma Islam, will also visit India during the conference for strengthening the existing excellent relations between the two border guards.
During the visit, SPKS will exchange views with BSF Wives Welfare Association and take part in various activities there.
Bangladesh citizens will need to pay a fee of €80 instead of €60 as they did so far while applying for a Schengen Visa from Bangladesh effective from February 2, 2020.
Due to the implementation of the Updated Schengen Visa Code, adopted by the European Union (EU) Council in June 2019, all representative missions of the Schengen Countries located abroad are obliged to apply the new rules, including the ones in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshis will be subject to several changes in terms of visa application procedures, rules and benefits, starting from February 2, said a media release issued by SchengenVisaInfo on Tuesday.
Children too, will have to pay €40 instead of €35, as it is currently.
The new rules also permit Bangladeshis to submit an application up to six months in advance of their trip, instead of three as it is now, and foresee a harmonised approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas with lengthier validity to regular travellers with a positive visa history.
Statistics by https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/ show that in 2018, Schengen embassies and consulates in Bangladesh processed 30,573 visa applications, 9,976 of which were rejected at a rejection rate of 32.6 percent.
Sweden was the top favourite country for visa submission, as 7,025 of the applications submitted in Bangladesh were for Schengen visas to Sweden, followed by Italy with 6,935 and Germany with 5,854 applications.
In terms of expenditures, in 2018, citizens of Bangladesh spent €1,834,380 in visa applications to Europe, €598,560 of which money was spent by applicants who had their visas rejected.
“Since Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) is binding in its entirety, and is directly applicable in all EU Member States in accordance with the Treaties, all Schengen countries, including Lithuania, will apply it from 2 February 2020,” an official from the Information Monitoring and Media Division of Lithuania explained for schengenvisainfo.com.
According to schengenvisainfo.com, Member States that are not represented in Bangladesh in terms of visa admission are now obliged to cooperate with external service providers in order to facilitate visa application for travellers.
The external service providers are allowed to charge a service fee, which cannot be higher than the visa fee.
This means Bangladeshis applying at an external visa service provider may have to pay up to €160 per visa application, if the external service providers set the maximum service fee permitted, which is €80.
Besides, the updated Visa Code introduces a mechanism that assesses whether the visa fees should change, every three years.
Another mechanism that will use visa processing as leverage will be introduced in a bid to improve cooperation with third countries on readmission.
According to Gent Ukëhajdaraj from schengenvisainfo.com, due to this mechanism the fees may increase even to €160, if the EU authorities see it necessary.
“A visa fee of €120 or €160 will apply to non-cooperative third-countries, in cases when the EU Commission considers that action is needed in order to improve the level of cooperation of the third country concerned and the Union's overall relations with that third country,” Ukëhajdaraj explains, adding that this provision shall not apply to children under 12 years old.
The mechanism may also shorten visa validity, and introduce prolonged visa processing periods, the release added.
Vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) Nurul Haque Nur on Tuesday filed a complaint with Shahbagh Police Station against 37 people, including leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League and Muktijuddha Mancha, for attempting to kill him.
The accused include DU BCL president Sonjit Chandra Das, general secretary Saddam Hussein, Muktijuddha Mancha leaders Aminul Islam Bulbul, Al Mamun, ASM Sonet and Yeasir Arafat Turjo.
Ducsu Social Service Affairs Secretary Akhtar Hossain lodged the complaint on behalf of Nur, said Abul Hasan, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station.
He said the complaint will be merged with the case filed by a sub-inspector of the police station in connection with the incident.
At least three people were killed as a truck hit an auto-rickshaw at Utrail Bazar in Durgapur upazila on Tuesday afternoon.
The deceased were identified as Selima Khatun, 40, wife of Nur Islam of Bishwanathpur, Abdul Kuddus, 45, son of late Imam Ali of Shimultoli village and Nurul Islam Nuru, 40, son of late Abdul Kuddus of Indrapur village in the upazila.
Witness said a sand laden truck collided head-on with an auto-rickshaw on the Durgapur-Birishiri-Shamganj road around 4:30pm killing Selima on the spot and injuring two others.
Later, the injured were taken to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where the doctors declared the duo dead, said Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Durgapur Police Station.
The truck has been seized but its driver managed to flee, he said.