Journalists who wish to visit Bangladesh on an assignment can now obtain a special visa known as a Bangladesh Journalist Visa. The Journalist Visa is one of the country’s many visa types available to foreign nationals who wish to visit.
Most foreign nationals don’t know about Bangladesh, and even those who know, have limited knowledge of the country. But there is so much to learn. For example, the country is trying to empower women and focus on resources like agriculture, leather, and textile production. So far, it is succeeding and is beginning to draw public attention to its positives.
It is the role of journalists to bring Bangladesh to the world. To do this, journalists must obtain a Bangladesh Journalist Visa to visit the country and get global attention. A foreign national must fulfill specific requirements to obtain a Bangladesh Journalist visa. This article will point you in the right direction if you are a journalist who would like to visit Bangladesh on an official assignment.
Facts about Bangladesh
1. Bangladesh is a South Asian country bordered by India. It has over 160 million people and is the world’s largest exporter of textiles after China. The capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka, the most densely populated city in the world, with a population of about 17 million people.
2. Bangladesh has a mono-cultural identity. It is seen as one country with one language, mostly one religion, and one culture. This has made it less attractive to foreign nationals who would like to visit.
3. However, people would reluctantly agree that the country has much going for it. One is its unusual six seasons. Bangladesh has summer, monsoon or rainy seasons, autumn, late autumn, winter, and spring.
4. The country is famous for being proficient in cricket.
5. It is a green country due to its fertile land. In Bangladesh, all you will see is greenery. Even the Bangladesh flag represents greenery.
6. Water is not a problem in Bangladesh. There are rivers and beaches everywhere. A famous beach, the Cox’s Bazar, is the longest beach in the world, covering about 125 kilometers.
What is a Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
A Bangladesh Journalist Visa is a short-stay visa obtained by foreign nationals who want to visit the country to collect information about Bangladesh. The Journalist Visa is usually valid for 30 days but can be extended.
Who is eligible for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
Any individual who works for a print or broadcast media, and wants to visit Bangladesh to collect information in an official capacity, is eligible to apply for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa.
Who needs a Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
There is a long line of countries whose citizens must obtain a Bangladesh Journalist Visa to visit the country. However, the following is a list of exempt countries. Countries that are not listed below must obtain a Journalist Visa to Bangladesh.
- Burkina Faso
- The Gambia
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Sierra Leone
Online Journalist Visa Application to Bangladesh
There are countries where citizens can apply online for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa. For this set of countries, they can start and complete the visa application process online. Some of them are:
What are the requirements for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
Here’s a list of the requirements to put together to apply for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa:
1. FF-1 ( Application for shooting in Bangladesh by Foreign Networks)
and FF-2 forms ( Contract Form for Journalist (J) Visa) filled out and signed.
2. Original passport
Your original passport should be valid for six months beyond your stay in the country, with at least two blank visa pages for the Bangladesh visa stamp.
3. Photocopy of the first five pages of your passport
4. Return flight tickets
5. Self-addressed envelope. This will be used to return your original passport by registered post; therefore, you must affix enough stamps on it.
6. Passport-size photos
These should be two identical photos taken against a white background. It should not be older than three months and must be 37mm x 37mm in size. You must not staple them to the visa form.
7. A letter of support from the journalist’s organization specifying the purpose of the proposed visit.
8. A letter of authority or letter of invitation from Bangladesh
9. A list of the journalist’s equipment to bring to Bangladesh.
Online application for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa
If you are in the category above, here’s what you need to start an online application. However, note that you will not be able to complete the application online as you still need to visit the visa office for the physical visa.
- You will require an email address where you will receive further information regarding your application. You will also need a printer to print out the completed form.
- Fill and submit the application form online
- Print the completed form
- Take the printed form and the required documents and visa fees paid to the nearest Bangladesh visa office and submit them.
- Wait for your visa.
Steps to apply for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa
Here’s how to apply for a journalist visa to Bangladesh:
Step #1. Apply online
Although you will still fill out and submit your application in person, an online application is the first and most necessary step. The same goes for the FF-1 and FF-2 forms. You can find these forms on the country’s official website. Be careful to fill out the applications appropriately because improperly completed applications will delay the visa process.
Step #2. Print the completed forms
This is necessary because you will still submit the copies at the embassy in your country of residence.
Step #3. Pay the visa fees
The visa fee varies based on the country you are applying from. Bangladesh visa fees can be paid by money order, cashier check, or official check made to the ‘Embassy of Bangladesh’. It must not be older than 30 days. The embassy will not accept cash, online payment, or personal check.
Step #4. Submit your forms and other required documents to the embassy.
You must make an appointment before this day. Please note that Bangladesh embassies worldwide will not attend to you before 9.30 am and after 12.30 pm from Monday to Friday. The embassy doesn’t work on holidays.
Step #5. Collection of your Bangladesh Journalist Visa
The date of your visa collection will be mentioned on your payment slip. Delivery time for the journalist visa is from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm (Monday to Friday), except on holidays. Once your visa is granted, a printed copy of the visa sticker will be attached to a whole page of your passport. Check it carefully to confirm that it tallies with the details on your passport. For example, check that your name is the same as on the passport. Also, check your passport number. And the photographs? Visa type e.g J for Journalist. Also, the sticker will bear the number of entries you are permitted to make within the period – single, double, or multiple entries. Also, check the date of issue and expiration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the processing time for a Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
While other visa types may take only seven working days, a Bangladesh Journalist Visa takes about one month or more if more documents are required or if the embassy in your home country needs clearance from Bangladesh.
What is the validity period of the Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
The Bangladesh Journalist Visa validity period begins from the date the visa is issued by the Bangladesh visa office, not the date you decide to travel. Usually, a journalist visa is valid for 30 days.
What happens if I overstay my Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
If you overstay your visa, you may have to pay a fine. For each day you overstay, you must pay a fine of BDT 200, but after 15 days, the penalty will be increased to BDT 500 per day.
Are journalists safe in Bangladesh?
Yes, journalists are safe in Bangladesh, just like all foreign nationals. Bangladesh is an amiable and welcoming country and does not pose any threat to its visitors.
Can I extend my Bangladesh Journalist Visa?
If you need a visa extension, it’s best to apply as soon as possible. Then, visit the Bangladesh embassy in the country’s capital of Dhaka for further inquiries.
Bangladesh leaves you with special memories of friendly people, exotic cuisines, and the Iftar. There’s so much to know about this overpopulated country, some of which may not be pleasant. But then, there’s no other country like Bangladesh. Not in terms of weather, friendliness, and population. Bangladesh is waiting to be introduced to the world for the right reasons. With a Bangladesh Journalist Visa, you can be on your way to discovering this beautiful and friendly country.
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