Lucy Holt of Oxford Mission Church in Barisal has finally been granted a gratis multiple-entry Bangladeshi visa for the next 15 years.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally handed over the visa on Thursday, before joining a rally organized by local units of Awami League at Bangabanadhu Udyan Barisal city, the premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said.
‘She [Lucy] was so impressed and happy after talking to the prime minister,” h added.
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Lucy Helen Frances Holt, a British citizen who has been living in Bangladesh for the last 58 years, wishes to breathe her last in her adopted home country, but she had recently found it difficult to pay the annual fee of Tk 35,000 to renew her visa to live in Bangladesh.
Responding to an application submitted by Sister Holt in December last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs on February 1 issued a letter to the director general of the Department of Immigration and Passports, ordering an extension of her visa for the next 15 years without any visa fee.
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Barisal Deputy Commissioner Md Habibur Rahman, who forwarded the application to the Ministry of Home Affairs, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had also recommended granting Bangladeshi citizenship to Sister Holt and hoped the government would soon make a decision about her citizenship.
Lucy Holt was born in St Helens, England on December 16, 1930.
She arrived in Bangladesh in 1960 and joined the Oxford Mission Church in Barisal.
Sister Holt was mesmerized by Bangladesh’s natural beauty and its people and chose to spend the rest of her life here.
A witness of Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971, she treated wounded freedom fighters and people during the war.