NEW DELHI — Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian visa or the stay stipulation period of the foreign nationals stranded in India will be considered as deemed to be valid till Sept. 30, 2021, said India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

“Due to the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of foreigners who had come to India on various types of visas prior to March 2020 got stranded in the country in the absence of flights to their destinations,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs in an official statement.

Keeping in view the difficulties such foreign nationals face in getting their visas extended in India due to the lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Central government had facilitated the stay of such foreign nationals within India.

“The Central Government had facilitated the stay of such foreign nationals within India by giving a deemed extension of their regular visa or e-visa or stay stipulation period on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“This facility which is presently available till Aug. 31, 2021, has now been extended by the Central Government till Sept. 30, 2021.”

It said that foreign nationals will not be required to submit an application to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office concerned for extension of their visas until Sept. 30, 2021.

Before exiting the country, the Ministry said, the foreigners may apply online for exit permission on the e-portal of the foreigner’s regional registration office, which would be granted by the foreigner’s regional registration office or foreigners registration office concerned on a gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.

If an extension of visa is required beyond Sept. 30, 2021, the Ministry said, the foreign national concerned may apply for an extension of visa on the online portal of the Foreigners Regional Registration Office platform on a payment basis, which would be considered by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office or the Foreigners Registration Office concerned, subject to the eligibility as per the extant guidelines.

However, Afghan nationals in India on any visa category will be granted an extension of visas under guidelines issued separately for Afghan nationals.

“Owing to the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and streamlining of the visa process by introduction of the e-Emergency XMisc visa, it has been decided that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-Visa,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra



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