New Delhi: Visas of foreign nationals, who have been stranded in India because of Covid-19, have been extended till September 30, the Union Home Ministry announced on Thursday.
"Indian visa or stay stipulation period of foreign nationals stranded in India due to Covid-19 pandemic to be considered as deemed to be valid till September 30, 2021," it said.
The government had facilitated the stay of such foreign nationals within India by giving deemed extension of their regular visa or e-visa or stay stipulation period on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty, a Ministry official said.
The official also said that such foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) concerned for extension of their visas till September 30, 2021 and before exiting the country, they may apply online for an exit permission on e-FRRO portal, which would be granted by the FRRO/FRO concerned on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.
The official also said that if an extension of visa was required beyond September 30, the foreigner concerned may apply for extension of visa on the online e-FRRO platform on payment basis, which would be considered by the FRRO/FRO concerned, subject to the eligibility as per the extant guidelines.
However, the Afghan nationals, who have been already in India on any category of visa, will be granted an extension under guidelines issued separately for Afghan nationals.
Due to the situation arising out of 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.