Posted on Jun 8th, 2021 by Heena Ganotra, Last updated Sep 26th, 2022, Leave a Comment
If you’re someone who has been stranded in India because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, you can heave a sigh of relief!
That’s because the Indian Government has extended the VISA validity of foreign nationals who got stranded in India due to the COVID-19 lockdown till 31st August 2021.
No. If you’re a stranded foreign national, you will not be required to submit any application to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or Foreign Registration Office (FRO) concerned for extension of their visas.
“Due to non-availability of normal commercial flight operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, a number of foreign nationals who came to India prior to March 2020 on valid Indian visas had got stranded in India,” reads a statement issued by the federal home ministry.
“Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by such foreign nationals in getting their visas extended in India due to the lockdown, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) had issued an order on 29.06.2020 conveying that the Indian visa or stay stipulation period of such foreign nationals expiring post 30.06.2020 shall be deemed to be valid until 30 more days from the date of resumption of normal international flight operations, on a gratis basis. However, such foreign nationals have been applying for an extension of their visas or stay stipulation period on a monthly basis,” reads the statement.
The ministry said the matter has now been reconsidered in the light of non- resumption of normal commercial flight operations and it has accordingly been decided that the Indian visa or stay stipulation period of such foreign nationals stranded in India will be considered as deemed to be valid till 31st August 2021 on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.
“Such foreign nationals may apply for an exit permit to the FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty,” the ministry said.
While commercial international flights to India and from are suspended till June 30, flights continue to operate via Vande Bharat Mission and Air Bubble arrangements.
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A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness like herpes. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)