The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Friday that Indian visa or the stay stipulation period of foreign nationals stranded in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be valid till August 31.
Accordingly, these foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the FRRO/FRO concerned for the extension of their visa till that period or until further orders.
The MHA said that due to the non-functioning of normal commercial flight operations on account of the pandemic since March 2020, a number of foreign nationals, who came to India prior to March 2020 on valid Indian visa, have got stranded in India.
Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by such foreign nationals in getting their visas extended in India due to the lockdowns, the MHA had issued an order on June 29, 2020, conveying that Indian visa or stay stipulation period of such foreign nationals expiring post June 30, 2020 shall be deemed to be valid until 30 more days from the date of resumption of normal international flight operations, on gratis basis.
However, such foreign nationals have been applying for extension of their visas or stay stipulation period on a monthly basis.
“The matter has now been reconsidered by the MHA 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 August 31, 2021 on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty,” the MHA said.
Such foreign nationals may apply for exit permission to the FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.