India visa extension - what you need to know before applying?

Priyam Lahon 20 July 2021 523 views 5 min. read

Maybe you are already a traveler in India and want to experience more of India, or you are here due to business issues; you can even be a patient seeking medical treatment in India. Whatever your reasons are, you won’t be allowed to stay in India after the expiration of your visa unless, of course, you extend the visa.

Why has India offered to extend the visa of foreign nationals already in the country?

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Several foreign nationals are currently stucked in India - they are unable to leave the nation due to the travel restrictions imposed on them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic, though it originated in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, has spread to almost all of the nations around the world, and India is no exception. To control the spread of the pandemic, many nations around the world, including India, have implemented travel restrictions. Many leading scientists and world governments, including the World Health Organization, have advised against traveling, unless necessary, during the time of the pandemic. Rather than forcing the foreign nationals to leave the country, India has decided to ensure that the essential consular services will be available to extend the visas - this will allow the foreign nationals to stay in India and avoid traveling. In addition to the consular visas, eVisas may also be extended. If a foreign national has to stay in India long after their visa has expired, they will be able to apply for a new one within the country. They won’t receive a penalty for overstaying their visa in India.

Has India extended the visas of foreign nationals who are outside India?

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Except for those foreign nationals which already in the country, India has suspended most visas. Only certain exceptions, such as diplomats and officials, are exempted. With the suspension, the Indian nationals who live outside India and hold an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card won’t be able to visit the country visa-free until the suspension is relevant. If any foreign national has a compelling reason to travel to India, they have to contact the nearest Indian Consulate or Embassy and start the application. Depending on travel purpose, special consideration can be provided to the individual which meets the requirements for an India visa.

Who should apply for visa extension in India?

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As mentioned before, the foreign nationals who have come to India for various purposes such as traveling, or business-related activities, or for medical treatment - are the ones who should apply for visa extension in India if they are stuck in the country due to the pandemic. Visa can be extended if you, as a foreign national whose visa has expired or expiring during the period from February 1, 2020 (midnight) till the date on which the Government of India lifts the prohibition for international travel. Visas can then be extended on a ‘GRATIS’ basis on the submission of online applications. Such visa extensions can be granted for a period of 15 days, from the date of lifting the prohibition on international travel from India without levy of overstay penalty. If foreign citizens request to leave, it can also be granted to them on the same grounds.

How to extend India visa in India?

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Foreign nationals who are in India can extend their visa through the visa extension India website, FRRO/FRO. The visa extension India website FRRO is an online platform, so the India visa extension process is an entirely online process. As of now, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, no foreign nationals are allowed to visit the FRRO office in person without any prior appointment. As a foreign national, you can extend your India visa through the FRRO website - its aim is to create an online platform where foreign nationals can work out any issue related to visas by being user-friendly and providing cashless and paperless services. With the FRRO website, the foreign nationals can register their name and create a user ID; they can then apply for visa extension and various other services.

Can you opt for tourist visa extension India?

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If, as a foreign national, you are in India with a tourist visa, and that tourist visa is about to expire, rest assured that the Indian government will allow for tourist visa extension India. Usually, India tourist visa extension is not allowed in normal cases, but in extraordinary cases, India tourist visa extension is possible. Such extensions are usually applied 15 days prior to the expiration date. Note that an Indian visa can be extended for up to 5 years. To get the extension approved, one will need to present all his original documents such as residential and travel documents, including a copy of passport, residence permit, income tax return, employment contract (extended), marriage certificate, and such. Note that 4 passport-sized photographs are also a must.

Is it possible to have a medical visa extension in India?

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Usually, the validity of a medical visa is for 1 year or for the total period of treatment. This visa usually allows the patient to enter the country a maximum of 3 times in a calendar year. If, as a foreign national, you are stranded in India as a patient with a medical visa, rest assured that medical visa extension in India is possible. The foreign national will need to produce a medical certificate for the same and submit it through the visa extension India website, FRRO, along with other required documents. In such cases, the visas of the foreign nationals will be extended for an additional year.

Is it possible to go for an India employment visa extension?

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Yes, it’s possible to go for an India employment visa extension. Usually, when a foreign national enters India with a visa that’s valid for less than 180 days, they don’t have to register themselves at the visa extension India website, FRRO. However, if the foreign nationals enter India with an employment visa with a validity of over 180 days, they have to register themselves at FRRO, who then, will issue a Residential Permit that will have the residential address of the visa holder. In normal circumstances, FRRO, FRO, State Governments can extend the validity of the employment visa to a total period of 5 years from the date of issue. In the current situation, the India employment visa extension can be done through FRRO. Provide the right and the original documents as required by FRRO, and the India employment visa extension will be managed.

What of the eVisa extension India? Can it be extended?

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Yes, it is possible to apply for eVisa Extension India. Due to the travel restrictions, there are a number of foreign nationals who are stranded in the country; they are unable to exit India during the validity of their visa. As such, the visa extension India foreigners, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an order that after the expiry of the visa, 30 more days will be taken into consideration for visa extension India foreigners, and it will continue to do so as long as the restrictions prevail due to the pandemic. The visas of the stranded foreign nationals, their visas will deem to be valid for 30 more days on a gratis basis and without any levy of overstay penalty. Even though such foreign nationals aren’t required to submit an application to FRRO for extending their visas, they can submit exit permission to FRRO before exiting India, and which will be granted on a GRATIS basis without levy of any overstay penalty.

How much is it to get extension visa to stay in India more than 6 months?

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Any traveler who enters India with a visa that is valid for more than 6 months or 180 days they have to register themselves at FRRO within 14 days of their arrival in the nation. Failure to comply with this rule will result in your registration being tagged as a late entry, and you will have to pay additional visa extension India fees. As the main job of FRRO is to regulate and monitor the tenure of foreign nationals in India, a delay in the FRRO registration means you have to pay a late fee of 1395 INR on top of the additional late visa extension India fees; plus, you will also have to provide a letter stating your delay in submitting your registration papers. As such, it’s of utmost importance to register yourselves at FRRO with the necessary documents within the given time period. The registration fee is 100 INR, but if you are late, the charges could turn up to 1495 INR. If you are a foreign national, and your visa is about to expire, it’s better to do so as early as possible - an Indian visa can be extended at least 60 days before its expiry. Gather all the necessary documents and undergo the extension process as soon as possible - overstaying in India is a punishable act, and if found out, it can lead to a person being imprisoned for up to 5 years.

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