New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI): The Indian visa or stay stipulation period of foreign nationals stranded in India due to COVID-19 pandemic will be considered as deemed to be valid till August 31, 2021, said the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday.
As per an official press release by the ministry, due to the 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.
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 June 29, 2020, conveying that the 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 the extension of their visas or stay stipulation period on a monthly basis.
The matter has now been reconsidered by the Ministry of Home Affairs (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.
As per the ministry, these foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO)/Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) concerned for extension of their visas.
Such foreign nationals may apply for exit permission to the FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted on a gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty. (ANI)