India today extended its visa validity till 31st August due to the difficulties being faced by foreign nationals who came to the country prior to March last year and got stranded due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Home Ministry in a statement said, 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. These foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the FRRO or FRO concerned for extension of their visas.
It said, 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. Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by such foreign nationals in getting their visas extended in India due to the lockdown, Home Ministry had issued an order on 29th June last year conveying that the Indian Visa or stay stipulation period of such foreign nationals expiring post 30th June 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 Ministry said, such foreign nationals may apply for an exit permission to the FRRO or FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.