New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday said that the Indian visa or stay stipulation period of foreign nationals stranded in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered as deemed to be valid till September 30, 2021.

As per an official statement issued by the MHA, due to the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of foreigners who had come to India on various types of visas prior to March 2020 got stranded in the country in the absence of flights to their destinations.

Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by such foreign nationals in getting their visas extended in India due to the lockdown, the MHA said the Central government had facilitated the stay of such foreign nationals within India by giving deemed extension of their regular visa or e-visa or stay stipulation period on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.

"This facility which is presently available till August 31, 2021, has now been extended by the Central Government till September 30, 2021," the MHA said. It further said, "Such foreign nationals will not be required to submit an application to the FRRO/FRO concerned for extension of their visas till September 30, 2021."

Before exiting the country, the Ministry said, the foreigners may apply online for exit permission on the e-FRRO portal, which would be granted by the FRRO or FRO concerned on a gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.

If an extension of visa is required beyond September 30, 2021, the Ministry said, the foreign national concerned may apply for an extension of visa on the online e-FRRO platform on a payment basis, which would be considered by the FRRO/FRO concerned, subject to the eligibility as per the extant guidelines. However, Afghan nationals already in India on any category of visa will be granted an extension of visa under guidelines issued separately for Afghan nationals.

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan