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The Central Government on Thursday announced the extension of visas for all foreign nationals stranded in the country due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic till 31 September. They will not be required to submit application to FRRO/FRO concerned for visa extension.

The decision was taken because a number of foreigners who came to India on various types of visas prior to March, 2020 got stranded in the country in the absence of flights to their destinations due to Covid-19.

“Due to the situation arising out of 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. 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 Union Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

The government said that if someone wanted visa extension beyond 30 September, they may apply on the online e-FRRO platform on payment basis, which would be considered by the authorities, subject to the eligibility as per the extant guidelines.

"Before exiting, they may apply online for exit permission on e-FRRO portal, which would be granted by FRRO/FRO concerned on gratis basis without levy of overstay penalty," the MHA statement read.

The government also made it clear that Afghan nationals, already in India on any category of visa, will be granted extension of visa under guidelines issued separately for Afghan nationals.

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Meghna Sen

Meghna Sen is a deputy chief content producer at Livemint where she tracks companies, markets, news. She has 5+ years of experience with online and print publications. Email: meghna.sen@htdigital.in
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