Bhubaneswar: Indian visa or stay stipulation period of foreigners stranded in India due to COVID-19 pandemic will be considered as deemed to be valid till 31.08.2021 on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.
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 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 29.06.2020 conveying that the Indian Visa or stay stipulation period of such foreign nationals expiring post 30.06.2020 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 matter has now been reconsidered by the 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 31.08.2021 on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty. These foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the FRRO/FRO concerned for extension of their visas.
Such foreign nationals may apply for an exit permission to the FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty.