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Owing to continued Covid-19 restrictions on international commercial flights, the government on Friday extended visa validity of foreigners stuck in India since March last year to September 30, 2021. Earlier, it had been extended till August 31.

However, Afghan nationals already in India on any category of visa will be granted extension of visa under guidelines issued separately for them, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Thursday.

India recently granted e-visas to Afghans fleeing the Taliban rule under Emergency X Misc category. These visas are valid for six months.

“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,” an MHA statement said.

Officials said such foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the FRRO/FRO concerned for extension of their visas. However, for extension of visa beyond September 30, they would have to apply on the online e-FRRO platform on payment basis.

“Before exiting the country, they may apply online for an exit permission on e-FRRO portal, which would be granted by the FRRO/FRO concerned on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty,” MHA said.
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