The coronavirus pandemic has affected the travel and tourism industry in many ways. Countries had to impose travel restrictions, close airspace, cancel flights, and suspend visas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. As much as these measures have helped contain the infection, it has affected tourists considerably as they are stuck in a foreign country and worried about visa expiry.
To address this issue, many governments including India have introduced visa extension measures under which stranded foreign travelers will get legal rights to stay in the country until the air operations resume. Some countries allow automatic visa extension while some require travelers to apply for a visa extension.
India is among those countries where travelers are required to apply to the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) online to get their visa extended. The online India visa extension application process is convenient, quick, and reliable as the application is processed immediately without any unnecessary delays. Here’s a comprehensive overview of India visa extension guidelines and application process.
India Visa Extension- What you Need to Know?
The government of India suspended the rights of foreign nationals as well as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders to enter the country due to the COVID-19 led travel restrictions and air operation cancellations.
The India tourist visa extension is allowed on a GRATIS basis for foreigners stranded in the country because of the lockdown and travel restraints. Travelers will receive an extension to stay in India for a maximum period of 30 days after the resuming of international travel in the country.
Moreover, the government has kept the life-long, multiple-entry visas of OCI cardholders in abeyance until the travel operations remain suspended; however, those already present in India are allowed to stay in the country for as long as required.
Who Can Apply for India Visa Extension?
Foreign nationals who got stranded in India after the imposing of travel restrictions by the government can have their visas extended. The extension rule will apply to all kinds of visit visas including regular India tourist visa, electronic visa India (eVisa India), and stay stipulation that expired after February 1, 2020, midnight, or may expire until the day the government lifts travel restrictions.
A few categories of foreign visitors are exempt from the visa suspension including officials, diplomatic staff, United Nations officials, and UN-related employment or project categories. Apart from these designations, all existing visit visas granted to foreign nationals will remain suspended. The suspension will stay in effect until the Indian government resumes regular international air travel to-and-from India.
Foreigners in India will receive an extension of up to 30 days after the prohibitions are lifted. This is especially relevant to foreign travelers whose visas are about to expire or expired on 01.02.2020 post-midnight. The travelers won’t be subject to overstay penalties.
To obtain an Indian visit visa extension, a foreign national has to submit an online application to extend the duration of the visa expiration date. The process to apply for a India visa extension is the same for all types of tourist visas including eVisas, regular visas, and stay stipulation.
All foreign nationals can apply for a India visa extension online. Their visas will be extended on a GRATIS basis and the application will be processed by the FRRO.
What is the FRRO (e-FRRO)?
The Indian government has introduced an online Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) called e-FRRO portal to allow foreign travelers to obtain visa extension or seek registration with the FRRO simply by filling out an application form. This is the official online portal of the Indian government designed especially to facilitate travelers’ registration, visa extensions India, and all types of immigration-related services digitally. This means foreign nationals visiting India don’t need to personally visit the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) anymore.
This system was implemented on 12 February 2018 specifically to simplify the visa registration and extension process for foreign nationals. Previously, foreigners were required to visit the local FRRO immigration office located in Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and/or Delhi to apply for India visa extension. With the implementation of an online visa extension service, this is no longer required.
The new portal is one of the best immigration reforms introduced by the Government of India that directly impacts foreign nationals visiting India. Now they don’t even need to go through the tiresome process of applying for Indian visa extension or FRRO registration, and can simply hire travel agents or global mobility managers to apply on their behalf.
The e-FRRO portal has eliminated the need for the inbound employees and their family members accompanying them to India to physically visit a local FRRO branch. Moreover, this system has eradicated the need to submit physical applications and foreign travelers can easily apply through the new e-FRRO portal. For apply online application click on e-FRRO Services
Extension on Regular Visa and eVisa due to COVID-19:
Foreigners holding a regular Visa, an e-Visa, or stay stipulation all can apply online for India visa extension. The extension on regular visa due to COVID-19 and other types of visas will apply to travelers whose visas have expired or might expire from 1 February midnight onwards, which is the date travel restrictions were imposed, until the date the international travel prohibitions are lifted.
The online FRRO portal is the perfect solution for submitting your India visa extension application online or to upload documents for all types of immigration or visa-related services. This includes the Indian FRRO registration, visa conversion, visa extension, or exit permission, change of passport, or change of address. From visa extension India to exit permission, the e-FRRO portal will accept all kinds of applications to facilitate foreign travelers stranded in India due to COVID-19 lockdown. First you have to complete the Registration Form, You will be receive OTP to your e-mail ID as well as the Indian mobile number you entered during the registration process.
India Visa Extension Process:
India Visa extension process is very easy and user-friendly. You only need to fill out a simple application form and submit scanned images of the required documents. However, do make sure that the information you enter is accurate and free from typo errors or spelling mistakes.
Documents Required for Online India Visa Extension:
To apply for India tourist visa extension you will need to provide a passport size photo, a scanned image of your visa, and a scanned image of your original valid passport copy. Here are all the details on the documents you need to submit.
A Passport Size Photograph:
It is important to submit an unedited passport size photo.
The photo must show a full frontal view of your face with open eyes.
Full face photo means that the center of your head should be within the picture frame and the image must show your full face starting from the top of hair to the bottom of your chin.
The photo should have a plain white or light-colored background.
There should not be any shadows on the background or your face that may block the view.
The photo must not be modified using any mobile app or software.
The scanned image must not be Photoshopped otherwise the India visa extension application will be rejected.
The image should be in JPG format in standard passport size (3.5 x 4.5 cm or 3.5 x 3.5 cm).
The size of your photograph must not exceed the permitted maximum limit of 1MB.
A Copy of your Original and Valid Passport:
You have to take a color scanned digital copy of the first page of your original passport, which is also called the biography page.
This page contains all your details including your photograph so make sure that the scanned image is clear and not blurred from any side.
In case the image is blurred, you will be asked to resubmit the image, and the process of India visa extension will be delayed unnecessarily.
The image should be in PDF format and must not exceed the maximum size limit of 1MB.
A Copy of your Indian Visa:
You need to provide a color scanned image of your visa.
Make sure that the image is clear and all the details are evident.
The file should be in PDF format and must not exceed the maximum permitted size limit of 1MB.
How we can Help you Obtain Visa Extension India due to COVID-19:
We offer the perfect platform for foreign travelers in India to avail all types of visa-related services through a user-friendly, time-saving, and paperless process. We can help you get registered with the FRRO, fill out India visa extension application form without any mistakes, and apply for other visa-related services including exit permit or visa conversion.
Do remember that you need to apply for India visa extension at least two weeks before the date your Indian visa expires. Also, please note that this information should be taken as a guideline only and for the latest updates contact us 24/7 available customer service. Our well-informed representatives will promptly answer all your queries and clear any confusion you may have regarding the online India visa extension process.
Schedule an appointment with our dedicated COVID-19 immigration and travel consultants to obtain actionable guidance on Indian visa extension requirements or for other immigration-related issues. It is important to have accurate information while applying for the India visa extension because even a minor glitch can lead to rejection of the application.
I agreeRead more