Visa of foreigners stranded due to COVID-19 extended till April 30

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The government of India on Monday decided to extend all the Visa, eVisa of foreigners stranded in India due to COVID-19 till April 30, the Home Ministry said.

The home ministry in a statement said “All those foreigners whose regular visa, e-Visa or stay expired or would be expiring during February 1 (midnight) to April 30 (midnight), would be “extended till April 30 (midnight) on gratis basis, after making an online application by the foreigners”.

The foreign nationals are stranded in India due to the 21-days national wide lockdown announced on March 24 to control the spread of the COVID-19.

In order to remove any kind of confusion, the home ministry had on March 28 granted consular services on a gratis basis to the foreign nationals, presently staying in India because of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, till April 30.

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Earlier, the govt had extended the regular and e-visa of those foreigners who are currently in India and unable to depart the country because of the outbreak of coronavirus, till April 15.

The decision to extend the visa exemption till April 30 was apparently taken in view of the near-certain extension of the continued lockdown till April 30.

It is also a sign that international flights, cancelled since March 25, won’t resume before April 30.

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Thousands of foreign nationals are stuck in the country since the imposition of the travel restrictions and are unable to exit the country during the validity of their visa.

The ministry has also provided essential consular services through the office of Foreigners Regional Registration Officers and Foreigners Registration Officers to foreign nationals, presently in India.

The exit of such foreign nationals, if so requested by them during this period, are going to be granted without levy of overstay penalty, the ministry had said earlier.

PTI

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