Whether you are a student completing your extended term or a vagabond exploring India's limitless cultures, extending your stay on an Indian visa can be a daunting task. However, ignoring the extension and staying with an expired visa may seriously affect returning to your home country.
Thus, today, we’ve created a comprehensive Indian visa extension guide to answer your visa-extension-related questions and the visa extension process. First of all, let us explain visa extension in clearer terms.
Extending the expiry date of your visa from the original due date to sometime later is known as a visa extension. You can apply for a visa extension in India through the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) if you need to prolong your stay in India without being questioned for overstaying or breaching the visa regulations.
The officials of the FRRO shall guide you through the steps of visa extension. However, it would be convenient if you had a prior idea of the eligibility, costs, documents required, and when you should apply for an extension of your visa to India beforehand.
One by one, let us decode answers to all the above questions.
You should note that you can not apply for an extension if you visit India on an E-visa. However, with any other visa, the extension process may vary slightly based on the country of origin. Here are the general steps you need to follow to apply for the extension of an Indian visa.
Understand the Eligibility Criteria: Visit the FRO/FRRO website and understand the visa requirements. Make sure you meet the set eligibility criteria for the type of visa that you are applying for.
Collect the documents: Compile the documents that attest to your purpose of stay. Ensure that you have your passport, visa, visa extension application form and other documents as suggested by the officials.
Reach Out to the Office: The best way to avoid digital hassles is to contact your nearest Foreign Regional Registration Office. Visit the office with the asked documents and submit the visa extension application form.
Be prepared for the Interview: Remember that these formalities are for your ease. Ensure you answer all the questions correctly and avoid giving misleading replies to the authorities during the interview.
Pay the Fee: The fee for a visa extension may vary based on your country of origin. Thus, check out the latest fee from the authorities and collect your receipt after payment.
Collect Your Extended Visa: Wait as the authorities process your request and collect your extended visa from the FRRO office once it has been processed.
If you wish to prolong your stay in India after your visa expiration date, you should apply for a visa extension well in advance. Although the exact time before applying for a visa extension may vary from country to country, it is advised that you apply for the extension at least four to six weeks before the expiry of your visa.
Waiting for the last moment to initiate a visa extension request may lead to a rejection, which may further cause you to leave the country with incomplete matters. Thus, applying for the extension procedure while carefully checking the application guidelines is highly recommended.
The visa extension fee in India may vary for different visa holders based on their country of origin. You may have to visit the official website or the FRRO personnel to know the fees for a visa extension. Remember, the officials may also charge an extra penalty if you overstay or apply for an extension after the expiry date of your visa.
The Foreign Regional Registration Office is responsible for looking after visa extension matters that foreign visitors raise in the country. The FRRO generally takes 7-10 working days to approve your visa extension request. The time includes all the steps from submitting the application paying the fee, to accepting/rejecting the request.
The visa extension request generally gets approved in most cases. However, certain discrepancies in the application may lead to delays in the procedures. Thus, it is advised that the foreign national apply for the visa extension at least 45-60 days before the expiry date of a visa.
If you are a foreign national visiting India on an e-visa, you may not be able to extend your stay by applying for a visa extension. However, you can move out of the country for a few days, apply for an e-visa, and then return to India’s mainland.
For instance, suppose you are travelling from Finland to India on an e-visa. Then, before your e-visa expires, you can move out to a neighbouring country such as Sri Lanka, apply for an e-visa for India, and then return once the e-visa gets approved again.
Overstaying in India after the expiration of your visa may pose severe consequences. You may have to pay a penalty or be present before Indian judicial law if you breach any laws post to overstaying on an Indian Visa. Additionally, you may have to pay a penalty of $100 every week for an extra stay in the country.
We hope this article walked you through all the important aspects of Indian visa extension. Please note that the visa extension is a procedure conducted by the FRRO/ FRO offices in India. The details mentioned above are subject to change at the authorities' discretion.
>> Also Read: What is Dual Citizenship?
Now that you have a precise idea of the visa extension process, delay no more! Apply for the extension before your visa expires, and stay a few more days in the land of beautiful cultures!
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