In this article, YASH PURVIYA from KIIT School Of Law discusses about INDIAN VISA AND CAN FOREIGN NATIONALS STAY IN INDIA BEYOND THE AUTHORISED PERIOD?
INDIAN VISA : CAN FOREIGN NATIONALS STAY IN INDIA BEYOND THE AUTHORIZED PERIOD?
Formalities for Foreigners for Indian Visa:
- Foreigners who come to India must having a genuine and valid national passport or other recognized travel document affirmed internationally their nationality and identity and carrying a photograph from abroad. Nepal and Bhutan nationals if they enter India via land or air from Nepal and Bhutan, respectively, do not need a Indian Visa on arrival to enter India . However, they must be in possession of an authorized identity card. Also, if you enter India from a place other than your own country, possession of a national passport is essential. Foreigners need to enter India through an authorized or airport control station. And they are subject to immigration control at the airport or at the lock station. All foreigners entering India or leaving India by air or by sea must provide a true statement of data in the boarding form ‘D’ embarkation card.
- Standards and regulations vary from country to country and time to time depends on the situation and circumstances. However, during the normal state of affairs declared by the Government, the Indian visa can be obtained by the foreigners for the period of six months, one year and ten years depend on the requirement and purpose of the visitors. The validity of the Indian visa issued by the government will be figure up from the date of issuance of the visa and not from the date of entry. India does not provide post-dated visas. The Government of India has makes the provision for issuance of Visas for non-residents. The civil authority of the Government of India can detain any foreigner by invalid passport, insane, convictions or detrimental to the country’s interest, suffering from contagious diseases.
- All the foreign nationals who wish to stay beyond 180 days shall have to register themselves at the Foreigners Registration Officer within 2 weeks of arrival failing which may cause the prosecution under section 5 of the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939. Under the Registration (Exemption) Order 1957, foreigners children under the age of 16 years residing in India, need not to register their name as they are exempted under this order but they will be given a residential permit for staying in India and at regular interval they need to obtain extension for their stay.
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Kinds of visas OR Indian Visa
Particular Visas are issued according to the requirement and purpose of the applicant. There are many different types of visas which are follows:
- Tourist visas: Tourist visa is valid for a period 180 days and it is granted for the purpose of tourism. The visa is valid from the date of issue. As per rule, on a tourist visa extension of stay cannot be granted beyond 180 days, except in exceptional cases.
- Collective visas: There exist also a provision of collective visa, aiming at group tours having at least four or more members and it should be sponsored by a government recognized travel agency. And such group may divide into smaller group for the purpose of visiting different part of India after obtaining a collective license to travel from the immigration authorities in India. However, they must reassemble and depart as the original group.
- Transit visas: Transit visa is granted for a purpose other than tourism. The Indian Mission abroad granted this Transit Visa for 72 hours within 15 days from the date of issue.
- Business visas: This visa is refer to multiple entry business visa issued by the Indian embassy which is valid for up to the period of 6 months that can be extended up to five years, however, each visit is limited to 180 days depends on the nature of business.
- Student visa: This Visa is given to students for the purpose of their study. This visa is given for higher studies to genuine students to pursue their education at the recognized institutions in India. The validity of this visa is for one year but can be extended in India for the duration of the course.
- Conference visas: This visa is issued for delegates who are attending conferences in India that may take up to four weeks. This visa can be granted for covering conference as well as for tourism purposes in India. Delegates are advised to apply for Conference Visa to Indian Embassies well in advan
Entry Visas: This visa is refers to multiple-entry Visa which is issued only to the persons of Indian origin valid for 6 months to 5 years stay. A members of the family of a person employed in India can also apply for this visa.
Extension or conversion of visa:
If a foreign citizen who holds a valid visa for less than a year who wishes to convert it into a visa valid for more than one period will have to approach the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the said visa conversion .Work permits or employment visas are also extendable in India.
Foreign nationals who want to stay in India beyond the authorized period should apply for Indian visa for extension of stay 90 days before his residential permit is due to expire. The union Government has delegated limited powers to the Foreigner Registration Office to grant extension of stay to foreigners.
In India, the FROs is the central agency to regulate the movement, registration, stay, departure, and also for recommending the extension of a stay in India. In case any request of a foreign national foe extension of visa is forwarded by FRROs or FROs to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval, FRROs or FROs may grant temporary extension of visa for 3 months and also may grant return visa for visiting their home country. An application for extension of visa is needed to be submitted at least 60 days before the expiry date of their respective visa or residential permits. foreign nationals is liable for prosecution under the Foreigners Act 1946 and shall be liable for a term extend up to 5 years of imprisonment with the fine and expulsion from India in the events of overstay.
If there would be any specific stipulation that the foreign national can only live up to 180 days consecutively on the Business Visa issued by the Indian Embassy then the term regarding number of days of staying cannot be altered and the foreign national will have to follow the condition. But if the foreign national due to some reason is not in a position to comply with the rules and leave the country on expiry day of visa then the foreign national will have to contact with FRRO officers with an application which would contain the reason for the extension which the foreign national need and for what period. The FRO will have to examine the matter and on the merits of the case a decision will be taken and the decision will not be subject to appeal by the foreign national.
WHO ARE FOREIGN NATIONALS IN INDIA
By the term foreign nationals we could refer to those persons who came from any other country, for temporarily staying in India. They are not a citizen of this country they are staying temporarily only. A foreign national in India is someone who is neither an Indian citizen nor a permanent resident of India. In other words, an individual who is a citizen of any country other than the India, temporarily staying in India.
Can foreign nationals stay in India beyond the authorized time period? Indian visa requirements
Foreign nationals who want to stay in India beyond the authorized period should apply for extension of stay 90 days before his residential permit is due to expire. The union Government has delegated limited powers to the Foreigner Registration Office to grant extension of stay to foreigners. If a foreign citizen who holds a valid visa for less than a year who wishes to convert it into a visa valid for more than one period will have to approach the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the said visa conversion. If the Ministry of Home Affairs rejected the request of foreign nationals in the matter of extension of visa then foreigner has no right to stay in India, except under the procedure established by law.
In the latest case of M. Alexander v. Union of India, 2017 where a foreigners application for the further extension of visa was rejected by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The High Court of Himachal Pradesh observed that there is no rule which prescribes automatic extension of visa and there is no law which authorizes a foreigner to remain on this country any moment longer than the period so authorized, in accordance with law, be it for whatever purpose. Under the Foreigner Act, 1946 section-14 provides that “whosoever remains in any area in India, for a period exceeding than so prescribed in the visa, shall be punished with a term which may extend to five years and also pay fine”. the court also directed the petitioners that arrange your flight ticket and exit India to your native country within twelve hours, otherwise strict legal action will be taken against you for violation the provisions of “The Foreigner Act, 1946”.
In India there is a rule if the extension of visa is rejected by Ministry of Home Affairs/FRRO/FRO/State Government/Union Territory Administration then the foreigner shall leave India forthwith on expiry of the period of validity of the visa. If the foreign nationals does not act as per the rule then the person shall be held guilty for violation of rules and will be punished as per the provision laid under Foreigners Act 1946. In the mentioned case the court stated that neither the constitution of India or nor any provision permits the foreigner national to remain in India beyond the authorized period, except under the procedure establish by law.