India treats Sri Lankans on a par with Chinese in visa extension
[TamilNet, Friday, 11 June 2010, 23:38 GMT]
Sri Lankans and Chinese either employed or in business in India require direct visit to the home ministry in New Delhi for all extensions of their visas, according to recently revised regulations of the Government of India. The other nationals may apply and get extensions from local authorities. In the case of foreigners married to Indian nationals, Sri Lankans are singled out from the others and are required approval from the home ministry for all visa extensions. What do these regulations mean in the wake of recent Indo-Sri Lanka agreements in the name of economic cooperation as well as people to people contact and the influx of the corporates of India in the island, wonder business circles in Colombo.
Relevant paragraphs from the India.gov.in website:
Who can grant extension of Employment Visa or Business Visa?
First extension on Employment and Business VISA is granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigner 's Division, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road New Delhi.
However, FRROs/FROs cum Superintendent of Police, can grant three months extension in anticipation on production of relevant documents and simultaneously send the case for the consideration to MHA. On approval of the MHA, FRROs/FROs cum Superintendent of Police, can endorse rest of the 9 months extension. Subsequent extensions, on yearly basis for next 4 more years can be granted by FRROs/FROs cum Superintendent of Police (Except in case of citizens of China and Sri Lanka).
Whether a 5 years extension can be given to a registered foreigner?
Five year VISA extension can be granted for following categories of foreigners:
- Foreigners of Indian origin, their spouses & children.
- Foreigners living in India on valid visa continuously for last 20 years.
- Experts & technicians coming to India in pursuance of bilateral agreements, their spouses and children.
- Foreigners married to an Indian National, when on long term VISA or when long term extension has been approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreign Division, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road New Delhi, then further extension up to five year at a time can be given by concerned FRROs/FROs cum Superintendents of Police on production of relevant documents and satisfaction. For Bangladeshi National only one year extension is given at a time and such Sri Lankan Nationals invariably require approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreign Division, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road New Delhi for all extensions)
According to Government of India regulations visas granted to foreign nationals do not cover visiting the following protected and restricted regions of India.
The Protected Areas are as follows:
- Whole of State of Manipur
- Whole of State of Mizoram
- Whole of State of Arunachal Pradesh
- Whole of State of Nagaland
- Whole of State of Sikkim
- Parts of State of Uttaranchal
- Parts of State of J&K
- Parts of State of Rajasthan
- Parts of State of Himachal Pradesh.
The Restricted Areas are as follows:
- Whole of Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
- Part of the state of Sikkim
It is not surprising that people of many of these regions, especially those from the northeast frontier states of India don’t feel that they are citizens of India, commented social activists worked in these regions who have witnessed people from such regions travelling to interior India saying that they were ‘going to India.’