Obtaining a visa extension or changing a visa type is an arduous process requiring great patience. You will need to visit the Bangalore Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to collect the most recent application form and requirement checklist. Once you have assembled all the required documents, plan to return to the FRRO at 9 am, and to stay until noon. A token system is in effect (some people arrive at 8 am to line up), based on a first come, first served. This generally takes a couple of hours at least. You may also be required to revisit the office either later in the afternoon or in the week to pick up the permit granted.
The Bangalore FRRO is able to grant some extensions, including:
- 15-day extensions to all visa holders in case of an emergency such as illness, death or non-availability of flights
- visa extension of foreign national children
- one- to five-year visa extensions for those with a student visa enrolled in studies
- one-year extensions to employment and business visa holders that have already had an approved extension from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi in the past (registration each additional year will also be required)
- five-year extensions to foreign technicians/experts, and their spouses/children, “in India in pursuance of bilateral agreements”
All other visa extension and conversion requests can be filed locally at Bangalore’s FRRO where they will then be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi for processing (this may take several months).
You should begin the extension process about a month before the expiry of the existing visa, however, if you have pending international travel plans, you may wish to begin the process farther in advance.
Required documents typically include:
- a formal request letter for the visa extension stating the reasons for the request
- completed application form (with headshot attached)
- a statement of purpose or extension of contract letter from the Indian company or educational institution
- an employment contract or letter of educational enrolment
- photocopies of passport pages and visas, along with the originals
- two passport size photographs
- registration certificate (if one has already been issued in the past)
- proof of address (letter from house owner or lease AND phone/utility bill in your name)
- bank letter and/or proof of financial means
Bring additional copies of all required documents and photographs, as well as any other supporting documentation that you think may help. The process can be arbitrary so best to come prepared.
It should be noted that in order to exit and re-enter India, a valid visa at the time of travel is absolutely required. Since extensions can take several months to be processed, ensure that you have this arranged prior to any international travel. If your visa has expired and you are awaiting an extension to be processed, ensure that you obtain an exit visa prior to attempting to leave the country. In such as case, you would also require a new visa to re-enter India.
Visa Extension & Conversion for Dependents
Spouses/children of foreign nationals with an employment visa are granted an X-visa with a validity co-terminus with the validity of the visas of their spouse. On every approved visa extension of a foreigner on a Business and Employment visa, their spouse and children may also seek the same visa extension on a co-terminus basis.
Generally, spouses of foreign nationals that arrive on an X-visa are not allowed to work in India. If the spouse wants to work in India, an appropriate visa (i.e., a business or employment visa) is required for which the spouse would need to go back to the port of origin and obtain the requisite employment visa. Change of category of visa is not permitted, and any breach in the purpose/category of the visa granted to a foreign national is illegal and can result in deportation.
The US and India have an agreement that enables their diplomatic spouses to work in each other’s countries, most expatriate spouses from other countries do not have this privilege.
More information and application forms can be found online at http://www.boi.gov.in
No. 55, Double Road,
Near ESI Hospital
Indira Nagar, Bangalore
Tel: 38 080-25202053, 25297683
Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division)
Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road,
Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110011
Open Monday-Friday, 10 AM to 12 Noon