Can I extend my visa?
Almost all Indian visas can be extended, with the exception of Tourist and Transit Visas which cannot be extended. The only exception is in the case of an emergency. See “Emergency Extension” under “Types of Visa Extensions.”
Who authorizes visa extensions and where do I go?
Visa extensions are mainly left to the discretion of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi. Mumbai residents can avoid flying to New Delhi by submitting requests for extensions in person at the FRRO office in Mumbai. The Mumbai FRRO will then submit the request to New Delhi and wait for approval or denial.
How far in advance should I apply for an extension?
All extensions should be applied for no sooner than 15 days before expiration of your current visa.
How long does it take to process a visa extension?
If you apply in person at the MHA in New Delhi, the decision about your extension can be made in one day. If you apply at the FRRO, the decision can take as long as two months. While you await the decision, you will be given a temporary visa extension.
Types of Visa Extensions
The following visa extensions must be approved by the MHA in New Delhi:
Employment Visa Extension: Initial employment visas are almost always valid for two years from the issue date. Your work contract may be for 2 or more years. In this case, go to the FRRO office in Mumbai no sooner than 15 days before your employment visa expires. The FRRO office will grant you, your spouse, and your dependents three months visa extension on the spot, while the request for your employment visa extension is processed at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi. If the MHA approves your application, you, your spouse, and your dependents will receive a 9 month extension. (3 months extension from the FRRO, plus 9 months extension from the MHA, equals one year total extension.) After the first one-year extension has been awarded, you can extend your employment visa annually for the next three years at the FRRO office, without further approval from the MHA.
N.B. You cannot extend your employment visa if your employer has changed. To change employers, you must leave India, reapply for a new employment visa in your home country, and then reenter.
Business Visa Extension: Similar process to “Employment Visa Extension” above.
Entry or “X” Visa Extension: Since this is the hodgepodge Indian visa, requirements and restrictions will depend on why you are in India. Financial details and a letter from a sponsor are likely to be required. Contact the FRRO for information. If you have been given an “X” visa due to your spouse’s Business or Employment visa, then you can seek extension at the same time your spouse seeks an extension.
The following extensions can be made at the FRRO office without approval from the MHA New Delhi:
Emergency Extension: 15 days visa extension in case of death, illness, non-availability of flights. Must provide onward journey ticket and pay fee.
Student Visa Extension: The FRRO can annually grant one-year student visa extensions for the duration of the course or 5 years, whichever is less. You must show a bona fide certificate from a recognized college or university.
Research Visa Extension: The FRRO can grant extension of Research Visa for foreign research scholars staying in India for the duration of research project as approved by Institute of Affiliation or five years, whichever is less. Must show a valid Research Visa; a bona fide document from the university or institute of affiliation about the research project and stating the duration of the research project; and evidence of financial resources.
Journalist Visa Extension: If you are a foreign journalist accredited by the Press Information Bureau, the FRRO can extend your journalist visa for up to one year. Must show proof of accreditation.
Waiting for MHA Approval: For long-term extensions, such as employment visa extensions, the FRRO office in Mumbai can grant a temporary three month extension while the MHA processes the longer extension.
Special Cases: There are many special visa extensions for Bangladeshi nationals, Aghani nationals, Tibetan and Burmese refugees, people of Indian origin, spouses and family of Indian citizens, children under 16, and people in India on medical visas. For more details visit: http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/faq_visa_extensions2.htm
Please check with the FRRO for the current required documents before applying for an extension. It’s also a good idea to bring several (or a lot of) extra copies of each document, because Indian clerks are notorious for asking for more copies than you have with you. Here are some documents you may require, depending on your case:
- Your FRRO registration booklet
- Local police report
- PAN card
- Indian tax documents
- Original passport
- Passport copies (Ask how many are needed and which pages should be copied. Make more copies than you are told you will need.)
- Proof of address in India (You can get this from the police.)
- Passport photos (The actual number is variable, so bring a stack of photos just to be prepared.)
- Completed application form, which will include an explanation of why you are seeking a visa extension.
- Letters from company or university or institution, whichever is applicable, stating why you need a visa extension- including: Letter of Undertaking, cover letter, employment contract or assignment letter.
- Financial details
Helpful Links and Information
Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) Mumbai
3rd Floor, Special Branch Bldg.,
Badruddin Tayabji Lane,
Behind St. Xaviers College,
Phone: +91 99 022-2262-0446
Fax: +91 99 022-2262-0721
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block
New Delhi 110 001
Phone: 2309-2011, 2309-2161
Fax: 2309-3750, 2309-2763
ELSI Relo – Expatriate Logistic Services India
302 Sunshine Building T-39, Opposite Shastri
Nagar, Lokhandwala Road
Andheri (W), India
Indian Bureau of Immigration’s website: http://immigrationindia.nic.in/
Foreigner’s Division of the MHA website: http://mha.nic.in/ForeigDiv/ForeigHome.html