Sunday, September 14, 2008

Visa extensions (Otherwise Known as the Seventh Circle of Hell

This process can be unbelievably complicated or very, very simple. :-)


In Delhi, you need to go to the Foreigner's Regional Registration Office downtown (Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners' Division, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road New Delhi). Don't bother to print and fill out the forms you find on-line because they'll refuse them. Here's the link, just in case:

You will need the following items:

Bring four copies of everything (just in case. Sometimes it's only three, sometimes four). The officer will give you back everything he doesn't want.

Residency Permits
Rent Agreement
Employment Contracts
Letter from the Company requesting your extension (Note: there was a change this year. You will need to ensure that on this letter, it states that the company will repatriate you to your company of origin if the visa is denied.)
Passports (must have six months left on them.)
Copies of Existing Valid Visas
Four passport sized photos each

You must arrive before noon. When you arrive at the FRRO, you will show your passports and be directed to a little outbuilding to the right and get assigned a number which really doesn't matter. Then head back out and walk to the main building and head up the main staircase. On the 1st floor, right ahead of you, is the FRRO. walk through the doors and head left. There's usually a woman behind a small desk. Show her your papers. She'll tell you that you need a different form. Fill it out (twice, or thrice - or head back downstairs to pay the copierwalla for additional copies.) Bring all your papers back to the woman. When she's satisfied, she'll take them from you.

Find a seat over in the long thin section with desks to the extreme right. This is where the officers will sit. This section becomes seriously overcrowded once the officers finally come in (usually after 1:00) and everyone hovers waiting for their name to be called.

Once your name is called, sit down across from the officer and be as polite as possible. Answer all his questions as simply as possible. Do not offer any additional information. Once he's done, you can leave.

HOWEVER, you need to be back at 4:00 on the same day. Back in that office again, upstairs in the same building, waiting with the rest of the huge crowd. Now you're waiting on the decision. When they call your name, you will either be told that your request was denied, OR handed a sealed and stamped brown envelope which you need to take to the same place where you got your residency permits. Only they can open the envelope. In the envelope will be a declaration on how much time the extension is for. Most are between one year and 6 months.

Good luck!