If by any chance you end up overstaying your visa in India, it can land you in serious legal troubles, penalty, and in some cases a future ban too.
The penalty, $30 initially, has been bumped up to as high as $500 depending on your duration of violation.
The Foreigner's Act, 1946
Section 14- Penalty for contravention of provisions of the Act, etc. —Whoever.—
- remains in any area in India for a period exceeding the period for which the visa was issued to him;
- does any act in violation of the conditions of the valid visa issued to him for his entry and stay in India or any part there under;
- contravenes the provisions of this Act or of any order made there under or any direction given in pursuance of this Act or such order for which no specific punishment is provided under this Act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine;
To put it simply, over staying in India beyond the visa date can lead to fine, an imprisonment of up to 5 years and even banishment from entering the country again.
Here's the penalty explained -
- $500 penalty if overstay is for more than a period of 2 years.
- $400 penalty is overstay is between 91 days to 2 years.
- $300 penalty if overstay is up to 90 days.
In cases pertaining to minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the penalties are -
- Rs. 500 for overstay of more than 2 years.
- Rs. 200 for overstay of anywhere between 91 days to 2 years.
- Rs. 100 for overstay up to 90 days.
For an official documentation on penalties, you can visit the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website - https://boi.gov.in - or click here for a direct link to the document.
It is clear that overstaying in India should not be taken lightly and one must plan ahead and keep visa considerations in mind to avoid any such hassles that can ruin your travel. Here are a few measures you can take to avoid future mishaps with respect to visa.
- Apply for a visa extension well before the visa expiration date. If at any time, you feel that your stay might be longer than the visa expiration date, apply for a visa renewal.
- Visa extension must be done at least 60 days before the date of visa expiry for existing visa duration of more than 6 months and individuals registered with the FRRO.
- Apply for an exit visa before leaving the country.
- Book your return tickets as soon as you receive your visa to avoid paying steep prices for the same tickets when booked at the last moment. Not only does this save you money but also ensures that you have considered the exit date of the visa and booked your tickets.
- Keep in mind your Visa Expiration/End Date or the last day you should be spending in the respective country. Hence, your return ticket should not be after that date.
VISA Dates Explained
- Date of Issue: Date when visa was issued by the Government of India.
- Date of expiry: Last date by which Visa holder must enter India.
- Last date of Stay: Based on Visa holder's entry date in India and Visa type.
Case Specific Explanation :
30 Days e-Tourist India Visa- Visa holder of this type must enter India between the Date of Issue and the Date of expiry of ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) mentioned. However, the visa holder's last day depends on the date he or she entered India and not on the above two dates. The day you fly in and enter India will count as the first day of your 30 day visa. For example, if you enter India on the 1st of January, your last day of stay in India will be 30th of January same year.
e-Tourist (1 or 5 years) or e-Business Visa- For these types of Visa, the last date is mentioned clearly on the issued Visa. The Visa Expiration (Date of Expiry of ETA) is the last date of stay (1 year or 5 years from the Date of Issue) and does not depend on the date of entry in India. Visa holders must not stay beyond this date.
e-Conference visa- Just like the 30 days e-Tourist visa, the duration of this visa type is also 30 days only from the date of arrival/entry into India. The date of entry into the country is counted as the first day.
e-Medical or e-Medical Attendant Visa- Visa duration is 60 days from date of arrival or entry into India for both of these visa types. The date of entry into the country is counted as the first day.
For more information and details on how to apply for one of the above, you may visit the authorised portal for visa application or click here to go to the link directly.
- Legislative Department , Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India - http://legislative.gov.in
- Indian Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) Website - https://indianfrro.gov.in/frro
- Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India - https://boi.gov.in
- Indian Visa Authorised Portal - https://indianvisaonline.gov.in