Informational post for people who need a research visa extension

#1 May 2nd, 2010, 14:43
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  • Lindsay is offline
#1
Hi, I had a successful trip to the Delhi FRRO to get my visa extended, so I thought I would post about it in case (as sometimes happens) other people come here with a question about how it's done.

First, requesting an extension for a research visa is a whole different ballgame than requesting an extension for a tourist visa. If you're on a tourist visa, I'm sorry, but you're going to have a far more difficult time and this information does not apply to you.

Second, you'll need to gather the following material before visiting the FRRO:

1. Letter requesting extension of X months (until a specific date -- e.g., October 30, 2010) from the Indian university/institution with which you, as a researcher, are affiliated.

2. Copy of original certificate of affiliation from this institute -- issued back when you were originally applying for the visa, and used when you initially registered with the FRRO.

3. Letter requesting extension of X months (until the same specific date -- e.g., October 30, 2010) from the funding institution that provided the grant for your research.

4. Letter from landlord attesting that you will reside at X address until the same specific date mentioned in the above two letters.

5. Copy of most recent utility bill attached to your residence, in landlord's name, attested (i.e., signed) by landlord, to prove s/he is the owner of the property.

6. Rs. 6000 for visa extension fee (it was a bit less than that for me, but not much. The cost of the extension varies depending on your nationality; every country has a different bilateral agreement with India. Interestingly, U.S. citizens pay much less than just about every other western nation, so if you're from the UK, say, prepare to pay more!).

7. Photocopy of passport first page.

8. Photocopy of visa page.

9. Two to four color photographs (passport-style) of yourself.

10. Residency booklet (issued during initial registration process).

11. A glue stick. Seriously! Bring this and save yourself some stress.

HOW TO DO IT:

1. If you want to be out of the FRRO by 11AM, show up before 6:30AM (perhaps 7AM if you're not going on a Monday or Friday, which are the busiest days).

I showed up at 6AM and hunted for the sign-up sheet, which is usually lying on the desk at the top of the ramp, but sometimes is being passed around the ubiquitous group of refugees from Afghanistan (some of whom looked to have spent the night there, bless their hearts!). Signed in and discovered I was #4 in line. (People from Afghanistan stand in a different line.)

2. If you don't have the forms already (they're impossible to find online), wait until somebody sits down at the desk and then politely ask him if he has the forms you'll need for a visa extension. These forms are inside the desk. Hindi (or attempts thereat) really help, here. Grab the form and sit down to fill it out.

3. Once you've got the form filled out, exit the FRRO the way you came -- that is, head left. Then take the next immediate left. You're heading for the main road, NOT the road by which you entered the FRRO. Once you reach this main road, head past the panwallahs and food stalls on your left toward the traffic light. Cross the road; to your left will be a line of Photostat stalls. Get copies made of your application. Someone told me to make four, although I only ended up needing two.

4. Photocopies made, return to the FRRO and settle in for a long wait, or go to the nearby Hyatt Regency coffee shop. I'd brought a book, so I sat down and people-watched. Oh! And be sure to use your gluestick to paste your photographs to your multiple copies of your visa application form.

5. Around 8:30 - 8:45 everyone will bestir themselves to get into queue. Even though you're signed up for the list, I'd suggest you get into line, because there WILL be various foreigners with serious entitlement issues who show up around this time and really think they've got the right to cut in front of you in line because they "didn't know" they had to show up early and "the list is hard to find" etc. etc. Keep smiling, but be (politely) outspoken in making sure that nobody's in front of you who shouldn't be!

6. As the line starts to move, the guy at the desk will look over your application and give you a number. Keep hold of this and go on inside. You'll now wait (not long, if you were smart and showed up before 7AM) to see the guy at the front desk, who goes over your documents. If he deems that you have everything you need for your application, he will give you a new number. Take this number and sit down.

7. Watch the electronic board near the front desk. When your number is called, take a deep breath, cross your fingers, and go to the counter shown on the electronic board.

8. From my experience, visa extensions are seen as inherently problematic, so expect the person who takes your application to frown, hem and haw, and ultimately consult with the "in-charge." Once the in-charge okays it, she will stamp the passport page next to your visa and fill out the new date of your visa expiry, then do the same in a page in your residency booklet entitled "extensions."

9. At this point you'll need to return to the other side of the room to pay the cashier. Congratulations, you're almost done!

10. Once you've paid the cashier, you'll need to get in line at the in-charge's desk. He'll give one last look to your application, then initial the two visa extension stamps.

Voila! Your visa has been extended. Breeze out past the ever-increasing crowd with a smile on your face, and silently give thanks you didn't wait until 9AM to show up.
#2 Jan 17th, 2011, 07:12
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  • bosquef is offline
#2
Hey! Thanks! This is possibly the most useful thing I've ever found on IndiaMike! I've been looking everywhere for this information - your post contains all of the details I was looking for - how long it takes, what you actually need to do, what paperwork, etc.
(I only wish that my affiliated institute or my embassy, or the various people in Delhi who work with large numbers of foreign scholars had been as helpful!)

two questions
(1) do you know if there is a limit on the length of extension you can get? I would like 5 or 6 months, but I don't know if that is an unreasonable request?

(2) My "landlord" is a hostel run by a research institute at Delhi University. Presumably there is some different version of the "utility bill" that the Institute of Economic Growth at Delhi University would need to provide to prove that they are the owner of the Institute of Economic Growth Hostel?
#3 Nov 10th, 2011, 18:49
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  • BriannaC is offline
#3

Incredibly helpful...

Thank you so, so much for posting this... it is literally a lifesaver as this information doesn't seem to be available anywhere else. I'm off to try to get my visa renewed next week, based on what you've suggested. I hope it works!
#4 Apr 9th, 2012, 17:50
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  • taehunl is offline
#4

Research Visa Extension Fee

Dear Madam or Sir,

I am a Post Doctoral Researcher in Kolkata from South Korea. Recently I extended my Research Visa for 1 year. I paid Rs 6000 for visa fee. I talked to one Canadian post doctoral researcher about this fee. He is working in Mumbai. He extended his research visa without paying any fee but his colleague having Employment visa paid Rs 6000. I also talked to South Korean Post doctor in Chennai he told me he did not pay any fee when he extended his research visa for 1 year. It is very confusing. Visa Office does not explain anything or showing any document about rules. As far as I understand every rule regarding this matter should be same all over the India. Do you have any idea on how to clarify this? I really appreciate your help.
#5 Apr 9th, 2012, 17:59
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  • machadinha is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by taehunl View Post I talked to one Canadian post doctoral researcher about this fee. He is working in Mumbai. He extended his research visa without paying any fee but his colleague having Employment visa paid Rs 6000. I also talked to South Korean Post doctor in Chennai he told me he did not pay any fee when he extended his research visa for 1 year.
Visa fees do vary for different nationalities, or at least when applying from home or abroad. They may I suppose then vary further, if you do apply from abroad, but not from home. (In the Indian and perhaps many another case, generally not feasible for other than tourist visas, anyway.)

That of course doesn't explain about your fellow countryman. (In your Canadian colleague's case, of course his being on an E visa may and likely will be a different matter.) Maybe count your blessings and pay it no mind? But maybe someone else will be able to shed some light on it.

What I do know is these visa charges lying in the diplomatic sphere, they generally can't be contested. Little to do about it, it seems. So maybe the Chennai and Kolkata FRRO handle it differently, I've no idea. If anyone, I guess one could lodge a complaint with or against the MHA or so. Over Rs. 6,000 in a year, I personally wouldn't bother. The wheels of justice in India seem to grind even slower than in many another place... Besides, apparently these diplomatic services really can scarcely be touched. I've asked a lawyer and versed in immigration issues about it once with regards to questions here about visa fees and their non-reimbursement in case of rejection or different period of validity granted, they told me basically forget about disputing it.
Last edited by machadinha; Apr 9th, 2012 at 18:24.. Reason: edited
#6 May 23rd, 2012, 12:34
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  • sinisterpenguin is offline
#6
This is an amazingly useful post. I wish I'd read it before I applied for an extension. Currently my extension request is under consideration by the local police. The foreigners section where I applied needed less papers. I needed only:

1) a Bona Fide certificate from the Indian uni I'm affiliated with, stating the dates of research
2) a contract with the landlord for the full period
3) copies of my passport and visa

They said it was free of charge.
#7 May 25th, 2012, 14:43
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  • satattwa is offline
#7

Research Visa

Hi,

Might I ask how one obtains a Research Visa for India?

Thanks,

S
#8 Jul 16th, 2012, 14:03
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  • sinisterpenguin is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by satattwa View Post Hi,

Might I ask how one obtains a Research Visa for India?

Thanks,

S
Satattwa - for a research visa you'll first need to be affiliated with an Indian university or research institution. Good luck. sp


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