Blacklisted in India

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#1 May 29th, 2018, 19:17
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#1
Hey everyone,

My name is Josh, new to India Mike. I'm from the US and have been working for US organizations/companies in India for roughly 4 years. I've grown to love India like my own home during this time.

I was recently told my immigration at Mumbai that I've been blacklisted and no longer permitted to enter India. Just devastating (and made so much worse by the nature and attitudes of the immigration officers).

I definitely have committed some sort of visa violation, as I've come to India on many visas over the years. Immigration, the FRRO (in Hyderabad where I was most recently staying) and the Consulate in New York all will not tell, or do not know the exact reason for my name being on this list.

My possible violations include
- Working on a tourist visa (in 2016, I was in Pune on a tourist visa, working for my org, a US NGO. I never said this to any authorities, but I think they just correctly assumed what I was doing)
- Overstaying a 180 day stipulation on my last visa, which was a business visa. When I applied for an extension the FRRO in Hyd told me this and I paid a $30 fine, to which they said it was OK

I'm not disputing that I have committed a violation of policy, I know I have and I wish to god I had taken more care. If anyone has any advice, words of wisdom or ideas on how to remove myself from this blacklist I would so much appreciate it.

Now I am at stake to lose my job that I love, but more importantly lose a place and people I now consider my home.

Grateful that I forum like this exists, thanks everyone for reading
#2 May 29th, 2018, 20:53
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Ther are plenty of expert users on this forum who can offer more advice than me. All I can say is one or both of the reasons you highlighted could be the root cause of your predicament. The government is quite edgy about NGOs especially those involved in missionary work. You should have been on the right visa whilst working for this NGO. The best option would be to try and get a personal audience with the consul of the Indian mission in NY if possible. Get advice from him how to clear your name. I know this is easier said than done.
#3 May 29th, 2018, 22:50
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Originally Posted by wolf80 View Post Ther are plenty of expert users on this forum who can offer more advice than me. All I can say is one or both of the reasons you highlighted could be the root cause of your predicament. The government is quite edgy about NGOs especially those involved in missionary work. You should have been on the right visa whilst working for this NGO. The best option would be to try and get a personal audience with the consul of the Indian mission in NY if possible. Get advice from him how to clear your name. I know this is easier said than done.
Thanks so much, thats good advice. Will keep trying, I went to the Consulate in NY and said senior officials would not meet me and that I could email them if I wanted. Waiting to hear back, but will keep at it.

Would love any word from the expert users or people who have experienced this in the past.
#4 May 29th, 2018, 22:59
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Originally Posted by jsadagursky View Post I went to the Consulate in NY and said senior officials would not meet me and that I could email them if I wanted. Waiting to hear back, but will keep at it.
Some things should be clarified:
  • A Government is not obliged to give any reason or explanation about the nature of infraction
  • Country Missions are not in a position to override the decision of the Home Ministry
  • Just like the US Embassy might give a visa, which is no gurantee that the pax will be allowed entry at the border. That determination is done by the Immigrations Officer, who takes guidance from Dept. of Homeland Security

Having said that, were you denied entry into India, or, asked to leave the country by a set date ?
#5 May 29th, 2018, 23:06
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Originally Posted by jsadagursky View Post Now I am at stake to lose my job that I love, but more importantly lose a place and people I now consider my home.

Grateful that I forum like this exists, thanks everyone for reading
One of the first things that you should realise is that immigration officers have known how to use google for a very long time, so if your ID is as real-name as it looks, whatever you post here is likely to show up on the screen of any officer considering any application you might make.

Second, welcome to the forum. But I'm afraid that I can't extend much optimism. You and your organisation have really screwed up, and, unless it is a government-favoured NGO, I suspect that, if your first assumption is true, they probably have a black mark too.

You have not told us what this organisation does, and given my first paragraph, it may be better that you do not, but if there is a chance that it is government- or politician-favoured, then they would probably be the ones to resolve this.

<crossposted>

Otherwise, all I know is of people who, on being rejected, have been told that they can try again in a year or two.
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I was recently told [by] immigration at Mumbai that I've been blacklisted and no longer permitted to enter India.
nycank, it looks as if he was refused entry.
Quote:
Just devastating (and made so much worse by the nature and attitudes of the immigration officers).
Immigration officers, worldwide, are not known for being nice about this stuff.

As nycank notes, they are not obliged to give any reasons, or to answer any questions, not even "am I still blacklisted?" So finding out is likely to cost you, at least, if not a visa fee, then a flight.
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Last edited by Nick-H; May 30th, 2018 at 21:22..
#6 May 29th, 2018, 23:08
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post Some things should be clarified:
  • A Government is not obliged to give any reason or explanation about the nature of infraction
  • Country Missions are not in a position to override the decision of the Home Ministry
  • Just like the US Embassy might give a visa, which is no gurantee that the pax will be allowed entry at the border. That determination is done by the Immigrations Officer, who takes guidance from Dept. of Homeland Security

Having said that, were you denied entry into India, or, asked to leave the country by a set date ?
Yea that's what they told me at the Embassy, because I was literally issued a new visa by them a week before this happened. I left India, applied for a new visa and upon arriving in Mumbai I was sent back then and there.

Thanks a lot for your response. Appreciate the support.
#7 May 29th, 2018, 23:16
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post One of the first things that you should realise is that immigration officers have known how to use google for a very long time, so if your ID is as real-name as it looks, whatever you post here is likely to show up on the screen of any officer considering any application you might make.

Second, welcome to the forum. But I'm afraid that I can't extend much optimism. You and your organisation have really screwed up, and, unless it is a government-favoured NGO, I suspect that, if your first assumption is true, they probably have a black mark too.

You have not told us what this organisation does, and given my first paragraph, it may be better that you do not, but if there is a chance that it is government- or politician-favoured, then they would probably be the ones to resolve this.

<crossposted>

Otherwise, all I know is of people who, on being rejected, have been told that they can try again in a year or two.
nycank, it looks as if he was refused entry.
Immigration officers, worldwide, are not known for being nice about this stuff.

As nycank notes, they are not obliged to give any reasons, or to answer any questions, not even "am I still blacklisted?" So finding out is likely to coat you, at least, if not a visa fee, then a flight.
Wow, ok. Yes I agree that I and my organization screwed up, in fact, they have just left it to me to get a visa into India with no assistance. So I've pretty much been on my own dealing with it all, and they are not offering much assistance now. We do partner with really well-known local NGO in India, do you think that would help in marking us as government favoured?

Thanks for your insight.
#8 May 29th, 2018, 23:19
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We do partner with really well-known local NGO in India, do you think that would help in marking us as government favoured?
Sorry, no idea. If you have done much, ahem, work here in India, you will be familiar with the political landscape: I was expecting you to know the answer to this one.
#9 May 30th, 2018, 00:42
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@jsadagursky

My 2 cents about this since I know little bit about how NGO's work since I am associated with one but it's Indian NGO and has FCRA and Audits so it's transparent.

Govt has banned a lot of so called "NGO" who were involved in stalling development work/political motives/Converting(soul harvesting as its more popular) and other unwanted work in the garb of social work in India.It might be that your NGO didn't comply with legalities of Indian govt.

Other than that you might have other reasons for being blacklisted as you said ie. working on tourist visa or overstaying.Also the work you were doing is not known either by us.
#10 May 30th, 2018, 00:55
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Originally Posted by theRock View Post @jsadagursky

My 2 cents about this since I know little bit about how NGO's work since I am associated with one but it's Indian NGO and has FCRA and Audits so it's transparent.

Govt has banned a lot of so called "NGO" who were involved in stalling development work/political motives/Converting(soul harvesting as its more popular) and other unwanted work in the garb of social work in India.It might be that your NGO didn't comply with legalities of Indian govt.

Other than that you might have other reasons for being blacklisted as you said ie. working on tourist visa or overstaying.Also the work you were doing is not known either by us.
Thanks, yes these could all be the reasons a s to what happened. Basically I work for an organization that provides gap year experiences to young people from abroad. They work as interns with our local partner NGO in India while there. I wouldn't think the government would view this as staling development or anything like that, but I really have no idea. Just trying to see if anyone out there has an idea of who to reach out to or how to go about resolving issues with being blacklisted. Immensely frustrated, sad, and angry all at once as you can imagine. Appreciate your insight, thank you.
#11 May 30th, 2018, 06:43
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#11
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Originally Posted by jsadagursky View Post ...I'm from the US and have been working for US organizations/companies in India for roughly 4 years. I've grown to love India like my own home during this time.
...
My possible violations include
- Working on a tourist visa (in 2016, I was in Pune on a tourist visa, working for my org, a US NGO.
...
Now I am at stake to lose my job that I love, but more importantly lose a place and people I now consider my home.
Something does not compute. You say you worked in 2016 while you were on a tourist visa; you also say you have been working in India "for roughly 4 years" and will "lose a job you love". So what visa were you using during the rest of those 4 years? A business visa (which you report having overstayed) allows you to conduct business, it does not permit you to have a salaried job. Possibly you have been violating visa terms for the entire four years, not just in 2016.


PS A country where you have to have temporary visas is not one you should "consider your home". That rarely ends well.
#12 May 30th, 2018, 07:07
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Originally Posted by RPG View Post Something does not compute. You say you worked in 2016 while you were on a tourist visa; you also say you have been working in India "for roughly 4 years" and will "lose a job you love". So what visa were you using during the rest of those 4 years? A business visa (which you report having overstayed) allows you to conduct business, it does not permit you to have a salaried job. Possibly you have been violating visa terms for the entire four years, not just in 2016.


PS A country where you have to have temporary visas is not one you should "consider your home". That rarely ends well.
Really trying to be nice here but I can't believe how condescending some people are being, talk about kicking a guy while he's down. It's been the most stressful, awful two weeks of my life. I'm sorry if this is triggering for some of you? I'm just asking for some help man, who are you to question my feelings? I've been on many visas while in India, under the (mis)guidance of the organizations that I've been working for. Last year a business visa, the year before that a tourist visa.

Apologies for the rant, I hope this doesn't deter others from offering their insights.
#13 May 30th, 2018, 08:35
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Originally Posted by jsadagursky View Post I've been on many visas while in India, under the (mis)guidance of the organizations that I've been working for. Last year a business visa, the year before that a tourist visa.
But apparently you never had a visa permitting employment; yet you were employed in India for four years. You don't even mention this extensive series of violations ("many visas") in your list of possible reasons you were barred.

If this were your country, they'd separate you from your children (assuming you have any) and you'd never see them again. That's what the US is doing to undocumented families. You're relatively lucky.
#14 May 30th, 2018, 11:26
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#14
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Originally Posted by RPG View Post But apparently you never had a visa permitting employment; yet you were employed in India for four years. You don't even mention this extensive series of violations ("many visas") in your list of possible reasons you were barred.

If this were your country, they'd separate you from your children (assuming you have any) and you'd never see them again. That's what the US is doing to undocumented families. You're relatively lucky.
I guess I can't argue with you RPG. Despite your feelings about where I come from, who I am, or what you assume I've done etc, there's a way to talk to people, you know? Like speaking with compassion or empathy when you know someone is going through something. I know zero about you, but based on the way you've responded you seem like a really bitter, insecure person. I hope things turn around for you.

Alright thanks IndiaMike, so long. Was worth a shot.
#15 May 30th, 2018, 13:38
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Blacklisted in India

If you are looking for an answer that isn't there, we can't help you. I think that we have all being trying to put it nicely, but you and your organisation have screwed up, in a big way. Do please remember that Visa/immigration violations are criminal offences, and yes, there are people sitting in cells for stuff they may have thought not to be serious.

All this is said with due respect for your feelings. I understand that you are gutted. I'm sorry. And, although it has to be said that it is primarily your responsibility, this makes me angry at your organisation for its unprofessional methods, and for putting people like you at risk. It's not impossible for a properly-run ngo to do this stuff properly.

Again, I'm sorry. You might get a consular interview and it might inform you, for better or for worse. I suspect that you just might get back into India in a year or three, but better not do the same thing again.
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