Govt to Ease Visa Norms for Foreigners Who Marry Indian Nationals Abroad

Indian government planning to amend rules so that a foreign spouse is able to convert tourist visa to dependent visa irrespective of the place of the wedding.


Foreign nationals who get married to Indians abroad will soon find it easier to get dependent visas. The Indian government is planning to change the existing rules to simplify the process of conversion of their tourist visa to a dependent visa.

“We are doing away with the particular rule and simplifying it so that irrespective of the place of the wedding , the foreign spouse can convert their tourist visa to dependent visa,” a senior Home Ministry official was quoted as saying by PTI.

“Now home minister has directed Ministry of Home Affairs to amend the visa rules and streamline the process. This change will facilitate the conversion of tourist visa to X2 even when the marriage takes place on foreign soil,” the home ministry tweeted on July 7.

A foreign national getting married to an Indian citizen can currently get a dependent X2 visa only if the marriage takes place in India, and is registered while the tourist visa is still valid. To convert it to a dependent visa, the foreigner spouse has to go back to his or her own country and then come back on a X2 visa.

After the change in the rule gets implemented, the conversion of tourist visa to X2 will be allowed even if the marriage does not take place in India.

The government’s plan has come about after a Filipino woman found it difficult to get a dependent visa after marrying an Indian national on a foreign soil, prompting the husband to approach Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue.

The amendment of the rules will, however, not be applicable to nationals of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq, and citizens of Pakistani origin and stateless persons, the report added.

The Indian government is also planning to extend the e-visa scheme to more countries in a bid to boost the number of foreign arrivals in the country.

The government is committed to strengthen and smoothen the twin processes of immigration and visa for Indian citizens and foreigners, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on July 6.

“We need to facilitate safe and convenient entry inside the country to legitimate international travelers. We also need to provide all visa related and consular services to foreigners staying in India in a faster and convenient mode,” Singh said, according to an official statement. “We also have to keep in mind the security aspect while facilitating easier immigration. At the same, there is need to track the movement of foreigners already present in the country,” he added.

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