Visa Challenges for a Foreigner Planning to Get Married to an Indian Citizen

18 March 2015 - 12:12, by , in Living in India, No comments

We recently assisted a couple to get a dependent visa (X) in India, they got married in India and had challenges as the bride had a Tourist Visa, they were kind enough to write about their incident and it’s reproduced below with their permission (Note: The name has been changed to protect their privacy).

“I would like to relate an interesting situation that happened recently, let me first introduce myself, my name is Deepak and I am an IT professional and software engineer, I have been working with various multi-national companies for the last 9 years. I have been deployed to a lot of countries and that was a great learning, experience for me and I enjoyed all my trips

During my last trip to Russia, I met a co-worker and we had an instant liking for each other, I was there for 6 months and we fell in love and decided to get married. The family wanted a marriage in India so I moved back to India and my fiance came a month later, all preparations were made and we had a wonderful wedding.

Now I am not aware for the laws in India and never concerned about it as in most travels the company took care of “these things”, My wife had come to India on a Single entry tourist visa that is valid for 6 months, after a few months we decided to travel overseas for a holiday, it was then the travel agent informed me that we can leave together but she will not be allowed to come back on this visa as its single entry, so we said never mind we shall apply for another visa from the country we are visiting, again we were informed that the visa can only be issued by the home country.

This raised many questions, we can’t have her going back and forth every 6 months, so we took advice and were informed that she can convert the tourist visa to and “X” visa or called dependent visa, now to apply for this we first need to get the marriage registered, this does take time as it has to be done in the court, this activity does take time. Once we had the marriage certificate in our hand then we were to approach the Commissioner of Police’s office (The commissioner of Police represents the Foreigners Regional Registration office (FRRO) where they do not have an office).

The office informed us that to have the visa changed from tourist (T) to X (dependent Visa) we will need to file the application which will be followed by a police verification and then the file will be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) they will approve the case and issue the orders to the respective FRRO / Police commissioner office to stamp the X visa (normally valid for one year). Although the FRO (Delhi, Mumbai, etc.) have the authority to stamp the visa without referring the case to the MHA.

Now time was running out and we did not hear anything from the MHA and we were getting nervous, you see once can’t stay in the country with an expired visa, anyway after regular follow-up and 50 days later we were informed by the Police Commissioners office that our orders have come and we should come and stamp my wife’s passport and she was given an “X” visa and it was valid for one year.

The options now are that either we extend the visa every year or apply for an OCI card, apparently one can only apply for an OCI card two years after marriage (certificate date) and it’s valid lifelong, so we have decided that we shall get an OCI card now.”

So just to sum up the process:

1) If getting married in India to a Foreigner, get a Marriage certificate at the earliest.

3) Approach the nearest FRRO and / or office of the Police commissioner.

4) Make two copies of all documents, passport, visa page, marriage certificate, husband’s passport, proof of address etc.

5) Follow up on a regular basis from the local office on the status from MHA.

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