The Delhi high court has directed the Centre to take a policy decision on whether visa extensions given to foreigners married to Indian nationals can also be granted to those in live-in relationships.
Justice RS Endlaw said that the current rules, which deny the extension of visa to those foreigners who have been living in with an Indian, have “not kept up with the times”. He noted that the benefits of the Domestic Violence Act were already extended to foreign women in live-in relationships with Indians.
“The respondents (government)… would also have to lay down the tests in which such benefit may be made available i.e. whether only to live-in relationship in the nature of marriage or to other live-in relationships also,” the judge said.
The order came on a petition by an Uzbekistani woman, who sought extension of her visa along with those of her two children, to enable them to stay in India with her live-in-partner — an Indian national.
In 2012, the three came to India on a single Entry Tourist Visa for a period of one month and had been residing in India ever since. Later, her application for an extension of visa was denied because she was not able to produce any proof of marriage. However, the HC in February 2013 restrained the authorities from taking any coercive measures of deporting the woman and her two kids.