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Students make up over half of overstaying foreigners in city

The number of foreign nationals with expired visas staying in Bengaluru has come down to 842 as compared to over 1,000 last year. A majority of the people in the list hail from Nigeria, Congo, Sudan, Yemen and South Sudan. Over 60 per cent of them are on student visa while most of the others hold entry or medical visa, according to figures from Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

“We frequent update the local police stations and they have been taking immediate action,” Labhu Ram, Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, said, adding tStudents make up over half of overstaying foreigners in Bengaluruhat the police impose a fine on them and the immigration department gives them an exit visa to deport them. “Those who have genuine reasons and want to extend their visa can provide their documents online and an extension is provided within 24 hours if they go through the process correctly,” Ram added.

The Karnataka High Court on Friday asked the government to deport a Pakistani couple overstaying in the city, saying, otherwise, it would amount to spending taxpayers’ money on illegal entry. The court ordered FRRO and home ministry to deport Kasiff Shamshuddin and Kiran Gulam Ali, who have completed their sentence for illegally staying in India, by May 5. The Karachi natives had obtained Aadhaar cards by providing forged documents.

The total number of foreign nationals in the state comprises about 26,000 persons registered with FRRO, besides those who visit the country on short-term visas, including business and tourist visas, who need not enrol themselves with the registration office.

However, there continues to be a grey spot in the issue. A foreigner with a pending case cannot leave until the case is disposed. While the other detained foreign nationals are deported on priority, those facing criminal cases are allowed to stay until the case is closed, which may take months, and sometimes years, depending on the severity of the case.

The offender remains in the country while the case is on trial, B S Mohan Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Women and Narcotics), Central Crime Branch, told City Express. “So local police stations need to keep a close watch and prevent further illegal activities,” he said. Seven foreigners were under arrest for drug possession as on March 31.

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