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65,149 foreigners overstayed last year in India

December 16, 2013 10:48 IST

Better economic conditions, easy availability of jobs and plain carelessness are some of the top reasons of overstaying in India, says Vicky Nanjappa

Staying in India after the expiry of visa is illegal as it would be in most countries. A report by the home ministry shows that the American citizens overstay more than the Pakistanis.  After the Mumbai attacks, this problem was taken into consideration and the David Headley episode should have been a learning curve.

There are 2,465 citizens of the United States of America overstaying in India compared with the 1,141 Pakistanis.

However, in 2008, the number of citizens overstaying was 65,149, and in the past five years it has increased to 71,164.

While the Bangladeshis top the list, coming second are the Afghans with 13,999. Officials say that these persons come on valid visas and then go off the radar.

It would not be right to say that that all these persons overstay to disrupt the security apparatus of the country. The Americans have clearly overstayed because they find the economic situation better in India when compared with their own country.

In the case of the Bangladeshis it is more to do with labour. There are massive settlements in Bihar, West Bengal and now even in Mangalore. Many of them come in as construction labours, earn Rs 100 a day and never go back.

The problem in some parts is aided by the fact that the respective governments have given them voter ID cards because of obvious reasons. In the case of the Afghans it is more to do with the fact that they are trying to get away from a war torn country.

Pakistan on the other hand has issues such as economy and several times it is directly linked with terror. The report points out that the number of Pakistanis overstaying has come down in the past five years, but the number of US citizens has gone up.

In 2008 there were 990 US citizens overstaying, but number has increased to2,465. In the case of the Pakistanis there has been a drop to 1,411 when compared with 7,457 in 2008.

The other countries on this list are Sri Lanka at 3,327, Iraq at 3,160 and Nigeria at 2,235.

Sources say that these lists also include a large number of students as well. Many are careless and do not seek extensions. There are also a couple of cases where students stay on illegally after they complete their studies. They find jobs and work in India and there are some companies which aide them as well.

Vicky Nanjappa