AS Nigeria expressed concern over the safety of its nationals in India, government data shows ensuring this will not be an easy task.
More than 2,000 Nigerians are currently illegally overstaying in India and it won't be easy to track them down, said officials.
According to the data maintained by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) under the Bureau of Immigration (BOI), as many as 2,235 Nigerians are illegally staying in the country, the highest among all the African nations.
Sudan comes second, with 1,406 nationals overstaying in India after the expiry of their visa.
A total of 5,931 people from the African continent are living in India without proper authorisation papers.
Officials said a sizeable number were lodged in prisons across the country.
The data was collected after scrutinising the travel and visa details of 82 immigration check posts all over India, which cater to international traffic.
A senior official said this was a rough estimate of Nigerians living in the country illegally, and there could be other cases too where somebody had entered the country through illegal means.
An officer said there had been a shift in trend with most Nigerians entering the country on a student visa as against the business visa applied earlier. An officer said that many came on tourist visas too.
According to the FRRO data, it was not only those from the African nations who overstayed.
Several nationals of developed countries like the US, UK, Sweden, France and Canada were also found to be flouting visa conditions.
A total of 2,465 US nationals were living illegally in India while 1,456 from UK have overstayed.