Summary: An analysis of the process which every foreigner entering into India must follow by registering their details with the FRRO.
What is FRRO?
All foreign nationals are compulsorily required to register themselves as authorized by the Government of India where the registration of foreigners who are visiting India on a long term visa which is for a period more than 180 days are required to register themselves with a Registration Officer within 14 days of their arrival in India. Moreover, all Pakistani nationals visiting India are mandatorily required to register within 24 hours of their arrival into the country regardless of the duration of their stay. However, all foreign children below the age of 16 years are exempt from such requirements of registration. Therefore every foreigner, which also includes foreigners of Indian origin, who is visiting India on long term basis for more than a period of 180 days or is here through a Student Visa, Medical Visa, Research Visa and Employment Visa is required to get themselves registered with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or the Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) having the concerned jurisdiction over the place where the foreigner intends to stay, within 14 days of arrival.
Application and Consequences of non-registration
This implies that every foreign national is to report to the closest Registration Officer within the area having the concerned jurisdiction. However, all persons suffering from any medical issues may be exempt from appearing in-person for such a registration process. This method of foreign registration had been mandated and is now regulated by the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 and the Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992. Any individual who fails to register within the specified time period is punishable with a fine equivalent to US$30. At the time of the registration process, every foreign national is provided with a residential permit first. Such a permit has a validity which matches the period of stay of such a foreign national in India, which is specifically mentioned on their visas. The Union Government has further launched the process of e-FRRO which permits foreigners to register and avail all visa and immigration related services online. Within this new scheme, a foreign national is no longer required to appear in person at the requisite FRRO unless expressly specified to do the same. Till date, about 360,000 foreign nationals have visited the FRRO office in person, all over India.There are certain Acts which govern the entry, stay and exit of all foreign nationals in India. These are:
i. The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920
ii. Foreigners Act, 1946
iii. Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939
There are certain authorities and departments which have been specially provided with the rights to register foreign nationals in India. Such authorities are known as Registration Officers. The Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) at Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Amritsar, Bangalore and Hyderabad, and the District Superintendents of Police in all other districts serve as Registration Officers for such registration and all other material work affiliated with the stay of foreign nationals in India.
- The Passport (Entry in India) Act, 1920- Under this Act, specific authorizations of all foreign nationals in India over their valid travel documents and passports for allowing entry into the country have been prescribed. Under this Act and the Rules made there under, all foreigners coming to India are required to get a visa from an Indian Missions or Posts authority.
- The Foreigners Act, 1946- This Act regulates the entry of all foreigners into India, their presence here as well as their departure from India.
- The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 and the Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992- Under this Act, specific categories of foreigners who intend to stay in India for a period which is more than the otherwise specified period, or as provided in their visa authorization, are required to get themselves registered with the Registration Officer mandatorily.
Documents required for registration:-
The following are the documents necessarily required by each foreign national who is to get themselves registered under the FRRO:
- A valid passport and visa.
- Four passport size colour photographs (with dimensions of 4 cm x 4 cm) with a white background and without any spectacles or a cap or a hat.
- The foreigner registration form
- A photocopy of the following:
- The photo page of the passport.
- The page displaying validity of the passport.
- The page displaying the Indian visa and arrival stamp.
- A letter of undertaking and an identity document of the Indian sponsor.
- A proof of the residential address in India.
- The payment of the registration fee of ₹100 (US$1.40)
- For all employment visa the following are additionally required:
- A copy of the terms and conditions of the contract of assignment, including the salary, designation and the tenure of employment.
- For employment or business visas the following are additionally required:
- A copy of the PAN card or of the application made for the grant of such a PAN card.
- The forwarding letter of concerned company, firm, business undertaking, signed duly by an authorised signatory which declares the name, designation, and the contact number of the same.
- For student visas the following are additionally required:
- A copy of the bonafide certificate from the concerned academic institute mentioning validity of admission and nationality of the student therein.
- For medical visas the following is additionally required:
- A letter from the concerned hospital where the patient shall be undergoing treatment along with all the supportive medical documents, diagnostic test reports and the medical certificate declaring the estimated length of the treatment completely.
- In case the applicant is admitted in the hospital, the requisite doctor must provide a medical certificate bearing a photo of the applicant attested and certified by the doctor as well.
Online Registration Process
Below are the instructions for the online filing of Registration and other Visa related services by foreign nationals:
- The applicant is required to visit https://indianfrro.gov.in/eservices/home.jsp and create User-id and Password by registering into an online portal.
- The applicant then needs to select the tab of “Fresh Registration”. The applicant is required to carefully fill in the form and make sure that all errors are avoided. Further, all the necessary documents along with the photograph should be uploaded online in the designated format. The application would not be successfully submitted unless the documents and photographs are uploaded online in the prescribed manner.
- Such an application would then be scrutinized by the Visa Officers. The applicants can also check status of their online application by logging in to the website. No Fees is charged for FRRO Registration, the applicant shall be intimated to pay the fees only if any penalty such as late registration etc. is imposed.
- Generally the applicant does not need to visit FRRO but in certain exceptional cases, the foreigner will be intimated to visit the FRRO/FRO on scheduled date and time for interview.
- After this, the foreign national shall be intimated to deposit the requisite fee, if any, for the service. Such fees must be deposited online through a Bank Payment gateway available on the portal. The amount of this fee would be intimated through email/sms/portal alerts etc.
- For any clarification, FRRO Support Centres can be contacted as well. Generally the FRRO centres do not entertain requests over call and prefers use of email for clarifications.
- The necessary immigration/Visa document e.g. Registration Permit/Certificate (RP/RC), Visa Extension Certificate etc shall be sent by post on the address mentioned. The same is also sent electronically sent to the registered email ID.
The forms obtained at the Foreigners Regional Registration office
- Form 'c': (As per Rules 5, 6, 7) Part-IV-Triplicate of Registration report. However, the following must be kept in mind:
- This is not required if using online registration.
- The applicant will be given one copy of the form
- The applicant shall be asked to photo copy 8 copies prior to filling in of the same
- The applicant will be asked to fill in 8 copies by hand.
- The Resident Permit -
- The applicant shall be given one copy of the form
- The applicant shall be asked to photo copy 2 copies of the same prior to filling it in.
- This form must be filled and signed by hand.
Payment of any late fee
Any late fee must be paid for physically by going to the State Bank of India, with the late fee payment details form as well. The State Bank of India is a state run bank and in order to deposit the fee, the following shall be required:
- A photocopy of the payment details form obtained from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office.
- 1400 rupees in cash.
#tags: FRRO, Foreign national, Foreigner, Indian passport, Visa, Registration, Renewal, License, Penalty, Fee