Online portal launched for registration, visa extension and other immigration-related services for foreign nationals visiting India.
The Government of India has launched an online portal for registration, visa extension and other immigration-related services for foreign nationals visiting India. As of 12 February 2018, applicants for these services no longer have to visit a Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in person.
The e-FRRO portal is another milestone reform introduced by the Government of India having a direct impact on the foreign nationals in India, immigration professionals, and global mobility managers. The inbound employees as well as the family members accompanying them to India will not have to physically visit the FRRO. Beginning 12 February 2018, physical applications are no longer be accepted in specified jurisdictions and the foreigner has to apply through the e-FRRO portal following prescribed procedures.
The Government of India earlier had introduced the online Foreigner Registration Office (FRRO) to provide registration and visa extensions, etc. Foreign nationals could make appointments and submit documents online but needed to be physically present in an FRRO office for processing applications.
In line with its vision of ”Digital India,” the government has now introduced an e-FRRO portal1 to provide a user friendly experience -- faceless, cashless and paperless service to foreign nationals.
It can also be downloaded from the portal.
Applicants would be responsible under Indian laws, for any delay in fee payment or submission of documents, or to respond to requests for interviews, for example.
The introduction of the e-FRRO portal for foreign nationals can be seen as another breakthrough initiative of Government of India in line with its reforms of digital India and ease of doing business.
It is noteworthy that the portal does not specify any standard timelines for processing of the application. To avoid any delay, one should apply well in advance and upload documents following the prescribed guidelines.
This is a welcome step as the portal provides comprehensive list of services offered. Foreign nationals and their family members who were earlier required to be physically present at the FRRO office will be relieved of the hurdles of visiting the FRRO office. Digitisation of the entire process will also help the government in having better controls over its processes and providing ease to foreign nationals.
1 See e-FRRO portal.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in India.
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