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India - FRRO Registration, Visa Extension, Conversion, Go Digital

India-FRRO Registration, Visa Ext, Conversion, Digital

Online portal launched for registration, visa extension and other immigration-related services for foreign nationals visiting India.

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Partner and Head, Global Mobility Services, Tax

KPMG in India

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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. 

WHY THIS MATTERS

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.

Background

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. 

e-FRRO Portal Features

  • Starting 12 February 2018, a mandatory visit to the local immigration office (FRRO) located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai is no longer necessary.
  • The portal offers an online solution for application submission as well as for document upload for all visa and immigration-related services, including the Indian FRRO registration, visa extension or conversion, change of address/passport and exit permission.
  • In emergency situations, one can still visit the local FRRO for services.

Steps Involved

  • A foreign national is required to create a user ID and password by registering on the online portal.
  • After successful registration, the applicant can login into the portal and select the appropriate services required.
  • The application form needs to be filled out online, and documentation and photographs should be uploaded.
  • Necessary fees are paid online.
  • The applicant will be notified of the status through email or SMS alerts.
  • The foreign national can track the status of the application through the portal.
  • The residency permit or certificate will be sent:
    • by post to the address provided in the online application; and
    • to the registered email address.

It can also be downloaded from the portal.

Noteworthy Point

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.

KPMG NOTE

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.

FOOTNOTE

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.

© 2018 KPMG, an Indian registered partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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