The First thing about Living in India for a Foreigner

The First thing about Living in India for a Foreigner

When a foreigner arrives in India on a long term Visa – i.e a Visa longer than 180 days and begins to live in India. A Registration of a foreign national with the authorities  is a mandatory requirement by the Government of India under which all foreign nationals (excluding overseas citizens of India) visiting India on a long term visa, (e.g. Employment, Entry, Student, Project, Medical Visa’s) valid for 180 days or more  are required to get registered with the local FRRO/FRO within 14 days of arriving in India.

With a few exceptions, like Afghan Nationals, who  have to register within 7 days of arrival in India and Pakistan nationals visiting India are required to report within 24 hours of arrival regardless of the duration of their stay or length of their Visa at the FRRO/FRO or the nearest police station.

Children accompanying their parents who are below the age of 12 to 16 are exempt from registration. However it may vary depending on the endorsement on the visa.

Foreign nationals are issued a residential permit at the time of registration. The permit has a validity matching the period of stay specified in the visa, however if the visa duration is over a year, it is usually granted for a maximum of one year and never longer than the length of the Visa.

In case of Business visas, it is not mandatory to register. However if the visa is valid for more than 180 days, then the foreigner living in India would need to  register with the FRRO/FRO specially  if they continuously intend to stay for more than 6 months i.e. more than 180 days on each visit. Visa bearing endorsement as “Stay not to exceed 180 days hence no registration required” are exempted from such registration.

Registration Process: 

The Registration service is not provided at the airport. It is done through the local Foreigners Regional Registration Office depending on the residence city/Jurisdiction of the foreigner under the Indian government’s “e-FRRO” online services.

e-FRRO has been introduced by Govt. of India in early 2018, with the objective of introducing a paperless, cashless and hassle free process for foreigners Registration and other FRRO/India visa related services.

The e-FRRO services almost erased the need for securing an appointment and visiting the FRRO completely.

Key features of the e-FRRO Service are as follows:

  • The Residential Permit/Registration Certificate will be electronically mailed to the applicant on his registered email ID.
  • Upon signing into the portal, the applicant would be able to –
    • Track the application status of the e-FRRO service requested for (updates will also be sent to the registered e-mail ID and mobile number).
  • The fees for the e-FRRO service (if any) have to be paid online.
  • In case of an emergency, the applicant may visit the FRRO/ FRO office directly for grant of service.

In case of any additional document/information required by the FRRO, the officer will intimate the applicant via e-mail/sms and in case of any clarifications required, he/she may be required to visit the FRRO on scheduled date and time for an interview.

There is no fee charged for registration  however if a Person fails to register within the specified time period while living in India a late penal  fee of US$ 300 is charged.

Documents required for Registration:

  1. Copy of Passport
  2. Copy of the Indian Visa with the Arrival stamp
  3. Residence proof
  4. Employment contract
  5. Certificate of Incorporation of the Indian company
  6. Digital photograph
  7. Request/Undertaking letter

The list of documents is not exhaustive and may vary depending on the residence location of the application.

Rachna Lohani
rachna.lohani@ikan.com

She has been a part of the Relocation Industry for the past 9 years wherein she was trained in key account pricing, operations and providing destination services, she finally nurtured her skillset in Immigration services and is well versed with all laws n norms. Rachna joined IKAN in 2016 and has been assisting Vinod for PAN India immigration assignments and her zeal to learn more continues.

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