• Electronic Services to be Implemented for In-Country Applications
  • March 20, 2018
  • At a Glance

    Effective immediately, the Bureau of Immigration in India has implemented electronic services for in-country immigration applications. The electronic services will include registrations, visa extensions and residential permit updates, among others. The pilot program has been rolled out in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai and will be implemented in phases in other locations.

    The situation

    Electronic services (e-services) for in-country immigration applications will be implemented.

    A closer look

    • E-services. E-services will include registrations, visa extensions and residential permit updates, among others.
    • Online Portal. The Bureau of Immigration has launched a new online portal to facilitate the e-services.
    • Document requirements. Document requirements for applications are expected to change.
    • Personal appearance eliminated. Personal appearances will no longer be required at the time of submission of the application. The submission of applications will be completed online and the information and documents uploaded will be reviewed and processed electronically. Residential Permits will be sent via post to the Indian address mentioned in the application form. e-Residential permits will be sent via email and can be downloaded from the portal as well.
    • Personal interview. A personal interview will be requested in case the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) requires additional clarification or documents. The FRRO will notify the foreign national with the exact date and time of the visit.
    • Transition phase. Foreign nationals who have already obtained appointments to submit manual applications will still be allowed to do so during the transition phase. Additionally, manual applications will still be accepted until the new system is stable.
    • Emergency applications. Foreign nationals will be allowed to visit the FRRO directly in case approvals are required on an urgent basis due to international travel plans and visa expiration dates. Electronic applications must be first be submitted before approaching the FRRO as manual applications will no longer be accepted after the transition period. The cases will be assessed by the officers and direct approvals will be granted on a discretionary basis.
    • Pilot program. E-services will first be introduced in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai and then will be implemented in phases in other locations. It is mandatory to use the e-services in these locations to submit new applications. As e-services are introduced, each FRRO and Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) is expected to have independent processes and requirements.

    Looking ahead

    The transition to the e-services system will be carried out gradually due to potential technical outages and other issues during the initial setup period. Fragomen India will continue to partner with clients and extend additional support with managing this change. Fragomen India is working with the Ministry of Home Affairs and FRROs across India for further clarity on this change.