• Late Filing Fines Significantly Increased for In-Country Registration
  • December 13, 2018
  • The situation

    Effective immediately, Foreigners’ Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) and Foreigners’ Registration Offices (FRO) in India have increased the government fee for residence registration applications filed beyond the 14-day deadline, based on internal communication received from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The MHA has not released an official announcement for this change, but Fragomen expects that it will do so in the near future.

    A closer look

    The monetary penalties have been increased based on how late the application was filed:

    • USD 300 for a delay of up to 90 days;
    • USD 400 for delayed filings beyond 90 days and up to one year; and
    • USD 500 for delayed filings up to two years.

    Previously, the fine for late registration applications was USD 30, regardless of the extent of the delay.

    Impact

    Foreign nationals must register their residence with their FRRO or FRO, as appropriate, within 14 days of entry into India, to avoid the significantly increased late filing fines. If their immigration provider is filing their registration application on their behalf, they should send their required documentation to their provider in due time to avoid a fine.

    Similar fines are expected to be imposed on late visa and/or residential permit applications and late notification of changes such as residence address, passport number, etc.

    Background

    • Services available upon registration. Foreign nationals must register their residence at a FRRO/FRO (depending on the applicable jurisdiction) in India within 14 days of entry to be able to travel abroad, apply for visa extensions and convert their visa status in India (if necessary and possible). FRRO/FRO registration also allows the foreign national to open a bank account, obtain a driver’s license, obtain an internet connection and a mobile phone, among other services.
    • Filing process. Applications can be completed online at one of the FRROs/FROs accepting online registrations. However, some cases require a personal appearance, for example if an immigration officer requests an interview or if the foreign national does not receive their residence permit after applying for it. Fragomen can assist employers and foreign nationals to prepare necessary documents and submit the application on their behalf in a timely manner.
    • Residence registration in other countries. Many other countries require foreign nationals to register their residential address upon entry, including Russia, Egypt and Ireland. Such registration allows governments to track the foreign workers’ stay to ensure compliance with legal timeframes and allows the government to contact the foreign national in case of an emergency.

    Looking ahead

    As India continues to open its doors to more foreign nationals due to the recent implementation of more relaxed immigration policies, it has simultaneously been increasing security measures and rules related to noncompliance with immigration laws. Fragomen projects that there may be changes in the late filing fees for visa/residential permits in the future.

    Fragomen will report on relevant developments as they occur.