In 2017, India welcomes over 1 crore foreigners. Of these, over 3.6 lakh people had to visit an FRRO office for visa related services. In an effort to remove this discomfort and make the experience of visiting India better, the Home Ministry has launched a web application – e-FRRO or e Foreigners Regional Registration Office. This application will offer a number of services including visa extension and registration. It is important to note that even some of the more developed countries in Europe do not offer such an eFRRO scheme.
- No Mandatory visit to the physical offices
- Documents can be submitted online
- E-mail/SMS alerts about approval/rejection
- Certification can be downloaded from the portal and a physical copy and email of the same will be sent to the applicant.
- Website: indianfrro.gov.in
What is the e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office
The e-FRRO scheme is put in place to developing a transparent, centralized online platform for foreigners to get visa related services. It will provide a user-friendly platform which lets users do cashless transactions and paperless services.
With this system, over 27 immigration and visa related services will be available to foreigners from their homes. This implies that they will no longer have to visit the FRO/FRRO office in person and can apply online and obtain the required visa service through post or email.
No extra expenditure has been incurred in setting up this system. This is because it has been implemented on the existing IVFRT platform. This platform was being used for the e-visa facility.
Services provided by e-FRRO
Under the current rules, foreigners living in India for more than 180 days should register themselves with the FRO/FRRO. With the launch of the platform, this can now be done online. Other facilities provided include:
- Visa conversion
- Visa extension
- Change of educational institute
- Change of address
- Exit permit
To avail these services, the individual will have to register themselves online and create a unique ID. They can then apply for the service required online. The necessary document will then be sent to the individual’s registered email address and his or her registered postal address. Thus, the e-FRRO platform will provide standardized and uniform services across India.
This service was first introduced as a pilot project in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai. On seeing its success, it has now been rolled out in Amritsar, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.