Foreigners travelling to India can now get visa extended online

Foreigners touring India need not go to the Foreigners Registration Office/Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRO/FRRO) in person to registration or visa extension services, as it is from now onwards, can be done online through an e-FRRO platform.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the web-based application e-FRRO scheme aimed at providing fast and efficient visa-related services online to visitors to India. The scheme has already been implemented and is running successfully as a pilot project in four FRROs in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai since February 12. Now it has been rolled out in the remaining eight FRROs — Kolkata, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

“It has been a constant endeavour of the Home Ministry to provide fast and efficient services to foreigners visiting India so that they have a pleasant experience of their stay here,” Rajnath Singh said while launching e-FRRO (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office).

The scheme is aimed at building a centralized, transparent online platform for the foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide faceless, cashless and paperless services with a user-friendly experience. In the new system, foreigners would be able to get as many as 27 visa and immigration related services in India from the comfort of their place of stay.

“Using e-FRRO application, foreigners can apply online on the portal and obtain the service through email/post without appearing in person at the FRO/FRRO office,” a statement issued by the home ministry said.

In 2017, more than one crore foreigners visited India and out of them approximately 3.6 lakh had to visit FRRO offices spread across the country for various visa-related services. With the launch of e-FRRO scheme, their physical visit to the FRRO offices thus been obviated.

In the present system, foreigners staying in India on visa duration of more than 180 days have to get themselves registered with their respective FROs/FRROs. Similarly, foreigners requiring different kind of visa related services such as visa extension, visa conversion, change of address, change of educational institutions and exit permits are currently required to visit the FROs/FRROs office.

“The new scheme include online FRRO service delivery mechanism without requirement of visiting FRRO/FRO office barring exceptional cases. Using this application, foreigners are required to create their own User ID by registering themselves. Afterwards, they can apply online through registered User-ID for various visa and immigration related services in India, registration, visa extension, visa conversion and exit permit,” said the statement.

The necessary immigration or visa document, registration permit and visa extension certificate will be sent by post on the address mentioned in the online application. It would also be electronically sent to the foreigner to his registered email ID.