GOVT LAUNCHES e-FRRO SCHEME FOR FOREIGNERS
The Union Government has launched the web-based application ‘e-FRRO’ (e-foreigners Regional Registration Office) to provide fast and efficient services to foreigners visiting India online so that they have a pleasant experience of their stay in India.
KEY-FACTS OF THE SCHEME
- The e-FRRO 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 to the foreigners.
- 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 the e-FRRO application, foreigners can apply online on the portal and obtain the service(s) through email/post without appearing in person at the FRO/FRRO office.
- The e-FRRO scheme has been implemented on the IVFRT platform with negligible extra expenditure, taking a cue from the already successfully running e-Visa scheme.
- It may be noted that the e-Visa scheme has earned revenue of more than Rs 1400 crores since its launch in Nov 2014.
- The salient features of the e-FRRO include online FRRO Service delivery mechanism without the requirement of visiting FRRO/FRO Office barring exceptional cases.
HOW WOULD IT WORK
- Using this application, foreigners are required to create their own User ID by registering themselves.
- Afterward, they can apply online through registered User-ID for various Visa and Immigration related services in India viz. Registration, Visa Extension, Visa Conversion, Exit Permit etc.
- The necessary Immigration/Visa document e.g. Registration Permit/Certificate (RP/RC), Visa Extension Certificate etc 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. In case of exigency, the foreigner can visit the FRRO/FRO office directly for grant of service.
FOREIGNERS IN INDIA
- In 2017, more than one crore foreigners visited India and out of them, approximately 3.6 lakhs had to visit FRRO offices spread across the country for various visa-related services. With the launch of the online 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 a different kind of visa related services such as Visa extension, Visa Conversion, Change of address, Change of Educational institutions, Exit permits etc are currently required to visit the FROs/FRROs office.
- The scheme has already been implemented and is running successfully as a pilot project in four FRROs (Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai) since February 12, 2018.
- Now it has been rolled out in the remaining eight FRROs namely, Kolkata, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Lucknow, and Ahmedabad.
BENEFITS OF THE SCHEME
- The scheme is going to be a quantum jump in improving the ease of service delivery with respect to foreigners visiting and staying in India.
- The scheme assumes significance as it includes facilitation of legitimate foreigners through “Digital India” vision of the Government, foreigners need not visit FRRO/FRO office – “Services from the comfort of home”, convenient and Time-saving, an exclusive dashboard for User-friendly experience and Uniform & Standardized Services across the Country.
This immigration portal will bring in more transparency and will provide paperless services to foreign nationals. Now, the foreign citizen will not be required to visit Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) or Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) offices anymore, unless specifically called upon
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