Pune: The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) under Pune city police will soon go fully online to provide ‘faceless, cashless and paperless services’ to the foreigners with user-friendly experience. Lack of expertise at FRO level in dealing with foreigners is the major reason in starting this system.
The e-FRRO scheme would be a quantum jump in improving the ease of service delivery with respect to foreigners visiting and staying in India. 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 service(s) through email or post without appearing in person at the FRO or Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) office.
The Central government claimed that the online services offered by e-FRRO scheme are not available even in some of the most advanced countries in North America and Europe.
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.
e-FRRO has already been implemented and is running successfully as a pilot project in four FRROs (Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai) since February 12, 2018. Since April, it has been rolled out in the remaining eight FRROs, namely Kolkata, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Apart from these FRROs, every district/police commissionerate has FRO which functions under one of these FRROs.
Pune FRO, which registers 5,000 to 7,000 new foreigners every year, has started using some functions under the e-FRRO. “We were given the deadline of July 15 to go 100 per cent online in using e-FRRO. However, it seems that we will miss the deadline. But we will certainly use all features of the e-FRRO in the coming days,” a police officer told Sakal Times.
Another officer added, “Dealing with foreigners require expertise which not all officers here have. After the retirement of a senior police officer a few months back, we faced a lot of difficulties. It seems that only he had got training. We hope e-FRRO will do away with our woes.” When contacted, DCP (FRO) Jyoti Priya Singh said, “Yes, we are in the process of fully implementing the e-FRRO.”
Features of e-FRRO
Some of the salient features of the e-FRRO include online FRRO service delivery mechanism without the 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 viz. registration, visa extension, visa conversion and exit permit.
The necessary immigration/ visa document eg 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.