What is the change? Indian authorities have instituted a biometrics requirement for foreign nationals applying for visas or permits in the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Pune – and may expand similar requirements to other FROs and Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) in the future.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, foreign nationals submitting in-country applications at the FRO in Pune will be required to submit fingerprints and eye scans as part of the application process. The biometrics machines will also help authorities preserve passport and visa numbers and other data provided by applicants.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for visas and permits at the FRO in Pune.
  • Impact on processing times: The biometrics requirement will initially add to the time it takes to submit visa or permit applications. However, once biometrics have been submitted, applicants may experience quicker processing times on subsequent visits since their data will be readily available.

Next steps: Authorities intend to expand the biometrics requirement to other FROs and FRROs, but it may be some time before biometrics are taken at busier offices, such as those in Delhi and Mumbai.

BAL Analysis: The collection of biometrics at the FRO in Pune will add an additional step to application processes. Those affected should be sure to allow extra time when submitting applications.

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