What is the change? Online services at Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) and Foreigners Registration Offices (FRO), or e-FRROs, have been expanded across all states in India.

What does the change mean? Manual applications are no longer accepted, except for a few services. Individuals who have a previously scheduled appointment to submit manual applications must now file electronically through the e-FRRO portal.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence permits, residence certificates, visa extensions.
  • Business impact: The online services will eliminate the need for foreign nationals to travel to FRRO offices except if called or for limited services that are not available online. However, the foreign national must remain in India until the process is completed.
  • Next steps: Employers whose employees have an appointment to submit manual applications should plan to file their applications online as soon as possible.

Background: e-FRROs were introduced in February at four locations and were then expanded to additional jurisdictions and have now been implemented across India. With the exception of a few services, such as submission of tax records in response to an endorsement on a residence permit, online applications are now mandatory. The issuance of residence permits/residence certificates is not uniform across India yet. Some offices issue only a copy via email and others are issuing an emailed copy followed by a hard copy.

Analysis & Comments: The expansion of eFRRO services will save time for foreign employees and accompanying dependents because they will not need to appear in person and wait in line. Employees and dependents are reminded that once the electronic application is filed, they must stay in India until their residence permit or certificate is issued, and their presence can be tracked through their passport details, which are entered into the system.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.