As per the Public Update published by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) - Foreigners Division on their website, dated 05 December 2014, the MHA has updated to all concerned that as per their instructions to all the State Governments, Union Territory Administrations, Bureau of Immigration and Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) & Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs), wherein MHA has conveyed the following decisions as changes:
Earlier: The FRRO/ FRO was issuing a Residential Permit to the Japanese Nationals up to a maximum of 1 year – irrespective of their visas, if issued with a validity of more than 1 year.
Now: The FRRO/FRO can issue a Residential Permit to all Japanese Nationals up to the Validity of their Visa i.e. upto 2, 3, 4 or 5 years OR in line with their Indian visa validity.
Caution: The final decision still would depend upon the FRRO/ FRO officer-in charge to consider and grant the Residential Permit validity to the Japanese Nationals bearing the Employment / Entry Visas. Additionally, the implementation and streamlining of the above revised guidelines across all regional FRROs/FROs in India may take some time to complete.
Earlier: It was mandatory for all the Japanese Nationals to appear in person at the FRRO/ FRO offices for any of their Indian Visa/immigration application formalities.
Now:The Japanese Nationals need NOT appear in person and an Authorized Representative may represent them at the concerned FRRO/FROon their behalf for completing any of their Indian Visa/Immigration Application formalities.
Caution: The final decision still would depend upon the FRRO/ FRO officer-in charge to grant an exemption of the personal appearance to the Japanese National. Additionally, the implementation and streamlining of the above revised guidelines across all regional FRROs/FROs in India may take some time to complete.
Following up on their continuous initiatives, the Govt. of India – Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently made revisions to their existing Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVOA) facility, which has now been extended to 43 Foreign Nationalities arriving through 9 Designated Airports in India (which was earlier applicable only for 11 Foreign Nationalies on a reciprocal basis) with an addition of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) facility for such TVOAs.
Important Points to be noted:
Other General Information and Instructions:
List of 43 Foreign Nationalities which are eligible for TVOA facility:
Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
List of 9 designated Airports in India to be used for arriving with ETA on TVOA facility:
Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai & Trivandrum
The Government of India – Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has revised the PIO Card guidelines by extending the current validity of PIO card from 15 years to lifetime, without any further requirement of registration with local Immigration / Police Authorities in India.
MHA has clarified that all PIO cards, issued prior to Government of India –MHA’s Gazette Notification dated: 30th Sept 2014 shall also be deemed to be valid for lifetime of its holder subject to the condition that such person has a valid passport.
Following are the benefits of PIO card in line to the above revision:
Now as an additional requirement for the FRRO Registration (Residential Permit) application at Regional FRRO/FROs across (where the application process is now completely online) in India, following documents would also need to be uploaded online along with Digital photographs prior to confirming the FRRO appointment/visit for formal application submission:
Without uploading these documents, the FRRO appointment is not at all possible.
Please note that this is a new mandatory requirement, which has recently been implemented at all FRRO/FRO across India, though the provision was already made on the online system however earlier it was only limited to the online uploading/submission of the Digital photograph.
Also this online documents requirement is also applicable for In-Country Visa extensions in India (E-Visa, wherein in addition to these below listed documents – the Residential Permit & Employee/Assignee’s Income Tax documents would also need to uploaded prior to confirm the FRRO appointment.
In case of Family members’ (X-Visa) Registration – an additional document i.e. A Birth Certificate (for children) and a Marriage Certificate (for spouses) would also be required – along with their respective passport, X-Visa and Arrival stamp copies.
In case of Family members’ (X-Visa) Extensions – an additional document i.e. A Birth Certificate (for children) and a Marriage Certificate (for spouses) would also be required – along with their respective passport, X-Visa and Residential Permit copies.
Discontinuation of filling up of Departure (Embarkation) Card by foreigners and Arrival (Disembarkation) Card by Indians and Implementation of new Departure/Arrival cards w.e.f. March 1, 2014
It has been decided to do away with the filling of Departure (Embarkation) Card by Foreigners and Arrival (Disembarkation) Card by Indians w.e.f. March 1, 2014.
Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Chennai India has announced that immigration applications now must be accompanied with a Form C submission.
All hotels, guest houses, Dharmashala, individual houses, universities, hospitals, institute, or other accommodation provider must submit the details of the residing foreigner in Form C to registration authorities within 24 hours of the arrival of the foreigner at their premises.
This is an expanded list: Form C was previously required only if the applicant was residing in temporary accommodations such as guest house or hotel.
Santa Fe reports that the other regions are expected to adopt the requirement in the near future.
This affects all Canadian companies sending employees to Chennai on short term assignments, long term global assignments or permanent international relocations. All Points recommends that companies review any current processes for global assignee(s) arrival in India.
Following is the detailed process steps to apply and obtain the Form C, since this would need to directly be arranged by the Applicant and his sponsoring Indian entity’s HR/Concern:
Tourist Visa-On-Arrival facility was earlier available at four (04) International airports viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkata, to nationals of 11 countries viz. New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Luxemburg, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar. It has now been decided to extend the facility of Tourist Visa-On-Arrival at four (04) additional airports viz. Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi with effect from 15 Aug 2013. The grant of a Tourist Visa-On-Arrival shall be regulated as per following guidelines and procedures:Eligibility:
A Tourist Visa-on-Arrival shall be granted to a foreigner who is a national of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia.
A Tourist Visa-on-Arrival will be valid for entry and stay into India within the period of its validity subject to conditions specified. The Immigration officer may grant single entry Tourist Visa-on-Arrival up to 30 days to nationals of Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia.Conditions for Tourist Visa on Arrival
Tourist Visa-on-Arrival shall be non-extendable and non-convertible. At the time of issue of Tourist Visa-on-Arrival, the Immigration officer must make it clear to the foreigner that a Tourist Visa-on-Arrival can neither be extended nor converted to any other kind Visa during his/her stay in India except in the following circumstances and with the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs:
Tourist Visa-on-Arrival of the foreigners who fall ill after their entry into India rendering them unfit to travel and require specialized medical treatment may be converted to Medical Visa if they are eligible for grant of Medical Visa and medical certificate is obtained from the government / government recognized hospitals. In such a case, Tourist Visa-on-Arrival of the attendant accompanying the foreigner (whose Tourist Visa-on-Arrival is converted to Medical Visa) may also be converted into Medical Attendant [Med-X] Visa co-terminus with the Medical Visa of the Foreigner.Fee for Tourist Visa on Arrival:
A fee of US $60/- or an equivalent amount in Indian rupees per passenger (including children) will be charged from each foreigner for the grant of Tourist Visa-on-Arrival.Repeat Visit:
Tourist Visa-on-Arrival shall be allowed for a maximum of two times in a calendar year to a foreigner with a minimum gap of two months between each visit. The Tourist Visa-on-Arrival facility shall not be applicable to holders of Diplomatic/ Official passports.Required documents:
The Government of India – Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has eased restrictions on tourist Visas, which had mandated a two-month gap between consecutive visits by foreign nationals.
However, nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, foreigners of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin and "stateless persons" will continue to come under the 60-day gap rule. The move is likely to breathe fresh life into the tourism industry and comes just ahead of the peak tourist season. India's share of international tourist arrivals in 2011 was a mere 0.64%.Fall in tourist inflow led to government re-think
The tourist Visa restriction, which was relaxed on Monday, was introduced in November 2009 in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks when it was found that Pakistani-American David Colman Headley had succeeded in breaching security norms to visit India several times over a period of 3-4 years.
A decision to review the Visa restrictions was taken by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in January 2012, after concerns raised by the tourism ministry that the negative perception following the move had affected flow of tourists to India.
The PMO had asked the ministries of home and external affairs to review the restrictions, including the possibility of bringing in more countries under the Visa-on-arrival scheme and improving conditions at major airports.
The order dated November 23 issued by the ministry of home affairs said, "The provision relating to the two-month gap between two visits of a foreign national to India on a tourist Visa has been reviewed by the government. It has now been decided, to lift the restriction of two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India.''
Instructions were earlier issued by the Government of India – Ministry of Home Affairs, stipulating that there should be a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to India on a Tourist Visa. This matter has been reviewed by the Government and it has been decided to lift the restriction of two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India except in case of nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Maldives, foreigners of Pakistan origin and Stateless persons.