Detailed Checklist for Residential Permit Process

#1 May 13th, 2018, 15:55
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  • kathill is offline
#1
All this info was from my experience in Aurangabad (Maharashtra) in early 2018. Some parts were difficult to navigate so I hope others will find it helpful.

REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE/RESIDENTIAL PERMIT CHECKLIST

Preliminary planning and general advice:
  1. If you intend to depart India before your stay limit expires (90 days or 180 days on most visas), you don't need residency.
  2. Enlist a friend/agent who is fluent in the local language to pursue this task with you. Documentation is in English, but nothing else is.
  3. Allow plenty of time. This process took me four months, partly due to computer glitches on the BOI side and confusion at my local FRRO offices. My FRRO had never done this process before, which caused considerable delays. The process must be complete before your stay limit expires.
  4. On line registration is not available everywhere. Check with your local FRRO before you start. This discussion is about the on-line route.
  5. I am a USA national. The rules are different for some other nationalities.
  6. There are various fees, which vary. Bring money.
  7. Some FRROs want you to complete 8 originals of the same form, rather than filling it in once and photocopying it. No comment.

The On-Line Process:
  1. Register on line with the FRRO. Use this Application: https://indianfrro.gov.in/frro/menuf...p?t4g=43M2PLS9
    • There are many links to this form and most get you nowhere, so keep track of the URL that actually works after you find one.
    • If the form has mandatory fields that don't respond, start over with a new form.
    • If all mandatory fields are completed but "submit" button does not work, start over with a new form, and/or complete non-mandatory fields with "does not apply."
    • Before you submit the application, print out a copy of each page.
    • Keep trying until your data is complete and correct and submitted.
    • Record the application number with care.
  2. After you Submit, the site takes you to a different page, where you upload documents. Review the list, which varies by circumstance, and make sure you have assembled everything you need. (It took a month for my bank to hand over my passbook.)
  3. Scan the photo to .jpg, and the documents to .pdf.
  4. Make FOUR paper copies of each item (plus the original) for your dossier.
  5. You need four originals of the photo.
  6. Put the computer files on a stick drive and attach it to the paper dossier.
  7. Upload the documents. For me these were:
    • Passport Photo (Note: There are many instructions as to how to format the photo, such as https://indianfrro.gov.in/frro/. They conflict with each other. I found a few pixels made a difference between rejections as "too big" and "too small." There was no Goldilocks photo size (hundreds of attempts). My FRRO's IT guy finally uploaded the photo for a small fee.)
    • Copy of passport (photo and validity page)
    • Copy of visa
    • Proof of Residential Address: landlord letter and/or bank passbook
    • Letter of introduction from employer/sponsor with signer’s name, mobile and title asserting my identity.
    • Letter from employer/sponsor asserting his identity.
    • Documents detailing employment contract, terms and conditions, etc. (showing that I am a Director of a Pvt. Ltd. business.)
    • PAN card
    • Form C
  8. There is an online payment option on the BOI site. Good luck with that!
  9. At this point, you should have automatically generated an appointment with your FRRO, which shuts off your access to the BOI site. If you don't have an appointment, have your friend/agent call them for one.
The In-Person Process:
  1. Show up for your appointment, with your local friend/agent. Bring with you the paper dossier of copies in quadruplicate, the number from your application form, your photos, and your original documents (passport/visa). I also brought everything else to do with my identity, including my birth certificate, USA driving license, etc. just in case. At most FRROs, you also want to bring a book to read, and a bottle of water or thermos of chai. No telling how long the waits will be.
  2. At this point someone verifies your application and related documents, starts a paper file, makes sure your face matches your passport photo, and takes stock of your character. Then you go home and wait.
  3. Sooner or later, someone from the police will come to your house to make sure you really live there. After that is when they are supposed to collect the fee, if it has not been paid already.
  4. The FRRO then prepares the Registration Certificate/Residential Permit, in four originals, each with your photo, and you will be called back in to sign each one. We were also asked to purchase a nice new folder for all the documentation.
  5. This gets you on the agenda of the top person at the FRRO office, who will interview you by appointment. When this day finally arrived, I was asked various details about my financial relationships in India, in English, as was my sponsor, in Marathi, and our answers were compared, so get your stories straight. This officer suggested I should apply for citizenship, not aware that I am ineligible to apply until twelve years elapse after receiving this Permit.
  6. Once this person grants approval, you receive the Registration Certificate/Residential Permit, with instructions to make several copies, get the original laminated, and keep it with your passport.
The Outcome:
  1. The Permit restates the limit on my visa, 180 days maximum stay. However, it is valid for one year, which trumps the stay limit.
  2. I cannot leave India without first applying for an Exit Permit.
  3. When they issue an Exit Permit, they rescind the Residency Permit. However, upon my return, they can (and normally do) reinstate it or issue a new one.
  4. I must report any travel that will last 8 weeks or more, or any change in my home address.
  5. I must renew the Permit annually until my B-2 visa expires, at which point I have to report back to my home country and apply for a new visa. Then this whole process starts over.
Kathy
"Real Happiness Lies in Making Others Happy" - Avatar Meher Baba
#2 May 13th, 2018, 18:27
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  • Nick-H is offline
#2
Are you sure you sent to an FRRO? Not an FRO? In Aurangabad?

Quote:
e-FRRO is presently applicable for foreigners in the jurisdiction of all FRROs:
Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru,
Kolkata, Amritsar, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad,
Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Puducherry.
Source

Quote:
Foreign Register Office (FRO)
Introduction: FRO Aurangabad City office deals in Registration, Extensions, Return visas, and processing of exit
permission.
The FRO Aurangabad City office is situated at-
Police Commissioner Office,
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Road,Mill Corner,
Aurangabad – 431001.
Telephone No. 0240-2351346.
source (PDF)

"My FRRO had never done this process before," doesn't ring right. FRRO staff are BOI, Ministry, Immigration staff. FROs are police officers that do the thing as part of their job.

What did you pay for? As far as I know, there is no fee for registration, unless it is late, then there is a flat fee (was USD30 equivalent, last time I looked)

Experience of bureaucracy differs widely according to office, officers, and individuals. It can be a nightmare. Registration is usually straightforward.
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#3 May 13th, 2018, 19:21
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  • kathill is offline
#3
I am in the Rural division of Aurangabad, which has its own FRO, in a different part of the city from the Urban FRO, home of the FRRO. We ended up going to both places, as only the Urban had the IT guy who could upload a picture - we had to carry him from the Urban to the Rural and back. The Rural guys had trouble with using computers, and had to bring in a guy from Urban who knew how to type in Marathi. The Regional (FRRO) guy was based at the Urban office, but met up with us at the Rural office (FRO)... because nobody at the Rural office knew the process. Our Rural FRO also consulted with a Mumbai FRO (or maybe the Mumbai FRRO, it all was in Hindi and Marathi...?) I don't know how this works in other cities. My impression is, in most places you have either FRRO or FRO, but here I have both, I guess.
#4 May 13th, 2018, 19:27
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#4
Due to the language difficulties, I could be totally wrong about there being an FRRO guy here, but I do know that our Rural FRO had never processed an RP before, and went to both Urban and Mumbai people for advice, possibly only the Mumbai guy being FRRO. Sorry.
#5 May 13th, 2018, 19:28
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#5
Also, I don't know about the fees... I know that money changed hands, and I don't want to know the details! Especially after working on it for more than four months.
#6 May 13th, 2018, 21:54
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  • gemuesemix is offline
#6

Smile

thanks for the comprehensive information.

registration is free ( except "special fees"). no fees whatsoever. i was given a signed and stamped printout of the result of the online process which states "registration certificate/residential permit". i don't have anything else. i just needed 1 photo for the application form and 2 which were pasted into a little book where they list all foreigners).

besides this process was quite similar. except it was done in less than a week. but i a agree that's all about smiling and being very polite.
i was also told to report if i go abroad and get....something ( stamp on rc/rp??) otherwise i could not leave. no clue, it's written nowhere.

#7 May 13th, 2018, 23:20
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#7
What an experience, Kathill!

I'm not in the least doubting your personal experience, but it is certainly not typical of mainline urban foreigner registration. And I suspect that you got taken for a ride or two, and not only from place to place

I've always imagined FRO (one F) as being a policeman doing a part-time extra. I think that, in the smaller places, this is indeed the case. But the two-R FRROs only exist in some of the major metros, which must leave some very big towns where the FRO must actually require a department. I have been in the FRRO here in Chennai a few times over the years. I would not go so far as to say that those guys are always right: I guess nobody doing any job is always right. I've had to argue my way through one or two things with them. They are real immigration officers, and, between them, they do know their stuff (err... mostly).

The single-cop FRO has, over the years, been known to grant stuff like visa renewals and RPs to people who should not really have had them. It mean they were able to spend a great deal longer resident in India than they really should have.
#8 May 14th, 2018, 08:58
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post What an experience, Kathill!

I'm not in the least doubting your personal experience, but it is certainly not typical of mainline urban foreigner registration. And I suspect that you got taken for a ride or two, and not only from place to place

I've always imagined FRO (one F) as being a policeman doing a part-time extra. I think that, in the smaller places, this is indeed the case. But the two-R FRROs only exist in some of the major metros, which must leave some very big towns where the FRO must actually require a department. I have been in the FRRO here in Chennai a few times over the years. I would not go so far as to say that those guys are always right: I guess nobody doing any job is always right. I've had to argue my way through one or two things with them. They are real immigration officers, and, between them, they do know their stuff (err... mostly).

The single-cop FRO has, over the years, been known to grant stuff like visa renewals and RPs to people who should not really have had them. It mean they were able to spend a great deal longer resident in India than they really should have.
I am just glad it's over. My companion/agent went through the same process a few years back with another USAnian and seemed to think there was nothing different this time around, except it all used to be on paper, and now it is more electronic. There was a considerable burden on him to revive interest time after time when the whole business ground to a halt. For instance, the "home visit" never actually happened -- it's an hour's drive to our place and nobody could ever quite show up, in spite of promises. We went to them so many times, with literature about our hotel, inviting them to visit, they finally just accepted that as proof of residency. The idea of completing the same form eight times comes from Wikipedia. I suspect BOI will eventually be able to resolve multiple problems with the electronic interface and then things will go more smoothly, but I also expect a lot of the process is location-dependent - some FRO guys will be familiar with the process and it will go smoothly, and elsewhere, not so much.
#9 May 14th, 2018, 13:51
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#9

Detailed Checklist for Residential Permit Process

I'm still curious to know what you paid for! There is no fee for registration.

Do you have a receipt?

(I have not had to register for several years, but I don't think this changed)

Also, in my years of living here and the progression of X visa to PIO, and registration, I don't think I ever had any home visit. Maybe they sniffed around and asked the neighbours.

My wife has had two gone visits: police verification is part of the Indian passport issue process. But they don't seem to want to visit me!
#10 May 15th, 2018, 13:06
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I'm still curious to know what you paid for! There is no fee for registration.

Do you have a receipt?

(I have not had to register for several years, but I don't think this changed)

Also, in my years of living here and the progression of X visa to PIO, and registration, I don't think I ever had any home visit. Maybe they sniffed around and asked the neighbours.

My wife has had two gone visits: police verification is part of the Indian passport issue process. But they don't seem to want to visit me!
I asked my partner what he paid for. He said he wasn't sure, but it was the only way to get the process restarted every time it came to a halt. Also, on the BOI website where you file the initial application that gets you into the system, the document-submission page ends with online payment instructions, which I ignored, having had so many technical problems with their interface, knowing that the application could be submitted without paying at that stage.
#11 May 15th, 2018, 13:07
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#11
And no receipts...
#12 May 15th, 2018, 14:21
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#12

Detailed Checklist for Residential Permit Process

You got ripped off. It should not have cost you anything at all.
Especially... Being told to pay for stuff like files?

I've been ripped off by bureaucrats too. But at least they didn't make any pretence that it was official.

I'm afraid that this is a detailed guide to how not to . And it seems that your helper did not help at all. Quite the opposite.

But did you have a choice?

That's a tough one. Because your need is simply to get it done. And if you find yourself across the desk from an official of the wrong sort, you either do it their way or... You get involved in the process of complaining to their seniors or reporting them. But you still need your task completed, and I wonder how it is then going to get done.

Anyway, next year, try not to let any of that stuff happen.

And my general advice is always that, no, lawyers, agents, etc are not needed. It is their interest to make things harder and more expensive. Yes, I learnt that one the hard way too ... although I actually managed to walk away without paying anything for the nothing that the guy had achieved.

Lawyers become a necessity when what one has a right to is being denied. That's a whole other level of deep shit!
#13 May 15th, 2018, 16:34
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#13
I agree with you. I hope others don't have to jump through the same hoops. I don't think very much money was involved. Being in business, we depend on the good will of many bureaucrats. A few years ago police raided my resort for no reason at 3 AM, ultimately apologizing and departing (without payment). Right now we are in almost everyone's good graces, high-ranking officials hold their social events here, and it is entirely possible that this was a factor somehow in the decisions of my partner. As a general rule we try to keep everything above board and totally legal. But we exist in a certain realm, and reality can get in the way of our best intentions; who am I to criticize, I don't come from this culture.
Ramadan Mubarak... 6:57 tonight. Have to hoist a beer before then.
#14 May 15th, 2018, 16:39
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#14
Quote:
reality can get in the way of our best intentions
Very true! But being informed can help.

The policeman's hand is inside the car window. palm up. "What do you want me to do," he asks. And the giver broke the law just as much as the receiver did.
#15 May 15th, 2018, 17:19
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#15

Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Very true! But being informed can help.
...
Being informed... is one reason I like being part of the IM community.

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