Foreign residents may be fined for reporting address change late

31 Dec 14

INDIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Chennai has begun to strictly enforce an old rule that foreign nationals report their change of address in a timely fashion. Other cities across India may follow.

What does the change mean? Foreign residents who move their residential address should report in-person to their local Registration Office without delay and no later than one month after changing address.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Resident permits and change of address certificates.
  • Who is affected: Foreign residents in Chennai and other cities.
  • Impact on processing times: No impact.
  • Business impact: Enforcement of the rule carries a monetary penalty and the inconvenience of reporting in-person. Penalties are at the discretion of FRROs.
  • Next steps: Foreign employees moving their place of residence should report their new address within one month.

Background: Legally, foreign residents must report a change of address if absent from their registered address for more than eight weeks. The Chennai FRRO recently began charging foreign nationals who delay reporting an address change. The standard penalty of USD $30 will be imposed in the first three months, and higher penalties apply after three months. Penalties are subject to the discretion of the FRRO officer who could also request police verification or confirmation of the address change. Other cities across India are expected to adopt enforcement measures as well.

BAL Analysis: The new enforcement of this rule will affect most foreign nationals who typically register their hotel as their address on their resident permit before finding an apartment. BAL recommends foreign nationals report any residential change of address within one month to avoid penalties.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in India. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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