Foreign Residents Must File New Paperwork from Landlords

26 Nov 13

INDIA

IMPACT – Medium

What are the changes? A new procedure in parts of India requires that hotels, landlords and others hosting foreigners immediately register an expat’s arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office.

What does the change mean? The mandatory filing of this form from a property owner adds a time-sensitive step in a foreign resident’s required registration with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visa types.
  • Who is affected: All foreign visitors and residents in Chennai. The same policy is partially implemented in Hyderabad and will be implemented in Mumbai and Bangalore soon.
  • Impact on processing times: The new process takes about one week to complete after a foreign national’s arrival in India. Note that frequent follow-up by employers may be required to complete the process within that time frame and avoid late fees.
  • Next steps: Employers should prepare to assist foreign nationals in obtaining the online form from the host soon after arrival, and follow up with the FRRO to get a confirmation letter.

Background: The new rule requires hotels, landlords and other property owners who are hosting or housing foreigners to register details of a foreigner’s visit or apartment lease with the authorities within 24 hours of the foreigner’s arrival.

The policy applies to hotels, guest houses, universities, hospitals, institutes, landlords and others providing accommodations to foreigners.

In Chennai, where the policy is in full effect, the premises must register the apartment, hotel or other accommodations online with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO). After registration, the premises owner must complete Form C online, preferably within 24 hours of the foreigner’s arrival to avoid delays in processing and late fees. At this point, the employer normally provides its email address and follows up to make sure it receives a confirmation letter of Form C from the FRRO within seven days. The employee then includes Form C in the documents submitted for his or her registration with the FRRO.

The Form C registration policy is part of the Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking (IVFRT) system that is being implemented country wide and is aimed at helping authorities locate and track foreigners. It will continue to be rolled out to other parts of India, including Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore.

BAL Analysis: Employers and assignees arriving in India should be aware of this new mandatory filing requirement and its timing. Note that it takes about seven days for the premises owner to obtain a confirmation letter of Form C from the FRRO. If planning on staying in India for more than six months or if indicated on their visa, foreigners must register with the FRRO, including the Form C confirmation letter, within 14 days of arrival. Therefore, immediately after an employee lands in India, an employer should begin working with the landlord to start the registration process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider in India. For additional information, please contact GlobalVisaGroup@balglobal.com.

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