Rules here are as follows:
*****First Time Registration? Don’t go before 2:30 pm, they won’t let you in.*****
1)Make sure whomever you are staying with has registered that you are with them within 24 hours of your arrival. All house-owners/hotels are supposed to. It’s called a FORM C. My husband had to do this as essentially, he is my landlord. We were late so had to pay another fine for this (but since I already had one fine they only made us pay mine…luck).
2)Register with the FRRO in 14 days. No matter what Visa you are here on, you have to register within 14 days period. Even if you don’t plan to stay longer than 180, but DO plan to stay at least 180 days…I would go ahead and register as it’s better safe than sorry. The way it’s written is sort of open to interpretation of the person/authority figure you are dealing with and they CAN (and DO) say that it’s written that you have to register no matter what. FYI: Some people are told to come back closer to the 180 mark, but I think this is changing due to the recent events.
3) I was late in registering. I got sick. You will need to ask the front reception person at the FRRO’s office for a late registration chit. Chenel? Can’t remember the exact name of it. Anyway, before you can get yourself registered you need to take this chit to the local treasury bank (official government bank of India for your area) and pay the $30 fine. You will have to have the amount converted to rupee depending on that day’s exchange rate. They will then give you a receipt. Take that receipt back to the FRRO’s office. Because of the Holiday’s (Christmas and New Years), I didn’t go back for 8 days, 3 of which were actual business days, 1 of which they were open. I ran into an issue with the little man in the office who didn’t want to accept my chit because it was 8 days old. He kept saying I had to go and get a new one from the FRRO’s office. I kept saying, ok, fine but show me where it says that on my piece of paper. He said it was Indian Law. I said ok, fine, show me where. He walked away from me saying “That is my final answer.” I started loudly expressing that someone had BETTER GET OUT HERE AND HELP ME RIGHT NOW!!!! And the Bank Manager came out and apologized and said there is no such law and signed my chit. That alone took me two hours because the Treasury Bank hours are only one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon and they were late from lunch and there was a line. Bleck.
4) Pune has a new electronic setup to register yourself, but once you’ve done that you also have to stand in line to have all your documents scanned. Then you go to another line to have the documents approved.
5) Following are the documents you need and the one’s I suggest.
- Original valid Passport and Visa.
- Registration form (to be ALSO be filled out on computer terminals at F.R.R.O. office) which you can get from front guards.
- 4 Passport copies (photo page, Page indicating validity, Page bearing arrival stamp of Indian Immigration).
- Undertaking letter (4 copies signed by Indian person and Indian Guarantors passport). This was stating that my Husband planned to financially support me while here.
- Residential proof (4 copies Electric bill / Telephone bill or Leave & Licence agreement.) Subject to satisfaction of the registering authority regarding genuineness of document.
- Marriage License if you are married to Indian Citizen (4 copies)as well as spouses Indian Visa (4 copies).
- 4 Passport size photographs (4cm × 4cm with clear background, ears distinctly visible, without spectacles and cap, do not smile )
- Registration fee – Rs.100/-. (I didn’t have to pay anything)
- Apart from the above documents additional supportive documents can be asked for in certain cases.
Be prepared to spend a long time there, so wear comfortable clothes. Be prepared for the rudest people you meet there to NOT be the FRRO people but the numerous self righteous foreigners. Maybe it’s because I live in a “University” town and most of mine were college age punks….but there were some SERIOUSLY rude foreigners in there. Either pushing people out of the way, rudely butting in front of you, elbowing you aside, trying to take over the electronic kiosk … WHILE you are still using it, raising their voices in riotous (but still wrong) indignation or (and my all time personal favorite), barging into the room when it’s FINALLY your turn to get your document scanned and your picture taken by a punk rock girl who demands in German accented English that it is HER turn and starts talking to the guy who just 5 seconds ago was talking to YOU and taking YOUR paperwork. I turned around and told her “Excuse me, it’s my turn” to which she said “I was here earlier and they sent me for paperwork” to which I said “So did I and I waited in line again so it’s still my turn” to which she replied “We all have problems but I need help NOW” to which I said “NO YOU DON’T, get your butt out there and wait in line like the rest of US!!!!” and she went and got back in line. Bear said the FRRO guy was smiling the entire time.
Also, if you think it might be an important or needed document, make copies of it (always 4) and take it with you. Better safe than sorry as if you think you won’t need it, you’ll get there, spend 2 hours in line, find that you need it and then either rush to get it and come back before closing or need to come back the next day and stand in line all over again. Better safe than sorry right?
Once all my documents were scanned and accepted, I had to go back another day to pick up my form as their systems were down that day. This is a common occurrence apparently.
After three trips, I got my registration papers! HURRAY!
Now it’s time to get our Marriage registered. Siiiiigh.
PS: We’re hiring an Agent for that one! 😛