How I got registered in India aka: A few days worth of Insanity.

I entered on an X visa, multiple entry, 1 year. I am living in Pune so had to register here.

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.

  1. Original valid Passport and Visa.
  2. Registration form (to be ALSO be filled out on computer terminals at F.R.R.O. office) which you can get from front guards.
  3. 4 Passport copies (photo page, Page indicating validity, Page bearing arrival stamp of Indian Immigration).
  4. 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.
  5. Residential proof (4 copies Electric bill / Telephone bill or Leave & Licence agreement.) Subject to satisfaction of the registering authority regarding genuineness of document.
  6. Marriage License if you are married to Indian Citizen (4 copies)as well as spouses Indian Visa (4 copies).
  7. 4 Passport size photographs (4cm × 4cm with clear background, ears distinctly visible, without spectacles and cap, do not smile  )
  8. Registration fee – Rs.100/-. (I didn’t have to pay anything)
  9. 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!  😛


11 thoughts on “How I got registered in India aka: A few days worth of Insanity.

  1. Hi Gori…. (for the lack of a name),
    My wife is a gori american and I grew up in Bombay and studied in Pune. We visit Bombay every alternate year. I got my wife a PIO card which greatly simplifies things but you already know that :). You just need the marriage certificate as Mr. V states. It is quite easy to get it back here in America. I think we got in a few weeks. I got myself an OCI card, but perhaps your husband already has that.

    After reading some of your posts that mention your husband experiences back in India, I realise I’ve become American in ways that show up when I visit India. The constant stream of visitors that was so normal to me growing up in Bombay, are now a pain when I’m there :).

    I used to live in the DC/NorthVA area before moving to beautiful Lancaster County in PA where my wife is from.


    • Hi Glenn!

      Thank you so much for the comment! Sorry it took me a bit to respond, feeling a little sick and previous to that the hubby has been battling tonsillitis. So been a tad busy on this end. 😉

      Thankfully, I had already read so much about the issues with getting registered here in India and the need for correct documents, that I made sure I came here with government stamped originals of everything!! Our marriage certificate is state certified and has a pretty little seal on it, so that should be sufficient for India (hopefully). Plus, we are hiring an agent to handle this one for us. The last two (registration and getting my things delivered) were enough to prove to us that an agent falls into the category of necessary evil. 😉

      I told Bear what you said about living in US and coming back here and feeling some irritation over things you used to be used to. He laughed and said that’s the way it was with him too. The one that get’s him the most is the constant obligations to everyone and their brother and sister and cousin’s sisters Aunt and so on and so forth. 😉

      I’m from the western part of VA but more in the middle….Shenandoah Valley (moved to California for my career). I spent a great deal amount of time in DC and North VA growing up and it’s a lovely area isn’t it? PA was one of the places that his boss mentioned to him as a possible place for H1. I’ve never spent any time in PA other than driving through it on my way to somewhere else, so you’ll have to let me know what you think of it.

      I’m so glad that you commented here and hopefully you’ll keep coming back! Would love to hear all about you and your “Gori”! Since you already posted a comment here, perhaps you can even help me out and write from the guy’s perspective as I still haven’t been able to talk Bear into doing that yet (but it’s close….I’m threatening no food…heheheh). Take care and look forward to your continued contributions here!


  2. Hey, I’m already back. Yes, it’s true that getting a PIO is much easier in your native country. I wish I knew it earlier. Learnt it the hard way 😉

    The embassy guys here in Delhi once mentioned how a foreigner got PIO in a month’s time. Must have done some extremely good karma in past life 🙂

    I’ll be glad to help as much as I can for your PIO. Just let me know. The most important thing for your PIO is a marriage certificate that clearly states that yes, you people are married. Some countries issue an updated family census record rather than a marriage certificate. That becomes a problem here. These people are mentally tuned to the marriage certificate only.

    • Hey Mr. V!

      Glad to know you got back earlier than you thought you would! That is always a blessing isn’t it? 😉 Karma….get’s ya every time.

      Thankfully, I was privy to the need for everything signed, stamped and original in the way of documents for India. So our marriage certificate is a real and authenticated one with the stamp and signature of the state Governor and his city clerk. I have three originals of that. hahahahha 😉

      First we are getting our marriage registered here in India (probably this month) and once that is done, then we will have to wait till closer to August to apply for my PIO. It will be one year in August and from everything that I’ve read you aren’t suppose to apply till it’s been at least the year otherwise they send it back “unapproved” or some such thing (even if it’s a few days the rumor has it….but not confirmed yet). And I’ll probably have to get a visa extension as well as mine is set to expire in September. Siiiiiigh that should be tons of fun.

      Soon as we are ready to do all that, I’ll be sending you a message with a ton of questions I’m sure! hehe Till then, please keep coming back and posting comments! I love to hear from you all!

  3. Reminds me of the eight months of mental, physical and financial torture we had to go through for my wife’s PIO application. That too, at Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.

    File disappeared – three times

    Copy of passport disappeared – two times

    Sending a letter to local police station for verification – 2 months

    That’s how India shines for us 🙂

    • Mr. V….

      YAY! Now I’m sooooo looking forward to getting my PIO! Thanks a bunch! 😛 hehehe Actually, I’ve heard that it’s nothing short of torture and that a person would be better off going back to their own country and dealing with the India Embassy to get it. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. That’s the whole point though….to leave I would need to apply for a leave and THEN I would need a whole other visa to get in if my PIO takes too long and what with how much they are just LOVING foreigners right now I know I would be stuck in US for some time when I would much rather be going back home to India with the husband. So yeah. GREATLY looking forward to applying for my PIO in India! hahaha

      PS: Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for the comment! Be sure to come back! I know I’ll want to talk to you more once we are closer to our one year anniversary to apply for my PIO! 😉 hehehehehe

    • Thanks so much! I’m actually aware of that link and it does have some good information. Although I prefer IndiaMike at the moment! 🙂

  4. Rude foreign students ?

    Yes, Pune does have a whole lot of foreign students, mostly from Iran and other Middle-East countries, and quite a few from African nations, and a few from South-East Asia.

    I’ve had my share of run-ins with rude Iranian students, but never with German punk-rocker-girl-types !

    In Pune, there have been instances of Iranian students partying loudly in their rented flats and disturbing the local residents of neighbouring flats, as well as more serious incidents of Iranian students beating up their local neighbours, beating up Pune traffic police officers, after having been stopped for committing a traffic offence, etc. It’s disturbing.

    • I’m not sure about whether it’s a particular kind of person but I do know that it was mostly the foreign students who were the rudest at the FRRO. There more than one who were rude and just here visiting. Either way, I was nervous about the staff being rude and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were practically the only ones smiling at me. 🙂

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