India: Update: Biometrics requirement introduced in Delhi, Mumbai

What is the change? Indian authorities have implemented biometrics requirements for foreign nationals applying for visas or permits at Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs) and Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) in Delhi and Mumbai.

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What does the change mean? Foreign nationals submitting in-country applications at FROs and FRROs in Delhi, Mumbai or Pune, where the requirement was introduced in March, will be required to submit fingerprints and eye scans as part of the visa application process. The biometrics machines will help authorities preserve passport and visa numbers and other data provided by applicants.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for visas and permits at FROs and FRROs in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune.
  • Impact on processing times: The biometrics requirement will initially add to the time it takes to submit visa or permit applications. However, once biometrics have been submitted, applicants may experience quicker processing times on subsequent visits, since their data will be readily available.
  • Next steps: Authorities intend to expand the biometrics requirement to other FROs and FRROs, but, so far it has only been implemented in the locations listed above.

Background: Authorities implemented the biometrics requirement in Pune in March. They have since implemented the requirement in Delhi and Mumbai, but have not yet done so in other locations, including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon. BAL will monitor the implementation of the biometric collection program and provide updates as it becomes required in new locations.

BAL Analysis: The collection of biometrics at the registration offices in Delhi, Mumbai or Pune will add an additional step to application processes. Those affected should be sure to allow extra time when submitting applications.

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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