Foreigners give a thumbs up to new FRRO

Foreigners give a thumbs up to new FRRO

Foreigners give a thumbs up to new FRRO

A view of the new FRRO in Bangalore. DH PhotoThe office was earlier located on Infantry Road in the premises of the City Police Commissioner’s office. Soon after being elevated to the status of FRRO from FRO (Foreign Registration Office), it was shifted to its present location. The old office was riddled with numerous complaints with regards to facilities, infrastructure, management and laxity in the processes.

Tina (name changed) is a guardian to a group of Thai schoolchildren studying in the City for the last few years. Well versed with the procedures a foreigner has to undergo, she said: “People were treated like cattle and were shooed and shouted at in the old office.

There was no shelter when it rained,” she said.

LCD display screens

Foreign Regional Registration Officer Soumendu Mukherjee said several measures will be introduced to assist the foreigners better. There is a constant need to disseminate information around the office, which is still lacking. “LCD display screens will be installed and brochures will be printed and passed around in order to make such information available,” he said.

Foreigners who want to register their names have to wait for their turn, in a token system.

“The token system will also be streamlined and photos will be printed on them so that there are no proxies by the agents,” Mukherjee added.

Agent menace

Agents are a big menace at the Registration office, according to the officer. Especially when big families are involved and each and every member of a foreign family is required to register with the FRRO.

“They (families) may hire agents to do most of the work at the office,” he explains.
To put a check on them, a system would be put in place whereby, only one member of a family can register for other members of his/her family. “A single member can even avail of a kind of family token and subsequently get ‘add on’ tokens for other members.”

Although a welcome change, the new office and location is not entirely ideal, as Rurayi Pie, a student from Burundi explains.

“There should be some kind of arrangement at the entrance. People rush inside the premises as soon the gate opens, leading to a lot of confusion. Also, the new FRRO is located in an unknown corner of the City and is hard to be located.”

For Joya, Shivajinagar was a nearer and also a well-known place. "The new office is very far from where I stay, at Yelahanka" he said.

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