Foreigners Regional Registration Office (‘FRRO’)

Today we had to go and register with the FRRO. This has to be done within 14 days of arriving in India. As we moved apartments, we had been delayed in doing so and today was effectively the last day we could register.
We had an agent who completed all the forms for us to sign. The detail required was substantial. We had to provide:
Marriage certificate
Contract of employment
Letter from Maple Suites confirming we are staying there
A copy of the lease agreement for the house
Place of birth
Father’s details
Letter of confirmation from RR that they will repatriate us at their cost
A signed declaration from me to say that I was “staying with my husband”.
A signed declaration from me saying I would not work, do any business or study whilst I was here.
We were walked over to the Bureau of Immigration by the agent but he was not allowed to accompany us inside. We took the lift to the top floor (5th). There was a man in the lift who’s job it is to push the lift buttons for you.
We walked through an airport style security scanner and past the armed police guard (huge rifle) and to the ticket office. Here we were photographed and the passports scanned. We were then given a ticket to queue to be seen.We took a seat and waited. And waited. And waited. There was a diverse mix of people here and it really felt like being back in the UK.
At last we were called over to a counter. The immigration officaial checked through all of our documents in detail, asking questions and getting us to sign additional forms. This took at least 30 minutes and he was helpful. After all the documents were confirmed we were told to come back in an hour to collect our registration form. We noticed that there was a separate team of people collecting the confirmed documents and taking them into a back office. These same people were also delivering the registration forms. 
We left the building and headed for the ‘veg and sweet’ restaurant we passed near the bus station. We bought dosas and idli. 4 trays of food arrived (clearly over ordered) and it cost INR 250 (£2.50) for the lot. It was lovely. 
After eating we looked at the long sweet counter. Small cakes full of sugar and butter (ghee) we displayed on trays behind glass counters. There was such an array and variety Zahra found it difficult to choose. We decided on a small (500g) box costing INR 230 (£2.30). Zahra and Rez have already confirmed how delicious they are.
We headed back to the FRRO to collect our forms. Within 5 mins Rez’s was ready. We had to wait a little longer for mine to be completed. We didn’t have to wait too long and my form was complete too.
We then headed back to the agents office for him to check that the forms. The registration document is valid for one year (so likely we will have to go through this process again) and also with the condition that tax affairs are sorted and completed by August next year. In addition we have to go back within 8 weeks to notify them of our change of address when we move into the house. 
Now we have the all important registration document which we must carry with us everywhere when we travel. More importantly we can now go through the bureaucracy to obtain a SIM card for the mobile.
India certainly has its own pace of life and it’s generally a really slow one.


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