Bangalore FRRO Guide: How To Register or Apply for a Visa Extension Using the New Appointment System

There I was, the first time I successfully navigated the labyrinth of the Bangalore FRRO in April, 2011

UPDATE 2013: Please be aware that you can no longer simply show up at the FRRO for service as they have implemented an online application and ‘APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING’ service that is required for literally everything, even when there is an emergency. You MUST complete the application and receive an appointment date online >> and show up only on that day. They will not allow you to present your queries beforehand. Appointments are given automatically and can be anywhere from days to weeks ahead so BE SURE TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE TO INDIA FOR INITIAL REGISTRATION OR AT LEAST 15 DAYS BEFORE YOUR VISA EXPIRES FOR AN EXTENSION. Their new website is now {at first glance} up to date with the correct documents lists so in my opinion you no longer need to physically go to the FRRO to collect the paper copy as I indicate below. Good luck to you!!! (START HERE: FRRO Online application and appointment generator)

So you’ve moved to India, or are on a short – but official – visit, or any of the other fun reasons that might require you to register your visa with the Foreign Regional Registration Office in order to stay in the country.  Well trust me, you are in for quite a treat.

First off, I think that it’s some of the most fun people watching in town.  If you read my blog, you know the types of places I haunt typically and the FRRO office offers up a mega dose of diverse fun people watching.  Heathrow airport is still my absolute favourite spot to pass time people watching but the FRRO is pretty damn interesting I must say.  Next, you’re going to have to balance out the people watching FUN with the mild insanity of the current process and the lack of customer support.  So far I’ve never met a single visitor to the FRRO who could instinctively grasp where the hell to go next…nor have I have seen consistency with respect to employees explaining — with clarity — exactly what to expect from the visit or where a person should head to next.  Combine these two and what you have is a sure-fire combination for a unique experience, unfortunately often rife with confusion and frustration.

I am now a self-proclaimed veteran of the FRRO experience, having been through the process TWICE in less than six months.  The first time was in April when I moved to Bangalore.  I moved here alone and on an Employment Visa.  It took me 4.5 hours at the FRRO to register my visa and finalize my residency and work permit paperwork…the result of which was a funny, confusing mess.  With that experience under my best I figured it would be a much smoother process the second time around given that I’d been through it just a few months ago, even with the added twist of registering my 15 year old daughter who had finally just moved over.  I mean how much could have changed since April, right?  Ohhh I was so naïve.

This time around I did exactly what you’re doing now.  I started with the Internet.  I went to what appeared to be an official state site but it didn’t offer a checklist of required docs.  After that I went to a couple of other sites that offered up lists and document downloads.  I reviewed the required documents needed to register, which basically looked right based on my experience back in April.  Then I started on the task of obtaining everything that I appeared to need (the key here being APPEARED).  Last, just like last time, somehow I managed to go to the FRRO office to register on the very last day that I possibly could before the late penalty of $30/day kicked in.   ((I have included the list of what documentation is required as a footer to this blog post so scroll down if you wish to review it))

Like death and taxes, no one escapes the FRRO.  So if you don’t have an agent or a kick-ass HR department who’s done this over and over again and will handle the process for you, then please take my advice and spend just a few minutes preparing for the arduous task…and learn from my mistakes.

My first rule for surviving the FRRO experience is DO NOT TRUST WHAT YOU READ ONLINE!  The information I found online, including the checklists, turned out to be outdated.  A quick visit to the FRRO to pick up the latest list of requirements will save you a ton of time and frustration.  I wish I had done it.

Rules to survive the FRRO experience:

  1. Upon first arrival to India (or the month before your renewal date), take your passport to the FRRO and collect the checklists and forms that are currently needed and in use for your visa (and that of your family if applicable).  DO NOT download them from the Internet, complete the PDF auto-fill forms, etc because chances are they will not be accepted — I made that mistake.  ((Bangalore: When you enter the FRRO, make an immediate right and queue at the “applications and police reports” table))
  2. Make sure every tiny detail on every form is complete.
  3. For employment visas, make sure that the company places all docs on company letterhead and that the company seal is stamped on virtually everything bearing the company name, always at the exact spot specified on the document or forms and signed (I had a document rejected because it was signed and stamped in the wrong spot).
  4. Take the time to place all your required documents in the same order as they appear on the checklist.  This seemed to help keep the peace and make the agent’s life easier.
  5. Take your laptop or a good book or music, you’ll be happy for the entertainment.
  6. Eat before you go, there is no food or drinks allowed inside and you could be in for the long haul…you never know.  We were grumpy and starving at the end of our day.

I will definitely do things smarter the next time to save time and help boost my chances of a stress-free experience.  All-in-all I think that things are improving at my local FRRO in Bangalore so that’s a plus.  Fingers crossed the next time we go it will be a smooth and seamless process.

List of documents needed when registering a fresh Employment Visa:

  • Application form
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • Request letter addressed to the FRRO (for delay and overstay only)
  • Original passport + copy (visa page, entry stamp page, photo/validity page/s)
  • Address proof
  • Copy of appointment letter and contract
  • Copy of certificate of incorporation / Memorandum of Association
  • Letter of employment issued by company/NGO on letterhead, addressed to the FRRO and including contract duration
  • Certificate by the company that no suitable Indian candidate was found with Rs. 100 on non-judicial stamp paper
  • Indemnity bond / undertaking letter by the company along with proof of ID of authorized signatory (PAN or passport copy)
  • Financial guarantee from company on Rs. 100 non-judicial stamp paper
  • Proof of annual income, $25,000 minimum with all details (use FRRO template or it won’t be accepted…we made this mistake and because our model didn’t specify if they paid me by cash, check or bank transfer it was rejected)
  • Copy of acknowledgement of PAN application or copy of PAN card
  • If employed by NGO, monthly stipend/salary certificate with ID proof of authorized signatory of the salary certificate

List of documents needed when registering a dependent (not NGO related):

  • Application form
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • Request letter addressed to the FRRO (for delay and overstay only)
  • Original passport + copy (visa page, entry stamp page, photo/validity page/s)
  • Address proof
  • Bank letter or copy of passbook of parent/s + copy of indemnity bond/financial guarantee if parent/s are employed
  • Copy of marriage certificate ((I think this is for Indians only))
  • If parents/spouse are on employment visa, copy of letter from the company
  • Undertaking on non-judicial paper for Rs. 100 that he/she will not take any employment or business, addressed to the FRRO
  • Indian origin of proof if applicable
  • Copy of parent’s passport, visa and residency proof if registered of this office
  • If owns property in India, copy of RBI clearance and copy of property registration certificate
  • For training in military, letter from ministry of defense and letter from local defense training establishment

XOXO Angela

© 2013 Angela Carson

Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 37 countries on 4 continents, residing in 8 of them (currently Indonesia's Riau Islands is my home). I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Suneel Nahom

    Lethargy is highly ubiquitous in every government sector in India. But, often times we come across some gems in the mud and they shine making their entire office look promising one time or the other. It’s just our luck over which employee would lay hands on our documents.

    Happy to see that there are still some do-gooders who go to the next level to help and support people in need.

    It was a nice post Angela. Cheers.

  2. dundertoad

    Hey Ange,. Glad everything worked out for you. You may want to thank your parents for making you the babe-o-licious person that you are. I think that babe-o-liciousness helped ease your way through the process of being a legal foreigner in B’luru. Well, that and the fact that you are, judging by your columns, a friendly, sunny, all-around-good-guy, type person, A SoCal Gal.
    I, on the other hand, am not. Any of those things. Except for the legal foreigner part. That I am. With a twist. (Hey, this is South India. Everything comes with a twist.) But, what I definitely am not is any degree of babe-o-licious. (I use the term generically.) Quite, in fact, the contrary. My attempts at using my inner babe-ness, (during my callow youth), inevitably led to threats of arrest and detention for violating the local anti-pollution ordinances. But, what to do? I am like that only.
    My own, now mercifully in abeyance, registration process took, not 2 visits on subsequent days, but rather 2 years of multiple visits, multiples of thousands of rupees, (man, that’s a lot of coffee those guys drink), two bottles of Johnny Walker Black Label, (Which may explain the coffee), multiple public dressing downs by bloated bureaucrats and a standing prescription for high dosage Valium. And those are just the highlights. There is a saga attached to that registration of mine, but, this is not the place for it. (My blog is, should you care)
    Anyway, good on you girl.
    Have fun. (That, again, judging from your writings, comes under the heading of unnecessary advice.)
    Nos vemos.

    1. angela_carson

      Hey there, send me the link to your story too…would love to read it 🙂 And yes, I am fully aware that how I look has been an important part of my success in many things here. The first company I worked for wanted to show “an international face” to new markets they were opening. A couple of my projects/opportunties were given to me by owners who wanted more from me than what was on my cv. Shop owners attend to me over locals because they think they can make a higher sale. Etc Etc Etc…. I can also pick and choose who I wish to date from sort of the cream of the crop. It’s not fair, it’s completely unjust and I know this 100%…but “es lo que hay” as they say in Spain (it is what it is). I can’t change the system with that anymore than I can make European 2-kisses greetings customary in India so I’m just gonna go with the flow and ride the wave for now.

      1. dundertoad

        you know, just because it is floating at the top doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cream. pond scum floats on top too.
        just sayin’.

        1. angela_carson

          hahaha true. And it’s impossible to know at first glance or without spending quality time….

  3. anonymous

    The information you listed here is a goldmine. Make sure you do the following:

    – Remove this valuable information from your website with immediate effect
    – Copyright it into your guidebook on Living and Working in India
    – Sit back and relax as the millions come in from sale of this proprietary information

    1. angela_carson

      Thanks for the advice but I hope to make my millions by writing a different kind of book, but it’s not a bad idea 🙂 I’m happy to share simple experiences like this for now in the spirit of knowledge-sharing 🙂 And since it does change every x weeks or months and I don’t plan to go back for a year it won’t be much help to people soon anyway….

  4. Rhonald Moses

    Whoa! Its one of the long blog you’ve written and am sure it ain’t exactly fun when you went through all these.

    Well, I didn’t know that working in India for a foreigner is that complicated process especially a foreigner from a developed country.

    The agents/employees are always ass****s at any government office coz they hate their work and also fellow Indians piss em off all the time. We have a thing in India that the “Office Boy is the most powerful guy in a company”. So we usually butter the office boy to give better information & proper guidance (on who is better to deal with).

    Its nice of you to post all updated info for others, but I believe it keeps changing every 6 months of so. It was all simple earlier but then Indian authorities made things complicated recently thanks to UK embassy and their shabby treatment to Indians (It’s kinda get back to non asian nationals by Indian government, though not sure what’s been achieved).

    Anyhow, nice read.. Adios.

    1. angela_carson

      Ohhhh No Comment! 🙂 –angela

  5. Abdullah K.

    Fortunately, my experience with the FRRO in Delhi and Goa wasn’t that much of a hassle. It probably helped that as a Russian, I knew what bureaucracy can be like and was prepared to deal with it. But try buying property or registering a automobil in India, it is completely another story. If you ever do that, just get an agent – it will save you time and a whole lot of headaches.

  6. sunith

    Holy bejesus! It was a struggle just reading the rigmarole you had to go through. I can’t imagine how would it be to experience it. Glad to see that the experience hasn’t scarred you and hope still remains in the system improving. 🙂

    1. angela_carson

      Hi Sunith, yeah, it’s a bit insane but luckily it’s short lived and everything can be handled in a day typically. thanks for the words of encouragement though 🙂

  7. Peter

    I’ve been in Chennai for 4 years so can empathise with you a lot on the FRRO experience, I’ve written about it many times 🙂

    I think it’s very important to let people know that the checklist you find on the Indian Immigration website has got no relevance to the paperwork you actually need. For starters it doesn’t mention anything about the need to state that no Indian was suitable for the position along with the evidence to prove the company looked for a local person – although it seems as though you just needed to take Rs 100 stamp paper and they didn’t ask for the evidence, different FRRO’s have different rules apparently!

    The same goes for requesting a visa extension, there is a lot of additional paperwork that you’ll only find out about on the “recce” visit as I like to call it because undoubtedly they’ll find something missing or some wrong wording and you’ll have to come back tomorrow! I was once sent packing because my letters said “to whom it may concern” instead of “To: FRRO Chennai”!

  8. Abie

    Hi Angela, I’m coming to FRRO for my Visa Extension next month.. I hope it will be smoother this time around. Last time I was there bout 8AM and they gave me my Residence Permit around 6PM.. I guess extension is far worse because you also have to go to the Police Office? Thanks for this.. 🙂 xxx


    1. angela_carson

      Ohhhh I haven’t had to do that yet so please come back and share your experience after. OR, better yet, take your laptop and document the whole damn day due to boredom like I did, haha. I wish you the best of luck. Soon I’d like to change the type of visa I have so I can freelance and sell stories to magazines and newspapers and I’m not really looking forward to that experience at all. –angela

  9. thomas

    Hello Angela,
    Thanks for sharing this helpful information.

    1. angela_carson

      Sure, do come back and share anything new if you are headed there soon 🙂 -A

  10. Rajendra

    Very useful indeed. Thanks for the detailed experience. One error I wanted to point out. The penalty for late registration is one-time $30 and not $30 per day as you have mentioned. Please correct it.

    1. angela_carson

      Hi Rajendra, I really appreciate your information. I will edit the post with your correction. Thanks 🙂

  11. Jay Gokul

    I will be going to this process as well 

  12. Margarita

    Thank you for sharing! I am traveling to India in the beginning of September and Visa expires at the end of the month. This will came in very handy!

  13. Fatima M M

    It was real y helpful reading this post, without saying the rest of the blog 🙂 Thank you Angela.
    I have a question regarding the employment visa. I read somwehere that there is a new requirement (since 2010) in order to apply for it, that is that you have to be earning 25,000 USD a year or more. Does that mean that you don’t need to apply for it if you won’t be earning that quantity?
    I will be moving to Bangalore in a few weeks, and Im looking forward to check the places you mention. Thanks again for your posts.


    1. AngelaCarson

      Hi Fatima, same requirement of $25,000 / year for employment visa.  when you first arrive, your documents need to state that, although they won’t check it until your first year visa renewal time but then your tax returns and all docs need to show proof of that salary and tax equivalent paid and money placed in provident fund.  Good luck 🙂 -A

  14. Bavani Kanesamoorthy

    really helpful…. 🙂 thank you… by the way which part of bangalore do you live in???

  15. Hitu

    On our recent 19 day trip to India, one senior passenger had bought with them their OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) booklet issued by the Government of India and her US Passport. She was detained at Mumbai Airport by the Immigration officers for not bringing a valid visa along with her OCI Booklet.
    The OCI booklet looks like a passport. Inside it had her picture, name and personal information that identified her along with numbers that I assume could have been crossed checked by Immigration officials. The OCI booklet actual does have a printed page that states the privileges of owning that booklet. One of them stated that the bearer can have multiple lifelong entries into India.
    The Immigration officer finally did release her by stamping her US passport with a 14 day tourist visa and told her to get an “Exit Stamp” from the police station in the city she was going to visit.
    After her tour, she went to the police station to get the exit stamp. She spent the better half of her day, but they did not stamp her passport. The solution was to go to the FRRO office in Mumbai. It’s located behind Xavier’s College and to ask for a Visa Extension.
    She managed to get a two day extension stamped onto her passport so that she could leave the country.
    The FRRO office required a written letter from the hotel confirming that she was staying there.
    $30 to $40 USD to pay the fee to extend the visa.
    Airline ticket with her name and date of departure proving that she was departing India.
    The FRRO office hours are strange. They open at 9:00 am but do close for lunch and close for the rest of day rather early. Around 3:00 p.m. or so. Go early. Be patient. Be prepared with your documents and that should get you an extension of your visa.

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