Rajnath Singh, The Honorable Home Minister of India, has recently approved a delegation of additional powers to Foreign Registration Offices or FROs. These powers have been approved by Mr. Singh with an aim to disburse some additional services to all International Students studying in India presently.
The FROs are now authorized to extend the validity of student visa, grant extra entries on visas over and above 3 entries per academic year, and extend the validity of provisional visa up to 6 months. These were some of the powers delegated to FROs on 4th September 2014 by Home Minister of India. Previously, The Foreigner’s Division of the Home Ministry was looking after all these services. It has been estimated that over 93,000 international students were studying currently in the universities of India and all can avail the benefits now, including the students who have recently enrolled in any program in India.
Besides all these above mentioned services, there are also other services for which FROs are responsible now including, conversion of student visa to entry visa on marriage to any Indian, conversion of entry visa into student visa, and cancellation of student visa in case of discontinuation of course or voluntary seeking exit from the country.
Mr. Rajnath Singh also said that these powers have been delegated to FROs with an aim to ensure that the services provided to all foreign students who are studying in India can be rationalized further.
He also added in his official statement that rolling out of IT based Mission Mode Project of IVFRT (Immigration, Visa, Foreigner’s Registration and Tracking) greatly allows entrustment of powers because all the decisions and transactions are stored and saved in highly protected online system which can be audited and reviewed in future when required. The robust utilization of online systems has greatly helped the government to facilitate the legal travelers, whilst making the security system stronger than ever before.