India to crack down on lapsed visa holders

The Indian government has introduced new software aiming to better keep track of foreigners entering the country.


The Taj Mahal, India

The new software, introduced by India’s Union Home Ministry, will link the country’s seven Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) with 175 Indian embassies across the world and 81 airports and ports in India so that information about any foreigner entering or leaving the country can be accessed.

“When a foreign national files an online application for a visa, the software will help us view it at airports, ports, embassies and FRROs,” explained an immigration spokesperson in the country. “This makes surveillance easier.”

A foreigner who plans to stay in India for more than 180 days is required to appear before an immigration official within 14 days of landing in the country. The new system is designed to ensure that immigration officials in the country can better track people who have overstayed their welcome.

“We are following a system to track down the foreigners who have stayed on after their visas expired,” the immigration official continued. “We have deported at least 200 foreigners this year for not complying with mandatory norms permitting them to enter the country. Some of them were deported directly from airports if they didn’t have proper documents.”