Foreigners narrate a harrowing tale about the hurdles they face at FRRO
When R. Ahamed (name changed), a student from Afghanistan, came to the city to study, his excitement knew no bounds. Ironically, his enthusiasm vanished once he stepped into the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) at Begumpet to get himself registered with the government.
He had to visit the office five times, and each time he was told to produce a different document. Eventually, it took him two months to complete the registration process. “It’s not just me. There are several others who are facing similar problems. FRRO officials don’t tell us clearly what documents we need to produce during our visit,” he says. Ahamed now dreads his next visit for visa extension.
Any foreigner who works or studies in the city has to go through the process. Registering themselves enables them to obtain visa for longer stay, besides helping them to travel back and forth without obtaining visa each time.
Syed, a UAE national, had to wait at the FRRO once from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for registration. Like Syed, several other foreigners who have visited the FRRO, have harrowing tales to narrate.
Many point out that it takes weeks and in a few cases even months to get the work done. Foreign students charge that the FRRO officials waste their time, by making them wait for hours together, and then sending them back to obtain documents. “Sometimes, officials are also rude. I am tired of running around,” a visibly tired and harassed Syed says.
Another German national recalled that she had to spend a gruelling five hours each time she visited the FRRO. “Once they asked me for a pan card and the next time they asked for my bank account details. It took me two months to register,” she says.
Meanwhile, FRRO officials denied that foreigners were having a hard time and added that many of them instead appreciated their helping nature. “Owing to security concerns, we need to look into all matters concerning foreign nationals. Perhaps that’s why we ask them for more documents,” he says.