The fixed-tenure officer will report to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in Chennai

Consequent to the takeover of the immigration unit at the Tiruchi international airport by the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), a Chief Immigration Officer has been posted on a regular basis to head the immigration unit. Ever since the BoI took over on May 1, senior officers from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had been heading the immigration unit at the Tiruchi airport in turns.

Recently, a senior IB officer in the rank of Deputy Central Intelligence Officer was posted on a regular basis to head the immigration unit as Chief Immigration Officer. The Chief Immigration Officer posted on deputation will now serve for a fixed tenure, say at least two years, say sources. He will directly report to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) in Chennai.

A few IB personnel were posted on deputation to serve in the immigration unit at the Tiruchi airport following the take over by the BoI, which comes under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Comprising 40 personnel, a majority of whom are still from the Tamil Nadu State Police on deputation, the immigration unit is under the administrative and operational control of the BoI consequent to its take over. Prior to that, the immigration unit was headed by an officer from the State Police.

Over the years, a number of travellers from Tiruchi to various overseas nations witnessed a steady increase and Tiruchi airport came to be declared an international airport through a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation in November 2012.

At present, the number of international flights arriving and leaving Tiruchi every week to foreign countries such as Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, and Singapore is 116. Sri Lankan Airlines, Air India Express, Air Asia, and Tiger Airways operate flights to and from Tiruchi every day. Tiruchi airport is one of the 82 Immigration Check Posts in the country catering to international traffic. Following the BoI take over, there is a proposal to establish a Regional Registration Office in Tiruchi to deal with immigration facilitation service and to take up works relating to registration of foreigners.

The proposed office will be similar to the one already functioning in Chennai. The process of setting up the office in Tiruchi has begun, say the sources. At present, the Commissioner of Police of Tiruchi City and the Superintendent of Police function as Foreigners Registration Officers to facilitate foreigners in Tiruchi.