There is increased enforcement of a long standing regulation that tracks the stay of foreign nationals in India. The regulations provide that "Any Hotel/ Guest House/Dharmashala (charitable housing)/Individual House/ University/ Hospital/ Institute/ Others etc. who provide accommodation to foreigners must submit the details of the residing foreigner in Form C to the Registration authorities within 24 hours of the arrival of the foreigner at their premises. This will help the registration authorities in locating and tracking the foreigners." Until recently hotels, guest houses, hospitals and hostels were routinely filing Form C about foreign nationals living on their premises. However, in the recent past this regulation is strictly enforced and even individual or private home owners (including landlords) are now required to file Form C for each foreign national living in their premises.
At present this requirement is enforced randomly at FROs/FRROs across India but we expect it to be enforced across the country soon. The method of compliance may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In view of this we now insist that a Form C is included in all post arrival FRO/FRRO registration and visa extension applications. The lead time for landlords to register on the Government portal and procure mandatory police verification can add at least 3 to 10 working days to the process. In addition, for the verification process the landlord is required to provide address and ID proof documents that bear his or her original signatures. Once the landlord is effectively registered and verified he or she must generate a for C for each individual staying in his premises even if they are a part of the principal registrant's family. There is no clarity on children being exempt from this requirement; hence we recommend that they should also be issued a form C.
Several FRO/FRROs have ordered all building owners, educational institutions and other establishments where foreigners stay, study or work to furnish their details within 15 days from the time the FRO/FRRO issued the notice and going forward information about foreign nationals living on their premises must be reported to the FRO/FRRO and local police stations within 15 days of the resident moving into/leaving a house.
Action Point: Please ensure that if foreign nationals are residing in rented premises in India that the landlord and his premises are registered and verified on the Form C system and that the landlord is available to issue a Form C for each family member of the foreign national principal.
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