Hosting a Foreigner – Submit Information Online to Immigration Bureau
The bureau of immigration has made it mandatory that from September 1, all hotels, guesthouses and furnished apartments across the country should file particulars of their foreign guests on the bureau’s website. Details like the foreigner’s passport number, visa number, purpose of visit and date of departure have to be given in a form available on the site, an official said
Those who do not follow the regulations will be penalised under the Foreigners Act. The official said foreign guests staying with friends or relatives in India should also be registered by the house owners or tenants.
A top official of the bureau of immigration said though the rule was in place it was not being followed. Many hotels were submitting the manually filled-in forms at the Immigration offices or with police, but now it has to be filed online on a daily basis.
“Any commercial establishment which includes hotels, furnished apartments, houses rented out as furnished apartments, home stay and sub-letting of houses where foreigners arrive and reside will come under this rule. The responsibility of not filing the details of the visitor cannot be passed on to the employee or the staff, and the management will be responsible,” he said.
Intelligence sources said there had been instances in the past where foreign nationals used fake passports to enter the country. “This move would help us at least keep tab on who is coming into the country and their whereabouts,” he added.
Small lodges may have practical difficulties in following the new norms. “Now the local police come and collect details of guests. Ours is a small lodge and we do not have internet. But it looks like now we have to upgrade our systems,” said Prakash, a manager at Sri Raghavendra Lodge, Nungambakkam.
Vinayak Pandey, a guest relations manager in a star hotel, said, “It is a welcome move. Uploading information makes our job easier as it saves us the trouble of taking the forms to the immigration control rooms. Anyway, it is in the best interests of national security.”
Anyone facing difficulty in uploading information can send an email or call (in Chennai) 23454971.
For more details – http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/