U.S. Consulate General, Hyderabad
American Citizens Services Unit
Paigah Palace, 1-8-323 Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet,
Secunderabad 500 003, Andhra Pradesh, India
Telephone: 91-40-4033-8300; Facsimile: 91-40-4033-8306
November 17, 2010
Dear American Citizen:
At the American Town Hall Meeting held at the Ista Hotel in September, many attendees expressed confusion about Indian visa regulations, especially regarding registration with the Foreigners Registration Office. As a result, the Consular Chief, ACS Chief, and locally engaged staff visited Hyderabad’s new Foreigners Regional Registration Officer. Below are some of our Questions & Answers:
Q: Can Americans get their visas extended in Hyderabad at the FRRO or do they need to go to New Delhi?
A: It depends on the visa category. Tourist visas cannot be extended and are not transferrable. Employment and Student visas are extended by the FRRO provided the necessary conditions are fulfilled.
Q: Is it mandatory to stay outside of India for two months after you exit India with a tourist visa?
A: The rule applies to every foreign national, but there are exceptions to the rule. In cases of emergencies, the Immigration officials at the airport may waive the rule. The decision is made at the port of entry, upon arrival. Advance permission to re-enter cannot be given by the Office of the FRRO. However, if the foreigner wants to return to India within the stipulated two months time, he can take permission from the Indian Embassy or the High Commission abroad. When airline officials have concerns about boarding passengers with Indian visas, they should contact Indian immigration, which is available 24/7.
Q: Can you change your visa type without leaving the country?
A: No, you must leave the country in order to change your visa type.
Q: If you’re in India for just a weekend trip, do you have to go and register at the FRRO?
A: No. Tourists who stay for less than 180 days need not register.
Q: Do the FROs in the districts report to the new FRRO?
A: The FRRO in Hyderabad offers services only for foreign nationals residing in or visiting Hyderabad (both Hyderabad and Cyberabad Commissionerates). The FRRO’s office does not oversee the affairs of the FROs at the district level. Outside of Hyderabad, at the district level, the Superintendent of Police will continue to serve as the FRO. However, there have been cases where foreign nationals have overstayed their Indian visas, and that may have led to instances where Indian officials have located and questioned visitors or foreign residents in Andhra Pradesh. The FRRO urges those visiting or residing in Andhra Pradesh to not overstay their visas.
Q: Is the FRRO a State Officer or a Central Government Officer?
A: The FRRO’s office in Hyderabad is now a Central Government of India office, which entails the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi overseeing the administration of the FRRO’s office. The former FRO’s office was an Andhra Pradesh State Government Office under the authority of the State Government’s Home Department.
Q: Can Americans naturalize and become Indian citizens?
A: Any foreigner with continuous stay of more than ten years can apply for Indian citizenship. The final decision will be made by the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.
Q: Where is the new FRRO located?
A: At the Old Airport in Begumpet, which is very near the U.S. Consulate General in the old Paigah Palace in Secunderabad.
Foreigners Regional Registration Office
Bureau of Immigration, Beside Vijaya Bank Counter
Rajiv Gandhi Terminal
Begumpet Old Airport , Hyderabad
Phone: 040-2790-0211, 040-2790-1022, 040-2790-0388
Registration: 14:30 - 16:00 hours
Other Services: 10:00 - 12:30 hours
If you have any further questions about Indian visa matters, please visit http://hyderabadpolice.gov.in
U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to enroll with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. For additional information, please refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad".
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website where the Worldwide Caution and current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). U.S. citizens are also encouraged to read the Country Specific Information for India.
U.S. citizens with questions or concerns may contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Embassy or the Consulates General for further information:
• The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi is located at Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021; telephone +91-11-2419-8000; fax +91-11-2419-8407.
• The U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay) is located at Lincoln House, 78 Bhulabhai Desai Road, 400026, telephone +91-22-2363-3611; fax +91-22-2363-0350.
• The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai (Madras) is at 220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006, telephone +91-44-2857-4000; fax +91-44-2811-2027.
• The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata (Calcutta) is at 5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071; telephone +91-44-2857-4000; fax +91-44-2811-2027.
• The U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad is at Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003; telephone: +91 (40) 4033-8300.