February 03, 2020
Repatriation – Best Practices
Most foreign nationals on an employment visa to India need to complete post arrival registration formalities at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of relevant jurisdiction. The Indian entity that sponsors the visa is required to give an undertaking to the FRRO/FRO on behalf of the foreign national “to ensure good conduct of the foreign national during his or her stay in India.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) published a notification making it mandatory for employers to report the termination and/or departure of all foreign nationals working in India.
During the course of employment, in case the employer wishes to withdraw the “undertaking for good conduct,” the employer must visit the FRRO/FRO in person along with the foreign national to report and record the withdrawal. This is likely to happen when an employee has been found to violate a law.
Repatriation formalities must be completed once the foreign national has departed India and does not intend to return to India on the current visa. This formality must be completed at the FRRO/FRO where the foreign national completed his or her in-country registration formalities. It is mandatory to inform the concerned government office about the termination of such a foreign national’s assignment in India to cancel any liability that the Indian employer would have assumed for the foreign national at the time of registration/subsequent visa extension (if any).
Each FRRO/FRO operates in a different manner regarding the repatriation formalities. For instance, at the Bengaluru FRRO, once all the relevant documents have been submitted, the officer will acknowledge/stamp the letter notifying departure of the foreign national as proof that repatriation formalities have been duly completed. However, the FRO in Pune and the FRRO in Chennai are extremely particular about the tax related documents. Once the documents have been submitted, the office will not issue a confirmation letter stating that the repatriation formalities for the foreign national have been complete nor acknowledge the letter notifying departure of the foreign national from the Indian visa sponsoring entity. Once the FRRO/FRO has been intimated of the foreign national’s final departure, the Undertaking of the employer stands cancelled.
In addition, all foreign nationals leaving India must go through an immigration process at the airport where an official will check the foreign national’s passport and visa. If the foreign national is departing from India and does not intend to return on the current employment visa, he/she must relinquish the Residential Certificate/Residence Permit (certificate issued by the FRRO/FRO when the applicant registered upon arrival in India) to the immigration officer at the airport. If questioned about the relinquishment, the foreign national should clearly state that there is no intent to return to India on that visa and hence the Residential Certificate/Residence Permit is being turned in.
https://boi.gov.in/sites/default/files/ForeigD-FRRO_version223.6.11.pdf (accessed on December 23, 2019)