I thought I’d better write this as a little public service announcement for any Foreigners who are living and working in India for more than 6 months.
As you are aware, you have to register with the FRRO in your city. This is fine (albeit, ensure you have an office boy on hand to run back to the office to fetch the papers that were not mentioned in the original checklist).
What they don’t tell you is the procedure for leaving India. If you have been in India for over 6 months and attempt to leave, they will not allow you to do so if you haven’t registered at the FRRO. I personally know at least 3 people who this has happened to in the last 12 months – no messing around, you have to register!
Another little gem that they forget to mention is that you must take your FRRO registration certificate with you. It has to be the original one with the original stamp on it – photocopies are not acceptable.
I didn’t know this information when I left in December, but luckily I still had my FRRO registration certificate in my bag from earlier that day.
When you are at Chennai airport, you are likely to see a couple of foreigners who didn’t know this information, and they’ll be f-ing and jeffing, but the authorities still won’t let you board the plane.
So remember, register with the FRRO as soon as you get to India, and make sure your FRRO certificate is with you when you try and leave.