How to enroll for fast-track immigration to India? – Live from the Lounge

Since the United States Customs and Border Protection introduced the Trusted Traveler Program/Global Entry more than a decade ago, many countries have used a variety of biometrics or smart-card-enabled formats to enable their citizens and other low-risk travelers to enter their borders without having to wait for a border police/passport control officer to meet them and have their passports stamped to grant them entry. India has launched a similar program in June 2024, with enrollments opening on June 22.

Primer: Fast Track Immigration – Trusted Traveler Program for Indians and OCIs.

The Indian government has launched a Trusted Traveler Program, which enables fast-track immigration for Indians and overseas Indian nationals (a permanent Indian visa for those with ties to India). The Fast Track Immigration-Trusted Traveler Program (FTI-TTP) is largely modeled on the US Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program. However, the end game is that biometrics are used to control smart gates that allow you to enter Indian borders.

Screenshot of the registration form

Eligible persons must apply online and submit biometrics (fingerprint and facial image) and other required information as specified in the application form. FTI registration is valid for a maximum of five years or till the validity of the passport, whichever is earlier.

Approved applications will receive a message to schedule an appointment to provide their biometric details.

The applicant can provide his/her biometrics at any designated international airport or nearest FRRO office in India as per the pre-appointment schedule. Biometrics is mandatory to complete the application process. While applying for FTI-TTP, the applicant must ensure a minimum passport validity of at least six months.

Registration under FTI will be completed after the required verification and confirmation of eligibility. Although initially a fee was levied for this, currently no fee is being charged for the FTI-TTP service.

Registration for FTI-TTP

Here it is Website Where any person can apply for FTI-TTP registration.

step 1You will need to sign up for the website. You will need an email address and a phone number (both must be OTP verified).

computer screenshot

step 2Once you have signed up, you will be directed to a protected area of ​​the website where you will need to start a new application using the ‘Apply Online’ button.

Screenshot of an application

step 3: You have to choose whether you are going to apply using Indian passport or International passport (with OCI card). In my case, I used my Indian passport for this application.

screen shot of computer

step 4: You will need to fill in some details to submit your application, as would be customary. For Indian passports, this information is not very detailed. Below the screenshot are some more details, which are mainly about the residential address.

Application form for application

Step 5: Applicants need to upload a passport-sized photograph and the first and last pages of the passport, which contain the passport holder’s information. For OCI, a scanned copy of documents such as the OCI card for Indians residing abroad is required. Proof of address in PDF format is also required to be submitted. It is important to note that the front and back pages must be uploaded separately, and it will take some effort to resize to get it to the proper size.

After all this, you sign this declaration.

computer screenshot

Step 6Throughout the process, you receive a temporary application number; once you have filled out and submitted all the information, you will receive an email with a permanent file number.

Screen shot of passport holder

Step 7: You will need to choose the option where you sign up to submit your biometrics. This could be at the airport or one of the many FRRO offices across India.

computer screenshot

Here are all the airports in India where you can submit your biometrics. When registering preferences, you can submit your biometrics at any other airport in India, whichever will work. You must do this before departing from India.

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Step 8: Now you will receive your application number (also through SMS and email).

Screenshot of an application

Finally, you have to wait for your application to be approved. This manual process cross-references the information you submit (passport/OCI) and your photo with the information on the server. I applied the day the application system opened, and I got approved the very next week.

computer screenshot

Fortunately, I was back in India by the time the process was over. But I will submit biometrics the next time I go out of the country.

Others, however, have been able to submit their biometrics at the Delhi airport.

If any other airport has started the facility of collecting biometrics, it is unknown to me yet. There are now eight e-gates available at Delhi airport for those registered for this facility.

Although it was initially announced that the service would be charged, it was made free at launch.

Ground Level

India has introduced a biometric system to allow Indian citizens and OCIs to enter the country without waiting to go through manual immigration/passport control. The system was inaugurated on June 22, 2024 and the Fast Track Immigration-Trusted Traveler Program is open for registration. The various steps are described in the post above.

How has been your experience with Fast Track Immigration – Trusted Traveler Programme of India?

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