New Delhi, Sept 5: To ensure better services to foreign students studying in India, more powers like extension of validity of student visa have been delegated to the Foreigner Registration Offices (FRO).
Extension of validity of student visa, extension of validity of provisional student visa for a period up to six months, grant of additional entries on the student visa over and above three entries per academic year are some of the powers given to the FROs.
Earlier, these powers were direct with the Foreigners' Division of the Home Ministry.
There are 93,300 foreign students studying in India now, and all of them get the benefits. Other powers delegated to FROs include cancellation of student visa in case a foreigner on the student visa discontinues his/her course of study abruptly and voluntarily seeks exit from India, conversion of entry visa to student visa and conversion of student visa to entry visa on marriage to an Indian national.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the delegation of more powers to the FROs.
"The delegation has done with a view to ensuring that services to foreign students already in India are further streamlined," official statement said.
Roll out of the Information Technology based Mission Mode Project of Immigration, Visa, Foreigners' Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) enables greater delegation of powers as all transactions/decisions are recorded in the online system for any future review or audit. Greater use of IT systems has enabled facilitation of legitimate travellers while strengthening security, the statement said.