E-Kiosks at Indian Airports to Ensure Speedy Immigration Clearance for Foreigners

Low-risk travelers from some select countries will be able to enter India without having to stand in long queues at immigration counters.


The Indian government is planning to install special automated kiosks at airports to enable foreign travelers who are included in the low risk category to undergo quicker immigration checks, PTI reported. These kiosks, expected to be set up by January 2019, will help the foreign travelers to complete the identity verification process in seconds, the report quoted officials as saying.

Low-risk travelers from some select countries will be able to enter India without having to stand in long queues at immigration counters once the e-kiosks are put up. Low-risk travelers are those who don’t have any criminal or financial cases against them.

The entire process is expected to be completed within a matter of a minute when a traveler comes to any e-Gate kiosk. The electronic gates will be installed at the arrival wing of international airports, and the foreign travelers can present their machine-readable passports, following which they can place their fingerprints on the scanner for verification and complete a customs declaration, the report added.

Human intervention will not be required during the process as e-cameras will help in clearing the travelers, a home ministry official was quoted as saying by the news agency. The travelers can then head to the baggage claim area and then exit from the airport.

“Initially, we are planning to roll out the service only to the low-risk travelers of a select few countries,” the report quoted an official as saying. This plan could be modeled on the Global Entry program of the United States, which permits low-risk citizens hailing from 12 nations, including India, to go through such a smooth process.

The foreigners’ division of the India Ministry of Home Affairs is currently working on the logistics of the plan before it is formally launched later this year, the report added. A final decision is yet to be taken regarding the citizens who would be given this facility.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also launched an online Event Clearance System for granting security clearance to foreigners who want to attend conferences, seminars or workshops organized in the country. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the e-FRRO scheme on April 13, according to which foreigners visiting India will no longer be required to visit the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) for services associated with visa. These services will now be offered to them online via the web-based application e-FRRO (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office) platform.

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