29 May 2012

Home Minister Inaugurates Central IVFRT Office

Union Home Minister Sh. P. Chidambaram inaugurated IVFRT Central Processing Office here today.  Speaking on the occasion, Sh. P. Chidambaram said that this will help in bringing more efficiency in immigration, visa and online registration of foreigners, security and other services.  He emphasized the need for capacity building and periodic training and constant upgradation of software and hardware equipment to maintain quality.
            The Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking (IVFRT) Central Processing Office will now be the nerve centre for immigration related matters.  The main activities in this office would include:
i)        Management of Central Advance Passenger Information System (APIS)
ii)      Technical and operational support to Missions and Immigration Check Posts (ICP)
iii)    Management of Unique Case File (UCF)
iv)    Management of IVFRT Central Data centre
v)      Dedicated call centre for general public
vi)    Other related technical, legal, policy issues related to IVFRT project.
The core objective of the IVFRT project is to develop and implement a secure and integrated service delivery framework that facilitates legitimate travelers while strengthening security. It has a Global outreach.  This project includes 176 Indian Missions abroad, 80 ICPs (Immigration Check Posts), 10 FRROs (Foreigners Regional Registration Offices), and over 650 FROs (Foreigners Registration Offices) in the State/District Headquarters.
            The implementation of the project is being done in a planned and phased manner (in consonance with infrastructure/connectivity readiness of locations) supported by effective communication, training and capacity building.  The Project envisages facilitation services to the travelers including on-line application forms, 24x7 on-line channel, phone support for grievance redressal and e-mail/SMS support for dissemination of information, application status and feedback.  The Project seeks to achieve service delivery within specified time limits for each category of travelers.
            Major outcome envisaged under the IVFRT project are:-
a)      Authentication of traveler’s identity at the Missions, Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) and Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) through use of Intelligent document scanners and biometrics;
b)      Online registration of foreigners at the time of grant of visa and automated updation of the particulars of the foreigners at entry and exist points;
c)      Availability of a centralized system for sharing of information across the concerned Agencies about foreign travelers;
d)     Improved tracking of foreigners by integrating and sharing information captured during visa issuance at Missions, during immigration check atICPs, and during registration at FRRO/FROs;
e)      Convergence and integration with other initiatives such as ‘e-passports’, ‘e-migration’ and ‘crime-criminal tracking network systems’ for expeditious and informed decision-making.
The new system has already been implemented and operationalized at 65 Indian Missions in UK, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Finland and Estonia, Oman, South Sudan, Sudan, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium & Luxemburg, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, France, Nigeria, UAE, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Maldives, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Bahrain, South Korea, Japan and Kenya.  Remaining Missions are to be covered during the financial year 2012-13 and 2013-14.
            The major activities that have been completed under the Project are:
i)        Visa application forms have been standardized.  Integrated online visa application system has been implemented in 65 Indian Missions abroad.
ii)      More secure visa stickers have been introduced in IVFRT compliant Indian Missions.
iii)    Standard FRRO application form has been finalized in consultation with BoI/FRROs.  Software development for online FRRO registration is complete.  The front end and backend software has been introduced for all the 7 FRROs, viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore,Amritsar, Chennai and Hyderabad.  The software has also been introduced in FRO Gurgaon, FRO Shimla and in FRO Chandigarh.  The system is currently under stabilization.
iv)    Regular training/orientation programs are organized by M.H.A. for the officers of State Governments/UTs for making use of integrated online visa application system for Pakistan nationals.  Training Material has been given to the BoI for imparting training and spreading awareness among concerned Immigration Officers.
v)      Installation of computer hardware and ICS software has been completed in all the 77 ICPs.
vi)    Advance Passenger Information System has been introduced for all the flights coming to India.  This system has facilitated better facilitation to the travelers by improving passenger clearance time and at the same time enhancing the security.
Modernization and up-gradation of Immigration services is identified and included as one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) to be undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the National-e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
            The Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs, D/o Information Technology, Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and NIC.  The DPR contain details on the scope of the MMP, solution design, manpower requirements, implementation phasing strategy, and the cost estimates for the project.  An elaborate list of services (9 core services and 37 services in total) has been included in the DPR for streamlining and integrating Visa, Immigration, and FRT processes.  The services identified for inclusion are drawn with a focus on security, facilitation and enablement.  Drawing from the global best practices and benchmarking, requisite service levels have also been indicated in the DPR.

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