How to enrol for fast-track immigration in India?

Since the Customs and Border Protection of the United States of America launched the Trusted Traveller Programme / Global Entry over a decade ago, many countries have used various forms of biometrics or smart-card-enabled formats to enable their citizens and other low-risk travellers to enter their borders without having to wait for a border police/passport control officer to meet them and stamp their passport to waive them in. India launched a similar programme in June 2024, with enrolments open on June 22.

Primer: Fast Track Immigration – Trusted Traveller Programme for Indians and OCIs.

The Government of India has launched a Trusted Traveller Programme, which enables fast-track immigration for Indians and Overseas Indian Citizens (a perpetual Indian visa for those with a relationship with India). The Fast Track Immigration—Trusted Traveller Programme (FTI-TTP) is loosely modelled on the Global Entry programme of US Customs and Border Protection. However, the end game is that biometrics are used to control smart gates, which allow you into the Indian borders.

a screenshot of a registration form

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

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

The applicant may provide their biometrics at a designated international airport in India or the nearest FRRO office as per the prior appointment schedule. Biometrics are compulsory for the application processing to be completed. 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 necessary verifications and eligibility confirmation. While a price was initially attached to it, no money is currently being charged for the FTI-TTP service.

Registration for FTI-TTP

Here is the website where one can apply for FTI-TTP registration.

Step 1: You need to sign up for the website. You need an email address and a phone number (both need to be OTP validated).

a screenshot of a computer

Step 2: Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be in the protected area of the website, where you need to start a new application using the ‘apply online’ button.

a screen shot of a application

Step 3: You have to choose if you are going to apply using an Indian Passport or an International Passport (along with an OCI Card). In my case, I used my Indian passport for this application.

a screen shot of a computer

Step 4: You need to fill in some details, as would be customary, for your application to be submitted. For an Indian passport, this information is not very detailed. Some more details flow under the screenshot, largely around the residential address.

a application form for an application

Step 5: Applicants must upload one passport-sized photograph and the passport’s first and last pages containing the passport holder’s information. For OCIs, a scanned copy of documents like the OCI card is needed in case Indians settle overseas. Present Proof of address in PDF format is also required. It is important to note that the front and the back pages must be uploaded separately, and resizing it will take some effort to bring it to the appropriate size.

After all of that, you sign this declaration.

a screenshot of a computer

Step 6: Throughout the process, you receive a temporary application number; once you recap all the information and submit it, you receive an email with a permanent file number.

a screen shot of a passport holder

Step 7: You need to select 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.

a screenshot of a computer

Here are all the airports around India where you can submit your biometrics. While the preference is being recorded, you can submit your biometrics at any other airport in India, which would also work. You need to do this before departing from India.

a screenshot of a computer

Step 8: You will now receive your application number (via an SMS and email as well).

a screen shot of a application

Finally, you need to wait for your application to be approved. This manual process cross-refers your submitted information (passport/OCI) and your photo with the one on the server. I applied on the day of the opening of the application system, and I got my approval the following week.

a screenshot of a computer

As luck would have it, I had already arrived back in India by the time the process was closed. But I’ll submit the biometrics the next time I am on my way out of the country.

However, other people have been able to submit their biometrics at Delhi Airport.

If any other airport has launched the ability to collect biometrics, it is unknown (to me) for now. Eight e-gates are now available at Delhi Airport for those registered for this facility.

While initially announced that this service would be charged, it was made free on launch.

Bottomline

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

What has been your experience with the Fast Track Immigration – Trusted Traveller Programme of India?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. The process is broken for NRIs who have an foreign address in their passport. The system will not allow them to enter a foreign address, even if that is what is printed on the passport.

  2. I live in the UAE (Indian) and completed the painless registration (took a week for email#2) and then biometrics (took 10 mins flat) at DEL Immigration. Super helpful officers. The officers asked me how did I get to know about this scheme as its not touted as much, and i credited LFAL for the same.

    Yesterday, tried to exit india using e-gates in DEL, but was told that the gates will be activated only when a critical mass of applicants are enrolled. However, as a perk, was made to clear indian passport control using the F/C class gates

  3. I just submitted my biometrics today at FRRO. Painless experience, was in and out in 15 minutes.

  4. Thank you for the detailed article. I am unable to upload the photo. No photo is being displayed in the preview section. Did you face similar error? If yes, how did you resolve it?

  5. Has anyone been successful in submitting an application for OCI holders? The OCI form is glitchy, and requires an ‘Address as in passport’, but many non-Indian passports do not have this page at all. I did send email to the help email but no response as yet. I was successful in submitting an application for an Indian passport holder.

  6. Thanks. Very helpful. It seems like registering kids is a no go. That’s unfortunate as families will still have to stand in line to get this part done. Unless they also have some personnel manning a gate there to handle this…

    Trying to sign up and looks like it expects an address on the passport, and my US passport got none 🙁

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