Disembarkation form filling for NRIs to end

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Dubai: Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) flying home to India will not have to fill disembarkation forms, a government official said on Thursday.

The immigration official at an Indian airport will also not waste time going over the details, because they would already have been transferred online once the travellers� flights take off.

The Indian government is expected to introduce the new system from July 1, which would save precious time at the immigration counters for NRIs (and resident Indians) returning to the country.

-The system is already in place and we can implement it as soon as the government announces it,- Dr B.N. Shetty, Deputy Director-General, National Informatics Centre (NIC), told on Thursday. -The Ministry of Home Affairs and the bureau of immigration is closely involved in the project.-

According to Shetty, the move would not only save time for NRIs and Indians returning to the country, but it would also result in huge savings in terms of paper work.

With millions of NRIs and resident Indians arriving from abroad every year, the immigration bureau is clogged with disembarkation cards.

Under the new system, information relating to NRI and resident Indian passengers boarding flights to India � that have currently to be filled up by the passengers � will have to be transmitted by the airline to the immigration bureau at the destination airport.

The disembarkation (or arrival) cards contain information, most of which is already available with the airline. These include: Name and Sex; Date of Birth, Nationality; Passport Details viz. Number, Date of Issue; Address in India; Occupation; Flight Number, Date of Arrival / Date of Boarding & port of Final Destination; Countries visited during last six days for arriving Indians; Purpose of Visit abroad.

Many of the forms are illegibly filled in by the passengers, resulting in delays at the immigration counter, with officials having to re-enter names or passport numbers, etc.

With the airline transmitting the data to the immigration department after the departure of the flight, the bureau of immigration already has all the necessary data, which would ensure quicker flow of passengers from the immigration counter.

Source: Khaleej Times

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