I have to return with two form letters from MNC, detailing how, if I am a complete diplomatic asshole, they will repatriate me at their cost, etc. Never mind that I've already submitted papers to this effect to procure the visa...I guess information sharing isn't one of the Indian government's "core competencies."
The FRRO is less depressing than the Home Ministry, which is a small blessing, but it is still unorganized. How can you take a government department seriously when their e-mail contact is a Hotmail address?
One arrives at the FRRO chipper, determined not to be bogged down by the hours in line. Before talking to an officer, you encounter the reception/inquiries desk, which is generally mobbed by about 30 people, none of whom are in a proper queue. A few of the more haggard types roll their eyes, clear their throats, and, when piercing glares don't work, urge the line-bargers to back the fuck up. Still, it's a dog-eat-dog world, and the pushiest person generally gets catered to first.
At the enquiry desk, you are assigned a counter to report to, and a number for that counter. However, the staffers are ill-informed about what is actually required at the counters, which often harshes the buzz of the many karma bums. For example, at the enquiry desk, they verified that I had a registration form, a passport-like registration jacket, four pictures of myself, an appointment letter from MNC, my flat's lease, and copies of my passport and visa (which I, like a moron, didn't have, necessitating some running around and bluffing and general mayhem). But they failed to tell me that I also needed affidavits from MNC. After some general eye batting and unspoken pleading (puppy dog eyes, my friends, sad sad puppy dog eyes), the woman at counter three gave me a month's time to return to the office, return to the queues, with the appropriate papers; however, she still gave me a registration number, etc. And thank god.
Some pointers for the bureaucrats:
- Enforce proper line etiquette
- Provide brochures (or publish on your Web site) that clearly list exactly what documents are required to register, by visa type/length of stay
- Produce a legible, multi-language sign with the same information to hang in the FRRO so many of the mundane questions that occupy staffers' time are answered without face-to-face interaction
- Make the registration form available for downloading on a central, easily accessible Web site; keep copies at several stations in the FRRO, rather than available from only the person at the enquiry desk
- Use a ticket machine so people with the proper documents don't have to wait in an enquiry line
Disclaimer -- after some additional Googling, I have found a link with much of the information I requested. However, this site is not publicized, and too much navigation is required to access appropriate details. My argument stands.