The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) Delhi has directed all foreign crew members of scheduled/non-scheduled and chartered flights, operated at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) by scheduled/non-scheduled operators, to get B-5 category of business or e-business visa.
The directive — which states that as per the existing visa manual, foreign crew member scheduled/non-scheduled, and chartered flights operated by scheduled/non-scheduled operators must be in possession of B-5 category of business or e-business visa — was issued by Foreigner Regional Registration Officer Surendra Kumar on June 26.
Last year in September, three foreign airline crew members from US, China and Finland were booked by the Delhi Police after they allegedly skipped immigration clearance at IGI airport. In his direction, Kumar also said that crew landing permit (CLP) should be given only to foreign crew who arrive first time as operating crew. “While granting CLP, the officer concerned may brief the first-time crew member to get B-5 category of business or e-business visa for subsequent visits. While granting CLP, a common register should be maintained by all shift in charge,” the order said.
Reacting to the order, Chairman of Airline Operating Committee (AOC) Gopal Krishnan Nair said they will raise the issue with the authority concerned. As per Bureau of Immigration rules, crew members of scheduled/non-scheduled flights by operators — as approved by the Ministry of Civil Aviation — can be granted landing permit up to seven days without any charges.
Sources told The Indian Express that as of now, all foreign crew members are using CLP after landing in Delhi. The CLP facility can be given to a foreigner without a valid visa up to 72 hours, under emergent condition. “Around 400 foreign crew members arrive every day, as per records of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL),” said sources.
Sources added that pilots and crew members require prior clearance from authorities in India, including landing permit issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Certificate of Incorporation of the airline or cargo operator; letter of invitation; business letter; and address proof.