Online registration of foreigners in Goa sought

Panaji, July 29 (IANS) Hassled by constant queuing up before police stations for paperwork every time foreign nationals check into hotels, the hospitality industry Monday petitioned the state tourism ministry to process such documentation online.

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar told reporters that members of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) especially wanted the process of registering the 'C' form, a mandatory document, which carries all the details of the arriving foreign tourist, to be shifted online like the Kerala government has.

"They have come to us with the request of making the process of filling up the 'C' form online instead of physically at local police stations," Parulekar said.

Goa attracts over half a million foreign nationals annually. That would mean filling up of half a million forms at the 40 odd police stations across the state.

The 'C' form is a key document which requires foreigners, under section 3 of the Foreigners Act, 1946, to fill up their passport number and other key information for the sake of record.

The responsibility of filling up the form and submitting it to the nearest police station within 24 hours of the arrival lies with the hotel management.

According to Foreigners Registration Act, 1939, not filling the form is tantamount to violation of visa norms for the foreign national too.

Parulekar said he heard out the petition from the TTAG and that the government would take about a month to take a decision.

The Kerala police already have a system in place where all that needs to be done is for the host to complete an online registration form, every time a foreign national checks in.

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