Shah launches fast-track immigration for pre-verified Indians, OCIs


India, All India

India launches FTI-TTP, similar to the Global Entry Programme in the United States

The home minister said the initiative would provide more facilities for Indian nationals and OCI passengers coming from other countries. (X)

New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday launched a special programme to fast-track the immigration process for pre-verified Indian nationals and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders. The system, known as the "Fast Track Immigration-Trusted Traveller Programme" (FTI-TTP), is a "visionary initiative" of the government, thoughtfully designed for Indian nationals and OCI cardholders, Shah said.

The FTI-TTP is similar to the Global Entry Programme offered by the United States, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival at select US airports, officials said.

The home minister said the initiative would provide more facilities for Indian nationals and OCI passengers coming from other countries.

The launch of the programme is one of the key agendas set for "Viksit Bharat by 2047" and reflects the Narendra Modi government's commitment to enhancing travel convenience and efficiency for everyone, he added. The home minister further said the facility would be available free of cost for all passengers.

The FTI-TTP will be launched at 21 major airports in the country. In the first phase, it will be introduced at seven major airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Ahmedabad.

The programme is designed for faster, smoother, and safer immigration clearance for international travellers. Eligible passengers will be allowed to use e-gates and bypass regular immigration queues for a seamless journey.

Passengers will need to apply online and submit their biometrics (fingerprint and facial image), along with other required information as specified in the application form.

FTI registration will be valid for a maximum of five years or until the validity of the passport, whichever comes first. Travellers can apply through the government website and provide the required details, which will be verified by the Bureau of Immigration.

Approved applicants will receive a message to schedule an appointment for providing their biometric details.

Applicants may provide their biometrics at designated international airports in India or at the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), according to the prior appointment schedule.

Biometrics are compulsory for completing the application process. Applicants should ensure a minimum passport validity of six months while applying for the FTI-TTP. The membership of the programme will be co-terminus with the passport validity.

The programme will run on e-gates or automated border gates, which will minimise human intervention in the immigration clearance process, according to an official statement. The programme will be implemented in two phases.

In the first phase, Indian citizens and OCI cardholders will be covered, and in the second phase, foreign travellers will be included.

The objective of the programme is to make international travel easy and secure by developing world-class immigration facilities through an accelerated immigration pathway for international travellers screened through automated gates (e-gates).

The FTI-TTP will be implemented through an online portal, and the Bureau of Immigration will be the nodal agency for the fast-track immigration of various categories of travellers under the program.

After the necessary verification, a White List of "Trusted Travellers" will be generated and fed for implementation through the e-gates. The biometrics of a "Trusted Traveller" passing through the e-gates will be captured at the FRRO office or during the passage of the registered traveller through the airport.

Under the process, as soon as a "registered passenger" reaches an e-gate, they will scan their boarding pass issued by the airline to get their flight details.

The passport will also be scanned, and the biometrics of the passenger authenticated at the e-gate. Once the genuine identity of the passenger is established and the biometric authentication done, the e-gate will open automatically, and immigration clearance will be deemed granted.

The programme aims to significantly reduce congestion at airports by offering expedited immigration clearance for pre-verified travellers, both arriving and departing, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said in a statement.

Delhi airport's terminal 3 is equipped with eight electronic gates — four for arrivals and four for departures — to facilitate a seamless experience for the program participants.

The number of counters may increase based on demand, DIAL said. The Union home ministry also shared a support helpdesk email ID: