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India confirmed that British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams, who was denied entry into the country, did not hold a valid visa. This was after various media organisations claimed that Abrahams was deported. Government sources stated that the e-Business visa of Abrahams was revoked on February 14th. They further said the cancellation was conveyed to her the same day. Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs also responded to the concerns raised by Abrahams as to why she was not allowed to visit her family and friends in India


  • It is the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country.
  • The term expulsion is often used as a synonym for deportation, though expulsion is more often used in the context of international law, while deportation is more used in national law.
  • Forced displacement or forced migration of an individual or a group may be caused by deportation, for example ethnic cleansing, and other reasons.

Entry, Stay, Exit of Foreigners in India:

  • The first enactment made for dealing with foreigners was the Foreigners Act, 1864, which provided for the expulsion of foreigners and their arrest, detention pending removal, and for a ban on their entry into India after removal.
  • The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, empowered the government to make rules requiring persons entering India to be in possession of passports. This rule also granted the government the power to remove from India any person who entered without a passport.
  • During the Second World War, the Imperial Legislative Assembly enacted the Foreigners Act, 1940, under which the concept of “burden of proof” was introduced. Section 7 of the Act provided that whenever a question arose with regard to the nationality of a person, the onus of proving that he was not a foreigner lay upon the person.
  • Foreigners Act, 1946:
  • The legislature enacted the above act by repealing the 1940 Act, conferring wide powers to deal with all foreigners.
  • Apart from defining a ‘foreigner’ as a person who is not a citizen of India, it empowered the government to make provisions for prohibiting, regulating or restricting the entry of foreigners into India.
  • It also restricted the rights enjoyed by foreigners in terms of their stay in the country if any such orders are passed by the authority.
  • The 1946 Act empowered the government to take such steps as are necessary, including the use of force for securing compliance with such directions.
  • The most important provision of the 1946 law, which is still applicable in all States and Union Territories, was that the ‘burden of proof’ lies with the person, and not with the authorities.
  • This has been upheld by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
  • The Foreigners (Tribunals) Order:
  • In 1964, the government brought in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order.
  • The tribunal has the authority to decide whether a person is a foreigner within the ambit of the Foreigners Act, 1946.
  • The tribunal, which has powers similar to those of a civil court, gives reasonable opportunity to the person alleged to be a foreigner to produce evidence in support of his case, before passing its order.
  • In June this year, the Home Ministry made certain amendments in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964. It was to empower district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not.
  • Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983:
  • This act was unsuccessful — it was also referred to as the IMDT Act — was introduced for the detection and deportation of illegal migrants who had entered India on or after March 25, 1971.
  • One factor for its failure was that it did not contain any provision on ‘burden of proof’ similar to the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Requirements during arrival of Foreigners in India:

  • Immigration check is carried out for all passengers at the port of arrival in India. The Foreigners arriving in India are required to furnish true particulars in the Arrival Card as to his name and nationality, his age, sex, place of birth and address or intended address in India.
  • Immigration check includes checking of Passport, Visa, Disembarkation Card, entering foreigner’s particulars in computer, retention of Arrival Card and stamping of Passport of the foreigner.
  • Pakistan nationals other than those on Diplomatic Visa (On Assignment), Non-Diplomatic Visa, SAARC Visa Exemption Sticker and SAU Visa or those who have been exempted from carrying visa application are required to carry a Visa application form (duplicate copies) which will be issued in addition to regular Visa on their passport by the Indian Mission concerned.
  • On presentation at Immigration check post, they are issued Regular Residential Permit and are required to report to the FRRO/FRO or concerned Police Station in their places of stay within 24 hours unless and until they are officially Exempted from Police Reporting.

Requirements during Stay In India:

  • Foreigners are required to comply with the purpose for which a visa was initially applied, and also to abide by conditions endorsed on the visa.
  • If the visa is valid for more than 180 days and the foreigner intends to stay in India continuously for more than 180 days, then every such foreigner entering India or resident in India shall present in person or along with an authorized representative to the satisfaction of the appropriate Registration Officer at the place of his stay within the specified period mentioned on visa except certain visa categories requiring registration within the specified time.
  • Such registration shall not be necessary in the case of a foreigner entering India on a visa valid for a period of not more than 180 days and who does not remain in India beyond the said period, unless, specific endorsement/observation is made on the visa by the Indian Mission.
  • At the time of Registration every foreigner shall furnish accurate information, to the satisfaction of the Registration Officer and shall, sign the Registration Report, in the presence of the said officer. The foreigner shall also be provided a copy of Certificate of Registration.
  • Foreigners may go through the instructions given on Registration Certificates for their guidance concerning stay and future reporting.
  • Every foreigner shall within twenty hours of the demand being made by a Registration Officer, magistrate or police officer, not below the rank of a head constable, produce, at such place as may be specified in his passport or such other proof of his identity and/or Registration Certificate as may be required for any purpose connected with the enforcement of Foreigners Act/ Registration of Foreigners Rules.