It’s done! Well, FRRO is done for now — until I have to renew in a year.
I arrived at FRRO at 8:15am Wednesday (before the office opened) to meet my Company’s agent and there was already a line outside. Eventually, the FRRO opened the gates to the ground floor and the queue from outside became a queue inside. Prepared with the stack of paperwork provided by the agent, which I signed, and with my passport & photos, I entered the building. No agents are allowed in. But I felt rather like a lemming following the crowd, so I don’t suppose the agents were necessary at that point.
The inside queue lead me to the ground floor token desk. There, they flipped through my paperwork and gave me a slip of paper with a token number & letter. Then I sat and waited until my token # was called. (It’s good to arrive early because seats in the waiting area go fast!) When my number was called, I went up to the 1st floor.
The 1st floor was reminiscent of airport waiting areas — where we all sat waiting for our token numbers to be called at our respective counter letters like passengers wait for their flights to be called at their gates. Finally my number was called the counter letter on my token. At the counter my documents were collected for processing — except my passport, which I kept. I was provided a receipt with 1:00pm marked on it indicating the time when I should come back to collect my registration. In all, “Phase I” took about 3 hours.
I returned at 12:45pm, just to be safe. I’d been told this would go quickly 10-15min) and I’d be done. Ha, I should have known better! After a 45 min wait, and still no document the entire office left their work stations and took lunch — leaving a bunch of foreigners just sitting in the waiting area, looking resigned to Fate. I stopped my counter agent to ask when to come back and he told me 2:30pm. “Phase II” took about 1 hour, but since I still don’t have my paperwork there is a new phase…. (I ran errands during that “lunch hour” — I had to get out of that room!)
Phase III feels just like Phase II — I walked in ay 2:30 pm feeling optimistic that the document MUST be ready by now, that this should be quick! And just like Phase II, the minute I saw the familiar faces in the waiting room –my peers from the queue — hope faded. Nope, not ready yet, please have a seat…I started talking with a guy from an international pharmaceutical company that’s been in county a year , he was there to renew his registration and said he never had such delays.
That said I finally got my document — 2 hours for PhaseIII.
So, 6 hours for one page of paper that looks …. Unremarkable. But it’s done!! Let the rejoicing begin!!!