In India, an illegal immigrant is a person who resides in the country or who crossed an international boundary without any valid document or permission as prescribed by Law in India. Many immigrants have travelled and settled near the border areas, whereas some have moved on to metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and Delhi without a valid passport or other documents that are important and prescribed by law in that behalf. Many immigrants have a valid passport as terms prescribed by law but are beyond the permitted period, it means the visa is expired.
In India, No reliable numbers on illegal immigrants are currently available. However, it is observed that the trip to India from Bangladesh is one of the cheapest in the world, as Bangladeshi are culturally related to the Bengali people in India, they are quickly passed off and settle down in any part of India for a minimal price.
Migrating population from one country to another is a global problem. In India, our story is slightly different. Our population growth is already high. At more than 134 Crore of the population, our resources are overstretched, infrastructures are bursting to the seams. There is a water shortage, fewer works for hands. The trains and roads are overcrowded while there is an urgent need for restricting our growth rate of population. Many of the illegal migrants end up in challenging situations, as they do not possess the proper and adequate documents to get employment.
The movement of illegal migrants is often from developing to developed countries. The migrants tend to be the people with a lot of information, knowledge, ambition and motivation, which often fuels their desire to migrate for a better life in the other country.
Factors of Illegal Migration:
- Unemployment in one country due to uncontrolled rise in population and high density of population.
- The migrants get better economic and commercial opportunities across the border.
- Rise of communal violence all over the world, often as a result of ethnic or religious intolerance
- The economic difference between developing and developed countries encourages the migration of employees or skilled labour.
- Environmental changes have the potential to worsen insecurity of food and water in several parts of the world.
- Limited access to water and food resources may influence people to migrate from one country to another where these resources are more readily available.
The Bureau of Immigration handles the immigration services and the foreigners' registration work in five major cities of India namely Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Amritsar. The main challenge for an immigrant in India is to acquire citizenship of the country and avail the fundamental rights in which they have migrated. The issues relating to immigration are addressed by formulated laws and policies that lay out the process and restrictions for getting citizenship. In India, the rules pertaining to immigration are governed by the Constitution of India.
Articles 5 to 11, as mentioned in Part-II of the Constitution deals with citizenship. Article 10 also deals with the continuance of foreigners as Indian citizens. The Constitution of India does not support dual citizenship; it recognizes the single citizenship throughout the country. The Indian law follows citizenship by blood as opposed to citizenship by birth. Registration of foreigners is done with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Officer) or FRO (Foreigners Registration Officer). Also, there are individual acts passed to avail citizenship by foreigners.
The Acts includes the Passport (Entry in India) Act, 1920, The Foreigners Act, 1946, The Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992, etc.
The Passport (Entry in India) Act – The Act was passed in the year 1920. Under this act, foreigners are required to get a visa to enter India. The law also described certain documents that are necessary to submit during their travel to India.
The Foreigners Act, 1946 – The Foreigners Act, 1946 plays a role in regulating the entry and residence of foreigners within the Indian borders until their departure.
The Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992 – This Act says that the foreigners who stay past their visa period must register themselves with the Registration officer.
The concept of migration is very similar nowadays. People find more comfortable to move due to the availability of way-finding technology, improved communications, media, efficient transport, and information, even though new policies, laws and controls.