PIO Card Application Process
There has been a lot of confusion lately about the changes over OCI &PIO card. It was widely reported that on the day after Prime Minister announced the merger at New York, all the consulates were inundated with calls and queries regarding the changes over OCI & PIO card. If you are confused about the new rules, have no fear, you are definitely not alone. We are here to help you out with all you need to know about PIO cards. You will also have a clear understanding of exactly what is PIO card, and we will also help you out when you apply for PIO card.
What is A PIO Card?
Before we delve any further, it is crucial that you know what a PIO card and what it stands for. What are the benefits of getting a PIO card? Why should you apply for one?
- The PIO card is issued to a Person of Indian Origin (PIO), who holds a foreign passport and can prove their Indian origin for up to three generations before them. For example, if you hold a British passport and your parent or grandparent is an Indian citizen, then you would be eligible to hold a PIO card. This scheme was launched in the year 1999.
- Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh and few other countries that are specified by the Indian government are not eligible for a PIO card.
- A PIO card has a validity of fifteen years.
- The PIO card can be produced alongside your foreign passport for entry into India.
Changes Over PIO and OCI Card
There has been a lot of doubt over the merging of the PIO card and the OCI card. You should understand what exactly are the differences between an OCI card and a PIO card.
- PIO cards are generally issued to persons of Indian origin who have settled abroad for a generation or more. On the other hand, OCI cards are issued to more recent migrants to another nation.
- OCI cards can be thought of as virtual multiple entry visas. Having a OCI card means that you will not have to apply for a visa every time you enter the country, and this visa has lifetime validity. The PIO card also grants you entry into India without a visa, but it only has a validity of fifteen years, after which you will have to renew it again.
- If you are PIO cardholder who wants to become an Indian citizen, then you will have to stay in India for a minimum period of seven years before making an application. If you are an OCI cardholder, however, can apply for an Indian citizenship five years after the date of registration of the OCI card, provided you have stayed in India for one year, including short breaks.
Who Is Eligible For A PIO Card?
You are eligible to apply for a PIO card if
- You have held the Indian passport at any point in your life
- Your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents have been holders of an Indian passport and were a permanent resident of India at any time as under the Government of India Act, 1935.
- You are a spouse of a citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin as defined above.
How To Apply For A PIO Card?
You can apply for a PIO card from India or from your country of residence. If you wish to apply from abroad, you will need to go to the nearest Indian consulate in your country. You will be required to produce documents that prove that you or your ancestors were an Indian passport holder.
If you are residing in India on a long-term visa, you can make an application at your Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or at the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.
What Is The Fee For Getting A PIO Card?
Currently, the fee for a PIO card is set at INR 15,000 or its equivalent in your country of residence. This amount is to be paid in full along with your application. However, the PIO card for minors would cost you INR 7,500.
We hope this article has been successful in clarifying the changes over OCI & PIO card. Once you have an idea about what is a PIO card, it is an easy step from there to apply for PIO card. This ultimate guide is definitely all you need to know about PIO cards.