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OCI / PIO CARD

Person Of Indian Origin (PIO)

As per the Gazette of India (Part-I, Section-I) published on 09.01.2015, all the existing Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card holder registered as such under new PIO Card scheme 2002, shall be deemed to be Overseas Citizens of India Cardholder.

Again as per the Gazette of India (Part-I, Section-I) published on 30.09.2014, a PIO card issued to an applicant shall be valid for his lifetime, provided such applicant has a valid Passport.

For complete information of India Govt official Gazette Notification of Merger of PIO & OCI Cards you can visit at: http://mha1.nic.in/pdfs/Merge_PIO_OCI.pdf

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

An Overseas Citizen of India is a lifetime visa status. It is the closest thing to dual citizenship that India offers.

Who can be an OCI?

(This list was expanded as of 9 January 2015)

  • A person who used to be an Indian citizen
  • A person with at least one parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent who is/was an Indian citizen
  • A person married to an Indian citizen or an existing OCI for at least two continuous years
  • The following groups of people cannot have OCI status:
  • Anyone who was ever a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh
  • Anyone whose parents or grandparents were citizens of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, or Sri Lanka
  • Anyone who served in a foreign military or worked in a foreign defense department

What are the benefits of being an OCI?

  • Lifelong multiple entry visa to India
  • You never have to report to the FRRO regardless of the length of your stay
  • You can eventually become a citizen of India if you remain an OCI for 5 years and live in India for at least 1 year (short breaks are now allowed)
  • You can use special counters during immigration
  • You don’t need a student visa to study in India
  • You don’t need an employment visa to get a job
  • You can open a special bank account in India, just like an NRI
  • You can make investments in India
  • You can buy non-farm property and exercise property ownership rights
  • Your can use your OCI card to apply for a driver’s license, open a bank account, or get a PAN card
  • You get the same economic, financial, and education benefits as NRIs (e.g. reserved admission quotas), and you can adopt children like an NRI
  • You pay the Indian resident fee when visiting a national parks, monuments, museums or wildlife sanctuary (of course it is ultimately up to the discretion of the man issuing tickets)

For legal assistance with regard to PIO / OCI, you are welcome to contact the expert solicitors team at Wazir Singh Solicitor & Co