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Issuance of PIO Card in India

A special facility other than visa for incoming travellers.

The Government of India has introduced a PIO card understanding and respecting the need for Indians to be close to their place of origin and has accordingly launched the ‘PIO CARD’ scheme, aimed at making the journey back to their roots, simpler, easier, flexible and absolutely hassle-free. The ‘PIO CARD’ will entitle a person to a set of privileges.

The following persons are eligible:

  • Who at any time held an Indian Passport; or
  • He/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents was born in and permanently resident of India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any country as may be specified by the Central Government from time to time; or
  • Who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin as mentioned above.
  • The scheme is broad-based, covers up to four generations and also the foreign spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO.

The benefits accrued to a PIO card holder are:

  • No visa required for visiting India.
  • No separate “Student Visa” or “Employment Visa” required for admissions in Colleges/Institutions or for taking up employment respectively.
  • A PIO Card holder will be exempt from the requirement of registration if his stay on any single visit in India does not exceed 180 days.
  • In the event of continuous stay in India of the PIO Card holder exceeding 180 days, he/she shall have to get himself/herself registered within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer/Foreigners Registration Officer
  • Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial and educational field.
  • All PIOs including PIO Card holders shall enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of all facilities in the matter of acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except in maters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties. No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.
  • Facilities available to children of NRIs for getting admission to educational institutions in India including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Institute of Technology, Institute of Management, etc. under the general categories.
  • Facilities available under the various housing scheme of LIC, State Government and other Government Agencies.
  • Special counters at the immigration check posts for speedy clearance

How to apply

An application for issue/renewal of a PIO Card shall be made in the prescribed form and shall be accompanied by documentary evidence to show that the applicant is a person of Indian origin as defined. Prescribed application from can be obtained from the office of Indian Embassies abroad, Foreign Regional Registration Officer, Delhi/ Mumbai/ Kolkata/ Chennai/ Amritsar and also from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi-110 003.

Where to apply for PIO card

(i) An application for issue of a PIO Card shall be made to an Indian Mission in the country where the applicant is ordinarily resident.

(ii) Applications already in India on Long Term Visa (more than one year) shall make the application for issue of a PIO Card to the following authorities:-

(A) Those residing in :-
(a) Delhi: - Foreigners Regional Registration Officer,
Level –II, East Block VIII,
R.K. Puram Sector – I, New Delhi.

(b) Mumbai: - Foreigners Regional Registration Officer,
Annexe – II, Commissioner of Police,
Craw Ford Market, Mumbai – 400001.

(c) Kolkata: - Foreigners Regional Registration Officer,
237, Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road,
Kolkata – 700020.

(d) Amritsar: - Additional Deputy Director,
Bureau of Immigration ,
B/123 Ranjeet Avenue, Amritsar.

(e) Chennai: - Chief Immigration Officer,
Bureau of Immigration, Shastri Bhavan Annexe,
No. 26, Haddows Road, Chennai – 600006.

(Those residing in areas other than (A) above :-

Joint Secretary (Foreigners),
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road,
New Delhi – 110011.

Validity of the PIO card

A PIO Card shall be valid for a period of fifteen years from the date of issue subject to the validity of the passport of the applicant.

FAQs on PIO card Scheme Click here


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