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: official website of Ministy of Home Affairs, Govt. of India
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?
The Govt. of India through Ministy of Home Affairs has issued a latest Gazette Notification Dated March 4, 2021 therein more information & benefits have been added for the Overseas Citizen of India which reproduced as under:-
- Grant of multiple entry lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose:
- Exemption from registration with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or Foreigners Registration Officer for any length of stay in India:
- Parity with Indian nationals in the matter of:
- Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of:
- in respect of all other economic, financial and educational fields not specified in this notification or the rights and privileges not covered by the notifications made by the Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999), the OCI cardholder shall have the same rights and privileges as a foreigner.
Provided that for undertaking the following activities, the OCI cardholder shall be required to obtain a special permission or a Special Permit, as the case may be, from the competent authority or the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Indian Mission concerned, namely:-
(i) to undertake research;
(ii) to undertake any Missionary or Tabligh or Mountaineering or Journalistic activities;
(iii) to undertake internship in any foreign Diplomatic Missions or foreign Government organisations in India or to take up employment in any foreign Diplomatic Missions in India;
(iv) to visit any place which falls within the Protected or Restricted or prohibited areas as notified by the Central Government or competent authority;
Provided that the OCI cardholders who are normally resident in India shall intimate the jurisdictional Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Foreigners Registration Officer by email whenever there is a change in permanent residential address and in their occupation;
(i) tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India; and
(ii) entry fees to be charged for visiting national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;
(i) inter-country adoption of Indian children subject to the compliance of the procedure as laid down by the competent authority for such adoption;
(ii) appearing for the all India entrance tests such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, Joint Entrance Examination (Mains), Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) or such other tests to make them eligible for admission only against any Non-Resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat:
Provided that the OCI cardholder shall not be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens;
(iii) purchase or sale of immovable properties other than agricultural land or farm house or plantation property; and
(iv) pursuing the following professions in India as per the provisions contained in the applicable relevant statutes or Acts as the case may be, namely:
(a) Doctors, Dentists, Nnurses and Pharmacists;
(d) Chartered Accountants;
Explanation.─ For the purposes of this notification:
- The OCI Cardholder (including a PIO cardholder) is a foreign national holding passport of a foreign country and is not a citizen of India.
- “Non-Resident Indian” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India) Regulations, 2018 made by the Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and who fulfils the “Non-Resident Indian” status as per the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961).