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INDIA – Person of India Origin (PIO) Cards will be phased out

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The Indian Government has announced that Person of India Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Schemes have been merged as of January 9, 2015, with the aim to phase out the PIO.

With immediate effect, PIO card holders will automatically be granted OCI status and entitled to OCI benefits, such as receiving lifelong multiple entry with multi-purpose visa with exemption from registration with the local police authority. All pending PIO applications will be treated as OCI applications.

Eligibility for OCI cards:

  1. Spouses of Indian citizens or OCI card holders whose marriage is legally registered and has lasted for not less than two years
  2. Children under the age of 16 whose parents are both Indian citizens
  3. Grandchildren or great-grandchildren of OCI card holders
  4. Nationals of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal and Sri Lanka may be eligible provided other criteria are met

The Indian Immigration authority may return PIO applications that are still processing. Applicants who are pending result for their PIO applications at the time of official announcement may need to re-submit their application as an OCI card application.