Converting PIO to OCI Card – How to Do So?
The PIO scheme was established in 2002 to provide Indian-origin individuals staying in foreign countries with some of the benefits that Indian citizens residing in India are entitled to. The Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a corresponding scheme that was set in motion in 2006, and provided with the same class of individuals with more benefits than what the PIO cards offered. The Indian Government used the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2015 to do away with the PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card scheme. It stated that the two schemes would be merged to make the process smoother and more streamlined for every Indian-origin citizen living in foreign nations.
Why Convert Your PIO Card to an OCI Card?
The Government of India has withdrawn the PIO Card scheme. Thus, people holding Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card and registered under new PIO Card scheme 2002 would be regarded as OCI or Overseas Citizens of India card holders.
As the Government tries to make the scheme more uniform, every person holding PIO card should have their PIO card changed into OCI card as early as possible according to the directions of the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs).
Until recently, no registration fee was needed in case an application for converting a PIO Card to an OCI Card is done prior to December 31, 2017. However, Agent / Courier / SMS charges – as payable – were to be paid by the person making the application.
From January 1, 2018, fees have to be paid for applications for a fresh OCI and to convert PIO card applications to OCI card applications.
How Can You Convert Your PIO Card to an OCI Card?
Anyone who holds a PIO card and wants to convert it into an OCI card should first register himself at the Indian Passport website – https://passport.gov.in/oci/.
Thereafter, they have to abide by the following instructions for the conversion:
- Go through all the directions with care before you begin the registration process.
- It is mandatory for applicants to upload their own photo along with the photo of their signature while registering for OCI. Both photos should be in the format JPEG and have to be 200 kb in maximum size.
- The width and height of both photos should be as per the dimensions specified on the Indian Passport website.
- Before initiating the process of registration, you should be prepared with both types of photos.
- Begin ‘OCI registration (in lieu of valid PIO card)’. Fill up all the details that are necessary.
- Offer valid details for the PIO card at the location that is mentioned. The PIO card, as on 9th January, 2015, must be valid.
- Finish the Part B of the OCI card registration process.
- If you have a valid PIO card with you, as on 9th January, 2015, you should upload a copy of your PIO card along with your application and a copy of your valid passport. You can make an online submission of your applications in the concerned Mission in your residential area jurisdiction.
For these applications, you will not be charged any registration fee. However, you will have to pay Agent / Fax / SMS charges, as will be applicable in your case.
What are the Eligibility Criteria to register as an OCI Cardholder?
You must be a foreign national who
- Was an Indian citizen at or after January 26, 1950
- Was eligible for Indian citizenship on January 26, 1950
- Comes from a territory that belongs to India after August 15, 1947
- Is a child / grandchild / great grandchild of any such Indian citizen as aforementioned
- Is a minor who comes from any such Indian citizen as aforementioned
- Is a minor having either or both parents as Indian citizen
Those with PIO cards would be regarded automatically as OCI cardholders. They may get a separate OCI card in case they so wish.
For OCI Status Enquiry Please Visit Indian Passport Official Website: https://passport.gov.in/oci/statusEnqury
For More Details Regarding How to Convert PIO to OCI Please Visit Indian Passport Official Website: http://www.passportindia.gov.in
Indian Passport Customer Care Number: 1800 258 1800
Indian Passport Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PassportSeva
Indian Passport Twitter: https://twitter.com/passportsevamea
Ministry of Home Affairs Official Website: https://mha.gov.in
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