Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Card Scheme
Launched on March 30, 1999 by the Government of India, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) up to the fourth generation (great grandparents settled throughout the world except citizens of Pakistan and other countries as may be specified by the Govt. of India from time to time) are eligible for PIO cards. The scheme has been recently re-modified as the "PIO Card Scheme 2002", effective from September 15, 2002. Basic features of the scheme are as under:
- He/She at any time held an Indian passport; or
- He/She or either his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents was born in and permanently resident in India; or
He/She is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (a) and (b) above
Benefits available to PIO Card holder
A PIO Card holder shall not require a separate visa to visit India. The PIO card holders will not require "student visas" for undertaking studies in India and similarly no "employment visa" will be required for taking up employment in India. However, they will be required to fulfill other prerequisite conditions and formalities in connection with their studies/employment as prescribed by the concerned authorities from time to time.
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 (exceeding 180 days), the PIO cardholder shall have to get himself/herself registered within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Office.
All PIOs including PIO card holders shall enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of all facilities available to the latter in the economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties. No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.
An application for issue/renewal of a PIO card shall be made in the prescribed form (download form) and shall be accompanied by documentary evidence to show that the applicant is a person of Indian origin. Prescribed application form can be obtained from the office of Indian Embassies abroad. An application for issue of a PIO card shall be made to an Indian Mission in the country where the applicant is ordinarily resident. Applicants already in India on long-term visa shall make the application for issue of a PIO card to the following authorities. Those residing in:
Level-II, East Block VIII,
R.K. Puram, Sector-I
Commissioner of Police,
237, Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road,
Chief Immigration Officer, Bureau of Immigration,
Shastri Bhavan Annexe,
No.26, Haddows Road,
Additional Dy. Director,
Bureau of Immigration,
B/123 Ranjeet Avenue, Amritsar.
Those residing in areas other than the above shall submit the application to:
Joint Secretary (Foreigners),
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Ist floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan,
A PIO Card shall be valid for a period of 15 yrs from the date of issue subject to the validity of the passport of the applicant.
Besides the nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh, the nationals of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Iran, China and any other country specified by the Govt. of India shall not be eligible for issue of PIO Card. Further, if the applicant himself or either of his parents, grandparents or great grandparents held the nationality of these specified countries at any time, he will not be granted the PIO Card. Stateless persons holding identity/travel documents shall not be eligible for grant of PIO Cards. Iranian nationals of Indian origin can be considered for grant of PIO card after the issuing authority obtains prior clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs, India.
Cancellation of PIO Card
- The Govt. of India may by order, cancel the PIO Card, if it is satisfied that:
- The PIO card was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact; or
The PIO card holder has shown himself by act or speech to be disaffected towards the Constitution of India and other laws of India; or
- The PIO card holder is a citizen or subject of any country at war with, or committing external aggression against India; or of any other country assisting the country at was with, or committing such aggression against India; or
- The PIO card holder has been sentenced in India for indulging in acts of terrorism, smuggling of narcotics, arms, ammunition etc.. or has been sentenced for committing an offence punishable with imprisonment up to one year or fined up to Rupees ten thousand; and
- It is not conducive to public interest that the person should continue to hold a PIO card.
Fee payable for obtaining the PIO Card
The fee for a PIO card would be Rs.15000/- (equivalent in local currency of the country) payable along with the application. PIO card to children up to the age of 18 yrs will be issued at a fee of Rs.7500/- (equivalent in local currency) for a 15-year card. PIO cards issued earlier (as per the PIO card scheme, 1999) for US $ 1000 will continue to remain valid and no refund shall be admissible. However, the validity of such cards shall be extendable by 10 yrs without charging any fee.