Q : Who is a PIO?
A : A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a citizen of any other country but whose ancestors were Indian nationals at least four generations away.
Q : What is a PIO card?
A : A PIO card is issued to PIOs other than Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals with Indian origins, holding a foreign passport.
Q : When did the PIO card come into force?
A : 15th September, 2002
Q : Who issues the PIO card?
A : All Indian Embassies, High Commissions and Indian Consulates abroad. An officer at the Indian Mission notified for the purpose carries the authority to issue a PIO card.
Foreigners Regional Registration offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai
Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi
Q : WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
A : Any person:
who at any time held an Indian Passport; or
he/she or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in an permanently resident in 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 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
Q : Who is not eligible for a PIO Card?
A : It would not be issued to people of Indian origin living in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It does not give voting rights to the holders of the Card.
Q : WHAT BENEFITS ACCRUE TO A PIO CARD HOLDER:
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.
Q : WHAT IS THE VALIDITY OF THE PIO CARD?
A : 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.
Q : WHAT IS THE FEE PAYABLE FOR OBTAINING THE PIO CARD
A : The fee for a PIO Card would be Rs. 15000/- (or its equivalent in local foreign currency of the country concerned), payable alongwith the application. PIO Card to children upto the age of 18 years will be issued at a fee of Rs. 7,500/- (or its equivalent in local foreign currency of the country concerned) for a fifteen year card.
Q : Which documents are required to apply for the card?
All relevant documents which substantiate claim to Indian origin
In the case of children, a copy of the parent’s passport if parent still an Indian citizen, or old passport or birth certificate
4 passport size photographs, front view
PIO card fee – US$ 310 for adults; US$ 155.00 for children, by a cheque favouring Embassy of India/Consulate General of India (as applicable)
Q : What are the requirements for applying a PIO card by a person who was not born in India and never had an Indian passport?
A : He / She should submit the following documents:
Application form duly filled in (in duplicate) with four passport size photographs.
A notarized copy each of his/her birth certificate , his/her parent's latest Indian passports (either expired or not yet expired ) and his/her current US/Foreign passport and a copy of the parent's valid passport.
The prescribed fee by cashiers check/money order drawn in favor of Embassy of India, Washington DC(d) Return mailing charges of $ 20/-, if applying by mail.
Note : Please also mention your telephone number in the application form.
Q : If the applicant is a minor, who should sign his / her PIO card application?
A : The PIO card application of a minor should be signed by both the parents. However, in the boxes provided for the specimen signature of the applicant, either the minor should sign himself / herself or his/her thumb impression (left for boys and right for girls) should be provided (in case the minor is too young to sign).
Q : Can a PIO card holder study or take up an employment in India?
A : Yes, a PIO card holder does not require a "Student" visa for undertaking studies in India and similarly no employment visa for taking up employment in India. However, they will be required to fulfill other pre-requisite conditions and other formalities in connection with their studies/employment as prescribed by the concerned authorities from time to time.
Q : What is the approximate time required for processing a PIO card application?
A : About 45 business/working days.
Q : Are there any restrictions for card holders?
A : They do not have any political rights.Cannot undertake activities like mountaineering, missionary and research work and existing PAP/RAP which need a special permit.
Q : Can PIO card holders apply for citizenship?
A : Yes, under the Citizenship Act, the applicant should have resided in India for a minimum of 7 years before the application is submitted.
Q : Can the card be withdrawn?
A : Yes, if
the PIO card was obtained through fraud, concealment of facts or false representation
the activities of the card holder in India do not conform to the laws of the country and the Indian Constitution
the card holder happens to be citizen of a country with which India is at war, or is supporting another country in acts of aggression against India
the PIO has been found guilty of acts of terrorism, smuggling of arms and ammunition and narcotics
has been sentenced in India up to one year’s imprisonment or fined up to Rs.10,000
the card holder’s presence in India is detrimental to the interests of the country
Explanation for withdrawal of the PIO card by the Government of India is not necessary.
Q : WHAT WILL BE THE STATUS OF PIO CARDS ISSUED EARLIER AS PER PIO CARD SCHEME (1999)
A : PIO Cards issued earlier 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 more years without charging any fee.
Q : WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ISSUE OF GRATIS PIO CARD
A : Gratis PIO Card may be issued to an exceptionally eminent person of Indian Origin who plays an important role in building bridges between India and the country of his/her adoption, if he/she expresses a desire to obtain the PIO Card.
Q : Acquisition of Duplicate PIO Card in case of loss etc:
A : On a request supported by FIR and other documents, a duplicate PIO card shall be issued on depositing a fee of US $ 100. Duplicate PIO cards will be issued by the same office that issued the original one.
Q : What is the procedure for change of Passport particulars on the PIO Card when a new Passport is obtained.
A : If a new passport has been obtained after issue of PIO card, please apply in PIO application for endorsement of new passport number on the PIO card. Send original PIO card and a notarized copy of the new Passport. Fee for this service is $ 20 (twenty). If applied by mail, mailing fee may also be sent for returning the documents.
Q : Is sending the original US passport mandatory along with the PIO application.
A : It is mandatory to send the US passport containing Indian Visa on it as the PIO card cannot be issued before canceling the valid Indian visa.