India: Reminder: Deadline to File OCI in Lieu of PIO Applications Forthcoming
Holders of Person of Indian Origin cards are reminded that the current deadline to submit applications to convert to the Overseas Citizens of India card is December 31, 2017. Filing fees may be charged by the authorities after this date. Person of Indian Origin cards which are not machine-readable will become invalid as of October 31, 2018.
Following the merger of the Person of India Origin (PIO) card and the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card in January 2015, PIO card holders were advised to apply for OCI in lieu of PIO cards on or before December 31, 2017. There have also been updates on the transition process.
A closer look
Authorities are gradually arranging for the phase out of PIO cards. Further updates on the transition include the following:
- Machine-readable documents to be required. In a recent announcement, the International Civil Aviation Organization has confirmed that only machine-readable documents will be accepted at all Indian immigration checkpoints after October 31, 2018. Although this change excludes handwritten PIO cards (which are not machine-readable) for the moment, even machine-readable PIO cards are expected to eventually become unusable for entry or exit from India.
- Impact. PIO card holders should obtain OCI cards prior to October 31, 2018.
- Fees. Although Indian Missions abroad and Foreigners Regional Registration Offices in India are not currently charging a filing fee for these applications, it is likely that a fee may be charged for applications filed after December 31, 2017.
Fragomen India is working with the Ministry of Home Affairs to determine whether there will be any further extensions to apply for OCI in lieu of PIO applications.
We worked closely with Fragomen Immigration Services India (Pvt.) Limited ("Fragomen-India") to prepare this alert. It is provided for informational purposes only.
If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to IndiaQueries_NewPolicy@fragomen.com.
Fragomen in India is Fragomen Immigration Services India (Pvt) Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in India.