Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card
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PIO card holders to obtain machine readable OCI Cards, in lieu of the existing hand-written PIO cards

OCI in lieu of PIO card


In terms of the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 9th January 2015, all the existing PIO Cardholders as on 9 January 2015 shall be deemed to be OCI Cardholders. However, all persons having valid PIO cards as on 9th January 2015 are advised to apply for registration as OCI Cardholder in view of the following advantages in processing as OCI card:

(a) OCI card is a smart card;

(b) Possession of an OCI card will facilitate quicker immigration clearance at the Immigration Check Posts;

(c) It will help in obtaining various Consular Services from the Indian Missions;

(d) For those who are resident in India, it will facilitate in availing various services in India.

The date for submission of applications for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card online has been extended till December 31,2017 . This cutoff date will be only for submission of the applications online by the applicants.

OCI in lieu of PIO card process detail is available at

Until applicants are in receipt of an OCI card issued in lieu of PIO card, they could travel to India with their valid foreign passport and valid PIO Card and a copy/acknowledgement of the application for OCI Card

OCI card holders and deemed OCI card holders are required to get OCI cards reissued whenever passport is renewed for persons under twenty years, and OCI card needs to be renewed  after crossing 50 years of age only once that too when the US passport is renewed.  If time is short and you have to travel, make online application carry acknowledgement/ print out thereof, old passport and new passport and the PIO/ OCI card  

ALSO From October 2018, International Civil Aviation Organisation will accept only machine readable travel documents. It would be necessary for PIO card holders to obtain machine readable OCI Cards, in lieu of the existing hand-written PIO cards

International Civil Aviation Organisation has informed Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India that it will accept only machine-readable travel documents from October 2018 onwards. In this context, the existing PIO cards, which are hand-written, will become invalid travel documents, unless the PIO card holders obtain machine-readable OCI cards in lieu of their existing PIO cards before October 2018.

It is further informed that vide its notification dated January 1, 2015, Ministry of External Affairs had specified that existing PIO card holders, as on January 01, 2015, shall be deemed to be OCI card holders. Further, it had also informed that application for OCI cards in lieu of PIO cards may be on voluntary and gratis basis for the initial three months. Since then, this validity has been extended several times and presently such conversion, on gratis basis, is valid up to December 31, 2017.

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