FAQ for NRIs - People of Indian Origin Card (PIO) Card

Who is eligible to apply for a PIO Card?
15 million people of Indian origin living abroad will benefit from the Card. It is eligible for Indians who hold a foreign passport living abroad till the fourth generation. The People of Indian Origin Card, will allow visa free entry to Indian origin people living abroad, and give them all the rights enjoyed by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

Who is not eligible for a PIO Card?
  • 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.

What are the benefits of the PIO Card?
  • purchase of non-agricultural land, excluding Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The PIO Card holder would be exempt from registration if his stay in India does not exceed 180 days. However, if the stay exceeds 180 days, the PIO Card holder will have to register within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned Foreigners Registration Officer at district headquarters.
  • The PIO Card holder would be able to admit their children to educational institution in India under the NRI category. These include the IITs and Indian institutes of Management.
  • They can also benefit from housing schemes of the Life Insurance Corporation, State Governments and other Government agencies.

How do I apply for the PIO Card?
  • 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 (more than one year) and living in the areas mentioned below should apply for issue of a PIO Card to the following authorities:
    • Delhi: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Hans Bhavan, I.P.Estate New Delhi - 110002.
    • Mumbai: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Annex II, Commissioner of Police, Craw Ford Market, Mumbai - 400001.
    • Calcutta: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, 237, Acharya Jagdish Calcutta - 700020
    • Chennai: Chief Immigration Officer, Bureau of Immigration, Shastri Bhavan Annex, No.26, Haddows Road, Chennai- 600006.
  • Those residing in areas other than the ones mentioned above should apply to:
    • Joint Secretary (Foreigners). Ministry of Home Affairs, 1st floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market New Delhi-110003.

What are the fees for the PIO Card?
  • Fee for PIO Card is US $ 310.00 for adult and for children below the age of18 years is US $ 155.00 (effective from September 15, 2002).

How long is the PIO Card valid for?
  • A PIO Card shall be valid for a period of twenty years subject to the validity of the passport of the applicant.

Can the PIO Card be cancelled?
The Central Government may by order, cancel the PIO Card, if it is satisfied that:
  • the PIO Card was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the 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 war 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, ammunitions etc, or has been sentenced for committing an offence punishable with imprisonment up to one year or fine up to rupees ten thousand;or
  • it is not conducive to the public interest that the person should continue to hold a a PIO Card.
No reasons shall be assigned for withdrawal of the Card.

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