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Indian Passport & Visa Information

 

PIO CARD

Facilities to be extended to a PIO Card Holder:

  • A PIO Card holder shall not require a separate visa to visit India.

  • A PIO Card holder will be exempted from the requirement of registration if his stay on any single visit in India does not exceed 180 days.

  • In the even 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.

  • 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.

Overseas Citizenship of India

The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known as ‘Dual Citizenship’.

Persons registered as OCI have not been given any voting rights, election to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council, holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc.

 

Registered OCIs shall be entitled to following benefits:

  • Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India;

  • Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and

  • Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields, except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

  • Any further benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

  • A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.

Eligibility criteria:

A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.

 

Advantages of OCI over PIO cardholders:

  • OCI is entitled to life long visa free travel to India whereas for PIO cardholder, it is for 15 years.

  • PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.

 

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