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Persons of Indian Origin Card (PIO Card) was a form of identification issued to a Person of Indian Origin who held a passport in a country other than Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, made provision for acquisition of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) by the Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) of 16 specified countries other than Pakistan and Bangladesh. It also omitted all provision recognizing, or relating to the commonwealth citizenship from the principle Act. Later, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005, expanded the scope of grant of OCI for PIOs of all countries except Pakistan and Bangladesh as long as their home country allows dual citizenship under their local law. It must be noted here that the OCI is not actually a dual citizenship as the Indian constitution forbids dual nationality (Article 9).

Persons of Indian Origin Card
Date first issued15 September 2002
Issued by India
Expiration9 January 2015
(merged with OCI)
A stamped PIO Card making it de facto an OCI card

On 9 January 2015, the Person of Indian Origin card scheme was withdrawn by the Government of India and was merged with the Overseas Citizen of India card scheme.[1] All currently held PIO cards are treated as OCI cards. PIO card holders will get a special stamp in their existing PIO card, saying "lifelong validity" and "registration not required", thus making them equal to existing OCI cards.[2] An extended deadline was given where the card could be converted for free to an OCI until 31 December 2017.[3]

PIO card holders can use their PIO card to travel to India until 30 September 2019. Effective 1 October 2019, PIO card holders' entry to India will be refused. [4]


The conditions for issuing a PIO card to a person were:[5]

  1. Any person who has ever held an Indian passport, or
  2. The person's parents, grandparents or great grandparents were born in and were permanent residents of India and never moved to (i.e., were never nationals of) Bangladesh and Pakistan, or
  3. The person is the spouse of a citizen of India or of a PIO and has been so for two years or more, and
  4. The person and his/her parents, grandparents or great grandparents must not have been a national of Bangladesh or Pakistan at any point of time.

The PIO Card programme came into effect on 15 September 2002.


The various benefits available to a PIO cardholders were:

  • Visa-free entry into India during the period of validity of PIO Card.
  • Exemption from the requirement of registration if stay in India does not exceed six months. Should the continuous stay exceed six months, registration is not required even if their visit exceeds 180 days.
  • Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial and educational fields.
  • All facilities in the matter of acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.
  • Facilities available to children of Non-Resident Indians for getting admission to educational institutions in India including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Institutes of Technology, Institutes of Management etc. under the general categories.
  • Facilities available under the various housing schemes of LIC, State Governments and other Government agencies.

Persons with a PIO were not:

Registration/Residential PermitEdit

Earlier, PIO card holders needed to register with the appropriate FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Office) if they were planning to stay in India for more than 180 days. This requirement was not applicable for minors.[6] However, in September 2014, this requirement was removed.

The FRRO used to issue a "Residential Permit For PIO" which was typically valid till the expiry of the PIO card holder's passport. On 28 September 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at Madison Square Garden (New York) that PIO card holders would be granted lifelong visas[7].

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Website of Consulate General of India". Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Person Of Indian Origin (PIO)". Bureau of immigration India, Government of India. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Important Updates". TimaticWeb2. IATA. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  5. ^ "IHC Visa Information - Australia - Home - Persons of Indian Origin(PIO)". Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Last sentence of 2nd point under registration". Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  7. ^ "PMO India on Twitter". Retrieved 28 September 2014.