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India Extends PIO Card Validity to December 31, 2024

India Extends Validity of PIO Cards Until December 31, 2024

Indian immigration authorities have announced an extension of the validity period for all Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards, including handwritten ones, provided alongside a valid foreign passport as recognised travel documents. The revised deadline for accepting PIO cards has been extended to December 31, 2024, from the previous deadline of December 31, 2023. This revised timeline is subject to the policies and guidelines set forth by the Indian Immigration Check Post(s).

Eligibility Criteria for PIO to OCI Card Conversion

The eligibility criteria for PIO to OCI card conversion have changed since the PIO scheme was abolished in January 2015. If you previously held a PIO card, you are automatically eligible to convert it to an OCI card, regardless of when your PIO card was issued.

Here are the specific scenarios for eligibility:

  • PIO Cardholders

Anyone who held a valid PIO card during the scheme's abolishment (January 2015) is automatically eligible for OCI conversion. This includes PIO cardholders of all categories (issued based on grandparents, parents, or spouse's Indian origin).

  • Spouses and Dependent Children of PIO Cardholders

Spouses and dependent children of PIO cardholders, even if they did not hold PIO cards themselves, are also eligible to apply for OCI cards based on their connection to the original PIO cardholder.

  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)

While the general PIO category no longer exists, individuals who meet the original definition of a PIO can still apply for OCI cards under certain conditions.

This includes:

-Individuals born in India who migrated to another country before January 1, 1950.

-Individuals who would have been citizens of India but for the partition of India in 1947.

-Children or grandchildren of any person mentioned above.

The PIO to OCI conversion application process differs from a regular OCI application. Existing PIO cardholders must use a specific online form and submit specific documents. The conversion process is generally faster and cheaper than a regular OCI application.

The PIO to OCI conversion deadline was originally December 31, 2023, but has been extended to December 31, 2024.


I have a PIO card. Do I need to convert it to an OCI card?

Not necessarily! Existing PIO cards remain valid travel documents until December 31, 2024. However, conversion grants several benefits, such as long-term stay permits and multi-entry privileges. It's recommended that you convert before the deadline.

Who else is eligible for OCI conversion besides PIO cardholders?

Spouses and minor children of PIO card holders qualify, even if they never held a PIO card. Additionally, specific individuals categorised as Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can apply under specific conditions.

What are the benefits of converting my PIO card to an OCI card?

An OCI card offers several advantages over a PIO card:

  • Multi-entry and longer stay permits in India (180 days).
  • Exemption from registration for stays exceeding 180 days.
  • Visa-free travel to India (excluding employment purposes).
  • Easier business and property ownership possibilities in India.

Is the conversion process different from a regular OCI application?

Yes, it's simpler and usually faster. PIO cardholders use a specific online form and submit fewer documents. However, fees and processing times may vary depending on location.

When is the deadline for PIO to OCI conversion?

The deadline was originally December 31, 2023, but has been extended to December 31, 2024. Take your application to avoid potential complications.

Where can I find more information and apply for conversion?

Visit the official OCI Registration website and explore the PIO to OCI conversion FAQ section for detailed information and application procedures.