1. The person of Indian Origin Card Scheme which was originally introduced in 30.3.1999 is now known as “PIO Card Scheme, 2002”.
2. Procedure: All Persons of Indian Origin, who hold passport of any other country (except citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries as may be specified by the Government of from time to time) will be eligible to apply for PIO Card, provided that:
- He / she at any time held an Indian passport; or
- He / she or either of his / her parents or grand parents or great grand parents were born in India and permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any of the specified countries, or if
- He / she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (I) or (ii) above provided that they are married for minimum period of one year.
- If any foreigner obtains a PIO card by virtue of being a spouse of an Indian national or of a PIO, and later on he/she divorces the Indian/PIO spouse, both parties must inform the authorities for cancellation of PIO card.
- An undertaking is to be submitted at the time of application stating that they have been living as husband/wife at least for one year. In case of spouse of Indian citizen, where the Indian citizen has expired. The applicant shall not be divorced or be remarried and there is also no complaint from either side in this regard.
- Even if otherwise, it comes to the notice of PIO issuing authorities that any such PIO card holder has divorced his/her Indian/PIO spouse, the authority concerned may cancel his/her PIO card.
3. Fees: ( W.E.F 15-03-2013 ) The fee for the card will be CHF 679/- and for applicants aged upto 18 years will be CHF 342/-.
Loss or damged PIO card - CHF 180.00
4. Validity: PIO card will be valid for 15 years from the date of issue.
5. Facility: - PIO Card holder shall not require a visa to visit India. - PIO Card holder will be exempted from the requirement of registration if his stay in India does not exceed 180 days. - In the event 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 Registration Officer at District Headquarters.
6. A PIO Card holder shall enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of all facilities available to the latter in the economic, financial and educational fields except in matter relating to the acquisition of agricultural / plantation properties. These facilities will include : - Acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except of agricultural / plantation properties; - Admission of children in educational institutions in India under the general category quota for NRIs – including medical / engineering colleges, IITs, IIMs, etc. - Various housing schemes of Life Insurance Corporation of India, State Governments and other Government agencies. - All future benefits that would be extended to NRIs would also be available to the PIO Card holders. - However, they shall not enjoy political rights in India.
7. Reserve Bank of India has simplified facilities for financial transaction by NRIs / PIOs from March 30, 2002. The changes are:
In order to simplify the procedures and to provide greater freedom to NRIs / PIOs for putting through financial transactions in India it has been decided to permit them to open bank accounts in India which will be at par with rupee accounts maintained by residents. They will now be permitted to open Non-Resident (Special) Rupee Accounts with banks in India which will have the same facilities and restrictions as are applicable to rupee accounts maintained in India by residents in regard to repatriation of funds held in these accounts and / or income / interest earned on them. The procedure for opening such accounts will be the same as in the case of domestic accounts of resident individuals. This scheme became effective from April 15, 1999.
8. Applicants living abroad shall make applications in the prescribed form for issue of PIO cards to an Indian mission in the country where they are ordinarily resident. Applicants already in India on long-term visa (one year or more) shall make applications to the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) and those residing in areas other than the above shall approach Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, First Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi-110 003, India.
9. For further information regarding PIO card, the applicant shall contact the Consulate General of India, Geneva at telephone No. 0041 22 906 86 86. The prescribed application forms for issuing of PIO cards are available with the Consulate General or could be downloaded from this website.