India – Government Starts Issuing OCI Cards to Replace PIO Cards

India – Government Starts Issuing OCI Cards to...

The Person of Indian (‘PIO’) card and Overseas Citizen of India (‘OCI’) card programs have been merged by means of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015. Under the new regime, PIO card holders are deemed to be OCI card holders and are entitled to benefits such as life-long visas and exemption from police registration. The government has now mandated all PIO cardholders to apply for OCI cards in lieu of their existing PIO cards.

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India’s government has merged the Person of Indian (‘PIO’) card and Overseas Citizen of India (‘OCI’) card programs by means of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

Immigration professionals and global mobility managers with immigration responsibilities vis-à-vis their globally mobile employees should be aware of these changes, as should individuals who are currently registered under the PIO scheme.  In due course, PIO cards will no longer be recognized as valid. Further, going forward, eligible applicants can only apply for an OCI card, as the PIO card scheme has been withdrawn.

Under the new regime,2 PIO card holders are deemed to be OCI card holders and are entitled to benefits such as life-long visas and exemption from police registration.

The government has now mandated3 all PIO cardholders to apply for OCI cards in lieu of their existing PIO cards.     

  • The application for an OCI card in lieu of a PIO card needs to be submitted with the Indian Embassy / Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (“FRRO”), which originally issued the PIO card to the applicant.       
  • The OCI card in lieu of the PIO card would be granted if the PIO card was valid on 9 January 2015.       
  • The OCI card will be issued free of cost to all existing PIO cardholders.

FOOTNOTES

1  The text of the Act, as published in the Gazette of India (10 March 2015), can be found at: http://indiancitizenshiponline.nic.in/UserGuide/E-gazette.pdf.

2  For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2015-036 (6 March 2015).

3  See:  http://passport.gov.in/oci/capchaActionPIO.

RELATED RESOURCE

This article is excerpted, with permission, from “Government of India Starts Issuing OCI Cards in Lieu of PIO Cards,” in KPMG Flash News (30 April 2015), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in India.

CONTACTS

For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in India:

 

Parizad Sirwalla

Tel. +91 (22) 3090 2010

psirwalla@kpmg.com

 

Vineet Agarwal

Tel. +91 124 307 4340

vineetagarwal@kpmg.com

 

Gaurav Makhija

Tel. +91 124 307 4338

gmakhija@kpmg.com

 

Please note KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in India. 

© 2016 KPMG, an Indian registered partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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