PIO card holders required to obtain OCI cards in Mumbai

23 Mar 15



What is the change? The Foreigner Regional Registration Office in Mumbai is requiring holders of previously issued Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to obtain an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card by the end of June.

What does the change mean? PIO card holders who report to the Mumbai registration office should convert to an OCI card as soon as possible.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: PIO and OCI cards.
  • Who is affected: PIO card holders.
  • Business impact: This requirement does not impact the ability of PIO card holders to work while the OCI application is in process.
  • Next steps: PIO card holders reporting to the registration office in Mumbai should apply for an OCI card as soon as possible and no later than June.

Background: When the Indian government announced the merger of the PIO and OCI card programs in January, it stated that current PIO card holders were not required to obtain an OCI card, but instead could submit the PIO card to the local Foreigner Regional Registration Office and obtain an endorsement stating that it has lifetime validity. However, the regional office in Mumbai recently posted a notice that it would no longer provide an endorsement on any PIO cards and that all PIO card holders should obtain an OCI card by the end of June.

BAL Analysis: Immigration regulations in India are frequently interpreted differently by the authorities in the various regions. PIO card holders who are either staying in India or planning to travel there should confirm local policies regarding maintaining their PIO/OCI status. BAL is following the policy changes since implementation of the merger of PIO and OCI cards and will report on any additional regional changes.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in India. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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