What is the change? Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders are reminded that the Indian government has set March 31 as the deadline to convert PIO cards to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.

What does the change mean? Although Indian authorities have not explicitly made it mandatory to convert from PIO to OCI cards, and although the conversion deadline has been extended in the past, PIO card holders are nonetheless encouraged to complete the conversion before the March 31 deadline in order to avoid interruption of travel plans.

  • Implementation timeframe: March 31.
  • Visas/permits affected: PIO and OCI cards.
  • Who is affected: PIO card holders.
  • Next steps: PIO card holders should submit an application to convert to an OCI card at their earliest opportunity and no later than March 31.

Background: The Indian government merged PIO and OCI cards in January of 2015. Authorities originally set a Sept. 30. 2015 deadline for converting PIO cards to OCI cards, but subsequently extended the deadline. The current deadline is March 31.

BAL Analysis: PIO card holders can obtain OCI cards from the Indian mission or Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) that has jurisdiction over their current residence. Applicants should check with their local FRRO, overseas mission or consulate on specific procedures and requirements, as they may vary from location to location.

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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