Indian authorities announced all Person of Indian Origin cards will remain valid until Dec. 31, 2024.

Key Points:

  • Indian immigration check posts will continue to consider all PIO cards, including handwritten cards, with a valid foreign passport to be acceptable for entry or exit until Dec. 31.
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization reserves the right to alter the extension and make handwritten PIO cards invalid at any time. PIO cardholders would then have to obtain an appropriate visa from an Indian mission/post abroad should the extension policy change.

Additional Information: Indian officials advise individuals to convert their PIO card to an Overseas Citizen of India card before the extension deadline ends. All existing PIO cardholders (handwritten and machine-readable) are deemed to be OCI cardholders if they obtained PIO status as of Jan. 9, 2015. Indian officials still recommend that all persons apply for the OCI conversion to maintain travel rights and ease the transition to the new card. More information on OCI conversion can be found here.

BAL Analysis: PIO cardholders with valid cards should convert to an OCI card accordingly. The OCI card is a smart card that will facilitate quicker clearance at immigration check posts and qualify individuals for additional consular services in India.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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