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PIO (Person of Indian Origin) - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a PIO?

A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a citizen of any other country but whose ancestors were Indian nationals at least four generations away.

What is a PIO card?

A PIO card is issued to PIOs other than Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals with Indian origins, holding a foreign passport.

Who is eligible for a PIO card?

  1. anyone who ever held an Indian passport;
  2. anyone whose ancestors up to the last four generations were settled in India and did not migrate to Pakistan or Bangladesh
  3. whose spouse is a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin

When did the PIO card come into force?
15th September, 2002

What advantages does the PIO card carry?

a) Parity with NRIs, therefore eligible to

i) Acquire non-agricultural and plantation property in India,
ii) Admit children to all educational institutes in India under NRI quota
iii)Apply for various housing schemes of LIC, state governments and other government agencies

b) Enter India without a visa

c) Exemption from registration at Foreigners Registration office at District Headquarters if stay in India does not exceed 180 days

Who issues the PIO card?

  1. All Indian Embassies, High Commissions and Indian Consulates abroad. An officer at the Indian Mission notified for the purpose carries the authority to issue a PIO card.
  2. Foreigners Regional Registration offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai
  3. Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi

Which documents are required to apply for the card?
a) All relevant documents which substantiate claim to Indian origin

b) In the case of children, a copy of the parent’s passport if parent still an Indian citizen, or old passport or birth certificate

c) 4 passport size photographs, front view

  1. PIO card fee – US$ 310 for adults; US$ 155.00 for children, by a cheque favouring Embassy of India/Consulate General of India (as applicable)

What is the validity of the card?

15 years from the date of issue of the PIO card.

Are there any restrictions for card holders?

a) They do not have any political rights.

  1. Cannot undertake activities like mountaineering, missionary and research work and existing PAP/RAP which need a special permit.

Can PIO card holders apply for citizenship?

Yes, under the Citizenship Act, the applicant should have resided in India for a minimum of 7 years before the application is submitted.

Can the card be withdrawn?

Yes, if

  1. the PIO card was obtained through fraud, concealment of facts or false representation
  2. the activities of the card holder in India do not conform to  the laws of the country and the Indian Constitution
  3. the card holder happens to be citizen of a country with which India is at war, or is supporting another country in acts of aggression against India
  4. the PIO has been found guilty of acts of terrorism, smuggling of arms and ammunition and narcotics
  5. has been sentenced in India up to one year’s imprisonment or fined up to Rs.10,000
  6. the card holder’s presence in India is detrimental to the interests of the country

Explanation for withdrawal of the PIO card by the Government of India is not necessary.



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