NEW DELHI: The Centre has extended for six months the last date for applying for conversion of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards to June 30, 2017 from December 31, 2016. This cut-off date will be only for submission of the applications online by the applicants.The PIO Card scheme has been withdrawn vide Gazette Notification No.25024/9/2014F.I dated 09.01.2015.  Henceforth, applicants may apply for OCI card ONLY, as PIO card scheme is no longer in existence.It has been decided, with the approval of the competent authority, to extend the date for submission of the application for registration as OCI card holder by the erstwhile PIO cardholders till June 30, 2017, an official notification said.

This was for the third time the date for conversion of PIO cards to OCI cards has been extended since March 31, 2016. The last date for submission of applications for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of the PIO card online was  previously on  31st December, 2016. A separate online application form for submission of application for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card is available in the website  http://passport.gov.in/oci/capchaActionPIO.
The PIO card was first implemented in 2002 as a benefit to foreign nationals who could establish at least a third generation tie to Indian origin. The PIO card was valid for travel, work, and residence in India for a period of 15 years.

The Ministry has issued notifications granting registered OCIs further benefits as under:

Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.

Parity with resident Indian nationals in matters of tariffs in domestic air fares.

Parity with domestic Indian visitors in respect of entry fee for visiting national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.

Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of

  • Entry fees for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India.
  • Practicing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely:
    • Doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists
    • Advocates
    • Architects and
    • Chartered Accountants
  • Entitlement to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts. –Overseas Indian citizenship act 1955 (CLICK ON the link)

An on-line OCI miscellaneous service is now available for re-issuance /issuance of duplicate OCI documents, in case of issuance of new passport, change of personal particulars, viz, nationality, name, change of address/occupation, etc. and loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa.

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