OCI in Lieu of PIO Card

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You are a foreign national who has been living in India on a valid PIO card. Recently, the government announced that PIO cards will be phased out and replaced by OCI cards. You have a few questions about the switch.

This article is for you. Here, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about OCI in lieu of PIO cards. We’ll also help you determine whether or not OCI is the right option for you.

What Is the PIO and OCI Card?

The PIO card is a passport-size identification card that is issued to individuals who have Indian ancestors but are not citizens of India. The OCI card is the equivalent of the PIO card but is issued to individuals who have Indian citizenship.

Both cards provide certain benefits, such as visa-free travel to India and exemption from registration with the local police authorities. However, there are some distinctions between the two cards. For example, the OCI card allows the holder to purchase agricultural or forest land in India, while the PIO card does not.


So, you’ve decided to make the switch from a PIO card to an OCI card. What do you need to know about eligibility?

In order to be eligible for an OCI card, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a citizen of India
  • You must have been a resident of India for at least 182 days in the past 12 months
  • You must have a valid passport
  • You must not hold citizenship of any other country

What Are the Benefits of an OCI Card?

So what are the benefits of an OCI card?

Well, the OCI card offers lifelong visa-free travel to India for the cardholder and his or her family. This is a big advantage, as it eliminates the need to apply for a visa each time you travel to India.

The OCI card also offers other benefits such as exemption from registration with local police authorities when staying in India for more than 180 days, and parity with Indian citizens in respect of economic, financial, and educational opportunities.

How Do I Apply for an OCI Card?

Applying for an OCI card is a relatively straightforward process.

To start, you’ll need to complete the online application form on the government of India’s e-visa website. You’ll need to provide your personal details, passport information, and proof of residence. You will also be required to upload a photograph and signature.

Once you’ve submitted the form and paid the fee, your application will be processed and you’ll receive an email confirmation when it has been approved. You’ll then need to make an appointment at your local Indian consulate or embassy in order to collect your OCI card. After collecting it, you will have unrestricted rights to live and work in India indefinitely.

What Documents Do I Need for the OCI Card Application?

Once you’ve made the decision to apply for an OCI card, you’ll need to prepare and gather a few documents. These are the items you should have ready: 

  1. two recent passport-size photographs of yourself, 
  2. a valid passport,
  3. proof of address (recent utility bill or bank statement), 
  4. Proof of Indian Origin (birth or marriage certificate) or PIO card if applicable, and
  5.  a copy of your completed application form. 

Note that all documents must be in English or be accompanied by a notarized translation.

Additionally, there may be other supporting documents that may be required depending on your individual circumstances. Be sure to check with the relevant embassy or consulate before submitting the application. Although the process may seem overwhelming at first, it’s actually quite simple if you have all of your paperwork in order.

OCI in Lieu of PIO Fees

When applying for an OCI in lieu of a PIO Card, you will be required to pay certain fees. In most cases, the fee for an OCI in lieu of a PIO Card is the same as the PIO Card fee. You will also be required to pay any applicable service charges or taxes that may apply. It is important to make sure that you are aware of all fees associated with your application as they may vary depending on your circumstances. Payment of these fees must be made before your application can be processed.

How Do I Register for My OCI Card?

To register for your OCI card, you’ll need to submit an application along with supporting documents and a payment fee. You can find the application form online or at the Indian embassy or consulate in your country. To complete the form, you’ll need to provide personal details and details of your Indian origin, as well as biometric information such as fingerprints and photographs.

Your application will be reviewed, and if approved, you’ll be issued an OCI card. It’s important to keep in mind that the process may take several weeks or even months to complete, so be sure to plan ahead. Once you have your OCI card, you can use it for travel to India in place of your PIO card.

What Are the Common FAQs About OCI in Lieu of PIO Card?

When it comes to OCI in lieu of PIO cards, both applicants and immigration officers often have many questions. Here are some of the common FAQs asked about OCI in lieu of a PIO card:

  1. What documents do I need to apply for an OCI in lieu of a PIO card?
  2. How long does it take to process the application after submission?
  3. Can I renew my OCI in lieu of a PIO card once it expires?
  4. Are there any restrictions on travel outside India while holding an OCI in lieu of a PIO card?
  5. Do I need to provide a new passport-size photograph each time I renew my OCI in lieu of a PIO card?

You can ensure that you are properly prepared for your application and renewal process by understanding the answers to these questions.

You may be wondering how to apply for an OCI instead of a PIO card now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about it. Here’s a checklist of the documents you’ll need and the steps you’ll need to take to apply for an OCI card.

Remember that the process may differ depending on your country of residence, so contact your nearest Indian embassy or consulate for more information. And if you have any questions, our team is happy to assist you.