Differences between NRI, PIO, and OCI Cardholders

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NRIs, PIOs, and OCI cards are some of the most important documents which are needed by Indian citizens all over the world to travel back and forth to India. They allow you to stay in India for a longer duration of time, work there and run businesses. However, it’s not easy for people who don’t have a working knowledge of these cards. So here is a quick guide on what these different types of cards mean:

NRI- Non-Resident Indian

NRI is an Indian citizen who has moved out of India for at least 180 days in a year. NRI is also called overseas Indians, as they live outside India. NRI can return to India after 5 years and become a resident again. The person should be living outside India for more than 180 days during the previous 12 months before applying for an OCI card or any other document related to residence status like NREGA cards etc. This can be checked by contacting your nearest embassy/consulate and requesting them about your status with them so that you don’t have any problems when returning home. 

Why is it Important?

You might be wondering why it’s important to know the difference between NRI, PIO, and OCI. The answer is that they are all different things:

  • NRI is the most common type of Individual Investor visa. It’s also known as “Green Card-for-Investors” or “Investor Immigrant Visa.” This visa allows individuals who are already living in India and have earned at least USD 400k/year from their business to apply for permanent residency in India by investing more than USD 800k into a new project or undertaking with an Indian company. Once approved on this basis, your spouse can join you in the US under K1 visa status if he/she doesn’t already have his/her passport stamped with “Refugee” status upon arrival at LAX airport when traveling here from abroad.

Who is a Non-Resident Indian?

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is a person of Indian origin who is not a citizen of India and has migrated to a country other than India. The term non-resident Indian is often abbreviated as NRI. Holding an Indian passport, or having a parent, grandparent, great grandparent who was born in undivided India are all considered pieces of evidence that you are an NRI.

Who is a Resident Indian?

“Resident Indian” is a citizen of India who has stayed in India for 182 days or more in a financial year. Resident Indians can apply for a PAN card, voter ID, driving license, and passport.

What is NRI (Non-Resident Indian)? 

An NRI is a person of Indian origin who holds an Indian passport and lives outside India. They can buy property in India, but they cannot sell it. There are also some restrictions on how much money NRIs can invest in the country. In addition to these basic rules about investing in India as an NRI, there are some other things you should know about before considering becoming one:

  • You must have a valid passport from your native country (India). If it expires within two years of buying property in India, you will need another one issued by that same country or country where your family resides (if applicable).
  • You must have enough money saved up for at least three months worth of living expenses after moving into this new place so that no one else needs help paying rent or bills during those months until all debts are paid off completely; otherwise they will come after them again later down their road when they start selling off assets worth more than what they owe currently due to interest rates being higher than usual because interest rates fluctuate based on market conditions which sometimes go up then down depending upon various factors such as economic growth rates etcetera.”

What is a PIO (Person of Indian Origin)?

A PIO is a person who has Indian origin or parents. The term ‘PIO’ can be applied to a person who is not an NRI but has lived in India for at least 10 years. A PIO card can be issued to such people on verification of their status and if they fulfill certain criteria. 

The application for an OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card can be made by all those eligible under Section 5(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act 1955:

  1. Those born before 1st January 1950; or 
  2. Those who have lost Indian citizenship due to certain circumstances
  3. Persons who were adopted by Indian citizens
  4. Persons who are married to an Indian citizen/subject
  5. Children adopted outside India from overseas adoption agencies approved by the Ministry of External Affairs

What is OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)? 

An OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card is a document that allows you to travel to India without a visa. It’s also useful for those who want to stay in India for longer periods and work here.

To get an OCI card, you need to have lived outside India for at least six months immediately preceding the date on which your application is received by the embassy or consulate where you wish to obtain an OCI card. Your passport must also be valid beyond its expiration date (if it’s less than 10 years old). You should apply as soon as possible after arriving in your new country; however, it can take up to six months before someone will decide whether or not they will grant this status

The Differences between NRI, PIO, and OCI

  • NRI- A person of Indian origin who has migrated from India to any other country.
  • PIO- A citizen of India by birth or descent who holds an Indian passport and resides outside India.
  • OCI- Permits NRIs to petition for citizenship by descent if their parents are Indian citizens or residents.

NRI Rights

As a non-resident Indian, or NRI, you can invest in India and purchase property. You also can open bank accounts and buy immovable property in the country. The main difference between an NRI and other expats living in India is that an individual with NRIship status must be a citizen of another country who has been granted a special residence permit (SRP) by India’s Ministry Of External Affairs (MEA). An individual who is not an NRI but still has some kind of connection with their home country can become one if they purchase properties worth more than Rs 1 crore ($1 million), while there are no restrictions on how much money they can transfer back home each year.

PIO Rights

  • PIOs are allowed to visit India without a visa.
  • PIOs can buy property in India and apply for permanent residency (PR).
  • PIOs can work, but only as salaried employees with a valid passport or valid visa on arrival (VOA).
  • PR applications made by PIOs will not be treated as an “alien” application under the Citizenship Act 1952, but instead would be considered as an application made by an Indian citizen resident overseas based on his/her nationality status at the time of application for PR.

OCI Rights

OCI Card is a passport issued to Indian nationals who have acquired citizenship in another country. The OCI card allows you to travel to India without a visa for up to 180 days a year. However, it will not be valid if you are planning to stay longer than this period and must carry your passport with you at all times.

You can also avail of medical treatment in India after getting an approval letter from your embassy or high commission (for those with British passports).

Importance of NRI, PIO, and OCI

  • NRI is a person who has migrated from India. This means that the resident should have lived outside of India for more than six months during the previous 12 months.
  • PIO is a person who has at least one parent who is a citizen of India but does not have any other Indian ancestry or place of birth.
  • OCI stands for Overseas Citizenship of India, which allows non-resident Indians (NRIs) to apply for citizenship by descent if their parents are citizens or residents of India. 

Anyone not Satisfying the Above is Non-Resident Indian

The term “Non-Resident Indian” is used for people who have emigrated from India and reside outside India. NRIs are not allowed to vote in Indian elections, purchase agricultural land in India, or buy residential property there. However, they can own immovable property located outside the country as well as shares of companies that operate within its borders.

  • PIO- Person of Indian Origin
  • PIO is a person of Indian origin who holds a foreign citizenship.
  • PIO cardholders can stay in India for up to 180 days.

They are not allowed to vote or hold public office, and they cannot apply for an OCI card at the age of 18.

PIO Rights

PIOs are allowed to own property in India and open bank accounts. They can also buy shares in Indian companies, and apply for PAN cards and driving licenses. NRI/PIO/OCI has the same rights as an Indian citizen but not all of them.

OCI- Overseas Citizen of India

OCI is a lifelong visa. It can be obtained by any citizen of the world and it does not require you to apply for a PIO card. However, if you want to apply for Indian citizenship, then you need to do so under the NRI category instead of OCI.

Difference between NRIs, PIOs, and OCI Cardholders

You are an NRI if you are not a citizen of India or have never been to India. You can apply for an OCI card if you have been living in India for 2-10 years and are eligible to become a permanent resident (PR). You can apply for the PIO Card if your spouse, children, or parents are citizens of India and they meet certain other requirements such as having worked in India for at least 3 years before applying for their own OCI card.

Parities between PIOs and NRIs 

  • Both can live in India for up to 182 days.
  • Both can buy property in India.
  • Both are eligible for government jobs, but only if they have been living here for at least one year.

You may be wondering what the difference between NRI and PIO is. The names are pretty similar, but there are some key differences. An NRI is an individual who has been living outside India for more than 182 days in a year (this can include both business trips and vacations). A PIO is someone who’s been living outside India for more than 182 days in a year, but less than 10 years.