India- OCI cards and PIO cards to merge
The Indian Government has recently announced that they will merge the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards into a single facility in the near future. At present, OCI and PIO cards are separate, giving different rights and visa durations to their holders.
- An OCI card has the following benefits:-
- An OCI is a multi-purpose and multiple-entry visa;
- It is a life-time visa- there is no requirement to apply for a visa again;
- It provides for exemption from registration with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) authorities/local police in India;
- It provides parity with Non- Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and education fields;
OCI card holders can buy residential and/or commercial properties in India except agricultural land.
As it stands now, a PIO card is only valid for 15 years and card holders have to register with the FRRO/ local police their stay exceeds 180 days in India on any single visit. On the other hand, OCI card holder is granted a life time visa and there is no requirement for registration with the authorities.
Once the Indian Government confirms the above, we shall publish the news here.
If you have any questions regarding the above or need to understand how these changes will affect you, please send an email to one of our London immigration lawyers or at email@example.com.