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Clarifications regarding processing of applications submitted by erstwhile Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder

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As per the Ministry of Home Affairs (Government of India) Notification No 26011/01/2014-IC.I dated 09.01.2015 all PIO cardholder with valid PIO cards as on 9.01.2015 are deemed to be OCI cardholders. Hence the PIO card, which is a deemed OCI card continues to be legally valid as per law.

ii.            Machine-readable electronic travel document is mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines. It is not a precondition prescribed by MHA/BoI (Government of India) for entry into India.

iii.           All PIO cardholders with valid PIO cards as on 9.01.2015 are advised to apply for conversion of their PIO card to OCI card.

iv.          As far as Bureau of Immigration (BOI), India is concerned, it will accept PIO cards as valid document till March 31, 2019 along with valid foreign passport. If in the meantime, any deadline is notified by the ICAO, thereby making hand written PIO cards invalid, then PIO cardholders may have to obtain appropriate visa from our Missions, if they have not converted their PIO card to OCI card. However, the Indian immigration check posts will continue to consider all PIO cards valid for exit / entry into India till 31st March 2019. Situation would be reviewed in March 2019 and appropriate instruction will be issued later on.

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