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Frequently Asked Questions


The Government of India has revised the PIO Card, Scheme, which was launched in 1999, aimed at making the journey back to your roots, simpler, easier, flexible and absolutely hassle free. The PIO card will entitle you a set of privileges.

Who is Eligible?

Any person:

  1. who at any time held an Indian Passport; or
  2. he/she or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in an permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any country as may be specified by Central Government from time to time; or
  3. who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin as mentioned above.

The scheme is broad-based, covers up to four generations and also the foreign spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO

What Benefits accrue to a PIO card Holder

*No visa required for visiting India.

*No separate “Student Visa” or “Employment Visa” required for admissions in Colleges/ Institutions or for taking up employment respectively.

* A PIO Card holder will be exempt from the requirement of registration if his stay on any single visit in India does not exceed 180 days.

• In the event of continuous stay in India of the PIO Card holder exceeding 180 days, he/she shall have to get himself/ herself registered within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer / Foreigners Registration Officer

• Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial and educational field .

• All PIOs including PIO Card holders shall enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of all facilities in the matter of acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except in maters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties. No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.

• Facilities available to children of NRIs for getting admission to educational institutions in India including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Institute of Technology, Institute of Management, etc. under the generalcategories.

• Facilities available under the various housing scheme of LIC, State Government and other Government Agencies.

• Special counters at the immigration check posts for speedy clearance.

How to apply?

An application for issue/renewal of a PIO Card shall be made in the prescribed form and shall be accompanied by documentary evidence to show that the applicant is a person of Indian origin as defined .Prescribed application from can be obtained from the office of Indian Embassies abroad, Foreign Regional Registration Officer , Delhi/Mumbai/Kolkata/Chennai/ Amritsar and also from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi-110 003.

Where to apply for the PIO card

  1. An application for issue of a PIO Card shall be made to an Indian Mission in the country where the applicant is ordinarily resident.
  2. Applications already in India on Long Term Visa (more than one year) shall make the application for issue of a PIO Card to the following authorities:-

(A) Those residing in :-

  1. Delhi: - Foreigners Regional Registration Officer ,Level –II, East Block VIII, R.K. Puram Sector – I, New Delhi.
  2. Mumbai: - Foreigners Regional Registration Officer , Annexe – II, Commissioner of Police, Craw Ford Market, Mumbai – 400001.
  3. Kolkata: - Foreigners Regional Registration Officer , 237, Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road, Kolkata – 700020.
  4. Amritsar: - Additional Deputy Director, Bureau of Immigration, B/123 Ranjeet Avenue, Amritsar.
  5. Chennai: - Chief Immigration Officer , Bureau of Immigration, Shastri Bhavan Annexe, No. 26, Haddows Road, Chennai – 600006.

(Those residing in areas other than (A) above :-

Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road, New Delhi – 110011.

What is the validity of the PIO card?

A PIO Card shall be valid for a period of fifteen years from the date of issue subject to the validity of the passport of the applicant.

What is the fee payable for obtaining the PIO card

The fee for a PIO Card would be Rs. 15000/-(or its equivalent in local foreign currency of the country concerned),payable alongwith the application. PIO Card to children upto the age of 18 years will be issued at a fee of Rs. 7,500/-(or its equivalent in local foreign currency of the country concerned) for a fifteen year card.

Mode of payment of fee

The prescribed fee shall be paid by way of a Demand Drafit in favour of the Indian Mission Concerned / FRRO, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Amritsar and CHIO, Chennai, where the application for issue of PIO-Card is required to be submitted. Applications required to be submitted to Joint Secretary, (foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26, Man Singh Road, New Delhi - 110011, shall be accompanied with a Bank Drafit of the required amount drawn in favour of FRRO, Delhi.

What will be the status of PIO cards issued earlier as per PIO card Scheme (1999)

PIO Cards issued earlier for US $ 1000 will continue to remain valid and no refund shall be admissible.. However, the validity of such cards shall be extendable by 10 more years without charging any fee.

Who are eligible for issue of gratis PIO card

Gratis PIO Card may be issued to an exceptionally eminent person of Indian Origin who plays an important role in building bridges between India and the country of his/her adoption, if he/she expresses a desire to obtain the PIO Card.

Acquisition of Duplicate PIO Card in case of loss etc:

On a request supported by FIR and other documents, a duplicate PIO card shall be issued on depositing a fee of US $ 100. Duplicate PIO cards will be issued by the same office that issued the original one.