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PRESS NOTE ON PIO CARD SCHEME

The Government of India had introduced Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card Scheme way back in 2002 whereby a Foreign Citizen (other than a Citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh) who at any time held an Indian Passport OR either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in and permanently resident in India and other territories that became part of India (like Goa) OR he/she is a spouse of a Citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin, was entitled for PIO Card status.

The PIO Card issued to such persons was valid for a period of 15 years from the date of issue subject to the validity of the foreign passport of the applicant. Further, such card holder was exempted from requirement of registration with FRRO if his/her stay on any single visit to India did not exceed 180 days, and if it did, he/she had to get himself/herself registered within 30 days of expiry of 180 days with FRRO concerned.

The PIO Card holders settled abroad had been demanding from Government of India for quite long to enhance the validity of PIO Card from 15 years to Life Time so as to enable them to get multiple entry lifelong visa to India. Following the announcement made by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India in his address to the Indian American Community at Madison Square Garden, New York on 28th September, 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued Gazette Notification dated 30th September, 2014 amending the PIO Card Scheme whereby the validity of PIO Card has been enhanced from 15 years to Life Time from the date of issue provided the Card Holder has a valid Passport.

Consequently, it is notified for general information of PIO cardholders residing in Goa or elsewhere in India, so also the Goan Diaspora across the world that the PIO Card which has been issued prior to the date of the above referred Notification dated 30/09/2014 shall be deemed to be valid for lifetime of its holder subject to the condition that such person has a valid passport, and there is no need for registration with the FRRO concerned if the stay on any single visit to India exceeded 180 days.

(U.D. Kamat)
Director for NRI Affairs