Details of the PIO Card scheme
In a significant step towards granting dual citizenship to overseas Indians, the Government approved the PIO (Person of Indian origin) card scheme to permit all such individuals with visa-free entry into the country.The Scheme is supposed to be an answer for the aspirations of the Indians residing abroad, who want to be closer to their original country and to strengthen their bonds with their roots and who desire to participate in the development of their mother country. The scheme entitles PIO Card holders some special economic, educational, financial and cultural benefits. With this scheme 15 million people of Indian origin living abroad will benefit from the Card.
Persons of Indian Origin upto the fourth generation (great grand parents) settled throughout the world, except for a few specified countries, would be eligible. The Card would be issued to eligible applicants through the concerned Indian Embassies/High Commissions/Consulates and for those staying in India on a long term visa, the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai) would do the same. The following are the details of the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Card.
1. The card would be issued to the eligible applicants through the concerned Indian Embassies/High Commissions/Consulates.
2. The fee for the card,which will have a validity of 15 years, would be Rs 15,000 and for the minor the fee is Rs 7500
3. Besides making their journey back to their roots simpler,easier and smoother, this Scheme entitles the PIOs to a wide range of economic, financial, educational and cultural benefits. The benefits envisaged under the Scheme include:-
i) No requirement of visa to visit India:
ii) No requirement to register with the Foreigners Registration Officer if continuous stay does not exceed 180 days. If continuous stay exceeds 180 days,then registration is required to be done within a period of 30 days of the expiry of 180 days;
iii) Parity with Non-Resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial, educational fields etc. These facilities will include:
(a) Acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except of agricultural/plantation properties
(b) Admission of children in educational institutions in India under the general category quota for NRIs- including medical/engineering colleges, IITs, IIMs etc.
(c) Various housing schemes of Life Insurance Corporation of India, State Governments and other Government agencies;
(iv) All future benefits that would be extended to NRIs would also be available to the PIO Card holders;
(v) However, they shall not enjoy political rights in India .
The above steps would go a long way in renewing and strengthening the emotional bond amongst PIOs with the land of their origin. The attractive features of the Scheme will further exhort them to play an increasingly constructive role in the socio-economic and cultural development of the country of their origin.