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What is a PIO card & how to apply it online?

March 7, 2013

PIO stands for Person of Indian Origin. If you are a person of Indian origin, you might want to look into obtaining a PIO card. A PIO card allows a person to have visa free entry into India for up to 15 years. It also allows a person to stay in India past 6 months with no problems. A common type that would want a PIO card would be a foreign spouse of an Indian National or a person who used to hold an Indian passport, but does not anymore.

What Documents do you need to apply for a PIO card?

-You will need to fill up the application completely.

-You will need to provide three passport size photos front facing with a white background.

-You will need copies of your passport or PAN card for Identity Proof (to obtain a PAN card, visit:

-If you are married, you will need a photocopy of your marriage certificate and your spouse’s passport.

-You will need a copy of your Naturalization Certificate and Renunciation form if you are a former Indian Citizen.

What are the Benefits of a PIO card holder?

A PIO card will stay valid once obtained for 15 years. A PIO is permitted to stay in India at long as he/she wishes during this period. There is a requirement to register with the FRRO office past a six month stay, but the process is much easier. A PIO card holder is eligible to invest in India and attend college in India.

What are the Cons of having a PIO card?

A PIO card holder is treated as an Indian citizen, but they are not allowed an inner line permit. A PIO card holder is not permitted to vote in India.

There are many offices in India that your PIO card filing can be done. The main offices are located in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Amritsar, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. You can also visit any MHA office and learn more about it. A PIO card will not be given to anyone who is a citizen of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

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