“Until December 31, 2024, Indian Immigration Check Post(s) will consider all valid PIO cards for exit or entry into India. This extension of time is subject to the condition that if the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announces a deadline, rendering handwritten PIO cards invalid, PIO cardholders may be required to obtain an appropriate visa from Indian Missions or Posts,” the Consulate General of India said in a statement.
To avoid potential complications, all PIO cardholders, whether they have handwritten or machine-readable cards, are advised to convert their PIO cards to OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards by the extended deadline of December 31, 2024. This measure will ensure a smooth transition and compliance with the updated regulations, according to the statement.
Who is eligible for the PIO to OCI card conversion?
The Central Government’s eligibility criteria for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Registration are intended to cover a wide range of scenarios, allowing individuals with specific connections to India to apply for OCI status.
Here’s a breakdown of the eligibility requirements:
· Persons with full age and capacity:
· Individuals who are citizens of another country but were citizens of India at the time of or after the Constitution’s inception.
· Individuals who were citizens of another country but were eligible to become Indian citizens when the Constitution went into effect.
· Individuals who are citizens of another country but hailed from a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947.
· Includes territories that joined India after August 15, 1947, such as Sikkim, Pondicherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman, and Diu.
Minor children of individuals who meet the above criteria are excluded.
Individuals who are or have been citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, or any other country specified by the Central Government via an official notification in the Gazette are ineligible for OCI registration.