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Person of Indian Origin Card (PIO Card) Scheme

Person of Indian Origin Card Scheme

The Government has announced a Person of Indian Origin Card Scheme (PIO Card scheme). The scheme entitles a person of Indian origin to benefits concerning visas for visits to India; economic, financial and educational facilities and some other benefits.

The PIO card is available to any person :

a. who at any time held an Indian Passport; or

b. 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

c. who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin as mentioned above.

Thus the scheme covers upto four generations of an Indian citizen, against three generations under Foreign exchange law.

It may be noted however that where foreign exchange law governs a transaction (e.g. buying an immovable property in India by a PIO), an amendment in FEMA law is required to align it with PIO card scheme. Till such time, for transactions governed by FEMA, the benefits can be available upto three generations.

A detailed FAQ is available on the Ministry of Home Affairs website at http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/ForeigD-FAQs-PIO-Crd.pdf