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PIO and PIO Card Benefits

PIO and PIO Card Holders jpg                                                                          

    

 

According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, India has the second largest diasporas in the world after overseas Chinese. The overseas Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world.

Who is a PIO ?

  1. Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is a citizen of India who holds an Indian passport and has temporarily emigrated to another country for six months or more for employment, residence, education or any other purpose.
  2. Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is a person of Indian origin or ancestry who was or whose ancestors were born in India or nations with Indian ancestry but is not a citizen of India and is the citizen of another country. A PIO might have been a citizen of India and subsequently taken the citizenship of another country.

Other terms with vaguely the same meaning are Overseas Indian and Expatriate Indian. In common usage, this often includes Indian-born individuals (and also people of other nations with Indian ancestry) who have taken the citizenship of other countries.

According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, India has the second largest diasporas in the world after overseas Chinese. The overseas Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world.

Strictly speaking, the term non-resident refers only to the tax status of a person who, as per section 6 of the Income-tax Act of 1961, has not resided in India for a specified period for the purposes of the Income Tax Act. The rates of income tax are different for persons who are "resident in India" and for NRIs.

Who is a PIO?

”Persons of Indian Origin” means a foreign citizen (not being a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries as may be specified by the Central Government from time to time) if,

        a.       He/she 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 and permanently resident in India as   defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India. However, this will exclude any person who himself/herself or either of his/her parents or grand-parents or great grand-parents were at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Iran, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

        c.       He/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (i) or (ii) above. However, if the spouse is holding passport of a SAARC country, China, Iran and Afghanistan, they are not eligible for grant of PIO.

PIO Cards exempt holders from many restrictions that apply to foreign nationals, such as visa and work permit requirements, along with certain other economic limitations.

Benefits of being a PIO Card Holder

The various benefits available for a PIO cardholders are:

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        a.       No visa required for visiting India during the period of validity of PIO Card.

        b.      Exemption from the requirement of registration if stay in India does not exceed 6 months. Should the continuous stay exceed six months, registration will be required within 30 days   of the expiry of six months with the concerned Foreigners Registration Officer.

        c.       Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial and educational fields.

        d.      All facilities in the matter of acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.

        e.      Facilities available to children of Non Resident Indians for getting admission to educational institutions in India including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Institutes of Technology, Institutes of Management etc. under the general categories.

        f.        Facilities available under the various housing schemes of LIC, State Governments and other Government agencies.

Persons with a PIO are NOT

        a.       allowed to vote

        b.      eligible for an inner line permit. They have to apply for a Protected Area Permit.

However the rules and regulations are dynamic and keep changing, hence it is advised that you consult a qualified and experienced consultant before taking decisions.

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