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Old 16th July 2015, 00:17   #16
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

RESOLVED:

There's an e-mail address listed under "contact us" on the https://passport.gov.in/oci/ (shettybn[at]nic.in)

No real person is going to answer your questions (obviously), but at least have to credit someone for realizing how confusing the whole thing is, and aspiring to write out answers to all the questions that would logically arise, via the standard "form letter" received in reply.

Why exactly all these clarifications weren't included in the instructions / FAQ's in the first place is bewildering; I'm guessing that "they" just want to make people suffer a little before bestowing any benefit as significant as an OCI...

Many Thanks,
Eric
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Old 11th August 2015, 19:17   #17
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Arrow Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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Originally Posted by asinghal View Post
Separate question about merger of OCI/PIO- any details available anywhere? My daughter was not eligible for OCI earlier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Now Canada consulate is saying that actual conversion of PIO to OCI will be mandatory.

That's Canada, USA, and, rumoured although I can not see it on their site, UK too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
So I have to apply for OCI now.
This is probably not valid for you guys but since I've been checking up on this PIO / OCI / Renunciation business lately, the Indian Consulates in the US are doing a free conversion from PIO to OCI till Sep 30, 2015.

After the set date, they might extend the free conversion, or begin charging some fee for conversion, or make you re-apply, or something else.
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Old 11th August 2015, 22:49   #18
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

I had chatty officials (yes, two!) on my way out of Chennai on July 1st. They assured me that I didn't need to do anything at all with my PIO card, ever.

But I still quite fancy a shiny new OCI, so will probably convert.
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Old 28th August 2015, 02:14   #19
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I had chatty officials (yes, two!) on my way out of Chennai on July 1st. They assured me that I didn't need to do anything at all with my PIO card, ever.

But I still quite fancy a shiny new OCI, so will probably convert.
Somewhere in the documentation online, I found a date sometime in (mid?) 2016 that was supposed to be the cutoff for OCI conversion.

One thing to keep in mind, if it applies at all in your case, is that the OCI is not really "lifetime", in the sense that you've got to re-apply once you turn 50. In retrospect I wish I'd gone for my PIO when I became eligible a few years ago - a lot less formalities (police checking, etc, etc) and in the event they do NOT finally enforce a deadline, I could've at least had a solid 15 years validity out of it, and changed over to the OCI (for free?) sometime after 50. As it stands now, it's going to cost me double, and be double (or more) the trouble.

Latest in my case is that, having had the Delhi FRRO return all docs/DD/etc a few weeks back with note specifying that everything now had to be done online - yet still not finding certain crucial items - like PAYMENT - available online - I and another person applying here locally were then told to wait 6-10 days till the online system would be fuctional. That was two weeks ago. Now yesterday I get an e-mail telling me that the online system is not functional and that I should send my application / payment to the FRRO.

This has all been very entertaining, of course.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 28th August 2015 at 02:17.
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Old 28th August 2015, 11:35   #20
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
*SNIP*

One thing to keep in mind, if it applies at all in your case, is that the OCI is not really "lifetime", in the sense that you've got to re-apply once you turn 50. *SNIP*
I have had conflicting reports on this. Some say that it needs to be renewed at 50, some say it's lifetime with no need for renewal. I have not seen any official information (say on consulate websites or govt. of India websites) that mention the need for renewal. I also spoke personally with a very senior, very respected, very credible official from the Indian Foreign Service who professed complete ignorance of the need for renewal at 50.

Therefore, my wife and I have not done anything about renewing our OCI when we turned 50.

Cheers
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Old 28th August 2015, 19:58   #21
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Arrow Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
a free conversion from PIO to OCI till Sep 30, 2015.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
But I still quite fancy a shiny new OCI, so will probably convert.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Somewhere in the documentation online, I found a date sometime in (mid?) 2016 that was supposed to be the cutoff for OCI conversion.
This date has now been extended to 31 March 2016.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
Some say that it needs to be renewed at 50, some say it's lifetime with no need for renewal.
These are the requirements as per the USA based Indian Embassy.
  • For minors & up to 20 years old - re-issue OCI every time the US passport is renewed.
  • For 50 years & older - re-issue OCI once, unless you were already 50 years old when you applied for OCI the first time.
  • For 21 to 49 years old - not required to re-issue OCI but you can if you want to.
Indian Embassies located in other countries (Canada, UK, UAE, etc.) have their fancy own rules.
tilt, since you are in Canada, this re-issue at 50 years of age probably does not apply to you.




Also, check this:
Vide circular No. 26011/06/2015-OCI dated 29th January, 2015 of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, all immigration authorities in India will not insist on production of the foreign passport containing the 'U' Visa Sticker in the case of OCI Cardholders while they enter / exit India and the immigration clearance will be granted based on production of the 'OCI CARD ONLY'.

Last edited by aah78 : 28th August 2015 at 19:59.
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Old 19th September 2015, 09:33   #22
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

The whole system/process seems currently in a mess. 2-1/2 weeks ago spoke with an officer in the OCI cell, Delhi FRRO who said the only dysfunctional online element was the payment, so that I should send the application copy and D.D. only to their office, as my supporting documents were already uploaded online.

Sent it off (this was the second time now) by Speedpost. Speedpost messed up and it got mis-directed somewhere in Delhi so was four days later than it should've been. Anyway, yesterday I AGAIN have the application returned to me, with a note: "not in our jurisdiction" (??????)

Call the officer again. He checks online and verifies that my documents are all there, verifies that I'm from H.P. and that I've sent it to the right address, says he can't find any issues with my application, and finally asks ME why it's being returned (by them!). "I wish I knew" I answer him, "this is difficult".

So he says I should re-send it (again). This will be the third time now. Makes one wonder how many other steps in the process have the potential to get screwed up, when they can't even get to the point of officially receiving it.

One little thing is that the address shown online is not exactly the same as the stamped return address on the application I received back from them.

-Eric
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Old 19th September 2015, 20:33   #23
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Job number one: getting a new UK passport.

Dependencies: getting a haircut and then new passport photos.

Problem: Every time I think, "Oh, I'll get a haircut today..." it turns out to be a Tuesday

So I'm a little way away from the planned PIO/OCI conversion yet. By the way, I know I don't need to get the new passport first, but its got to be renewed before January anyway.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 16:29   #24
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Dear All,

1. My two kids are both minors below 10 years, and both hold US passports (renewed recently) and PIO cards (valid for 15 years)
Should I go for the PIO to OCI conversion at FRRO Bangalore before Mar 2016, or will the 15 year valid PIO cards work?

2. Is the PIO card scheduled to be phased out or unrecognized in the future?

3. Any other attestations, U visa etc. to be required for them to ensure trouble free travel between US and India?

thanks
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Old 23rd September 2015, 17:39   #25
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

I second kishgator's queries. Can someone please reply as I am terribly confused?

My son is 14 years old, a US citizen with a PIO card.

What is the compelling reason to convert to OCI card now? From all I could read, the OCI card is not all that helpful especially for minors.

AFAIK, my minor son is ineligible for OCI because both his parents are Indians, or has that requirement also been done away with?
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Old 23rd September 2015, 18:12   #26
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Arrow Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by kishgator View Post
Should I go for the PIO to OCI conversion at FRRO Bangalore before Mar 2016, or will the 15 year valid PIO cards work?

2. Is the PIO card scheduled to be phased out or unrecognized in the future?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
My son is 14 years old, a US citizen with a PIO card.

What is the compelling reason to convert to OCI card now? From all I could read, the OCI card is not all that helpful especially for minors.
No new PIO cards are being issued, only applications for new OCI are being accepted.

For existing PIO holders, some Indian consulates are issuing a permanent PIO Lifetime Endorsement, while others are accepting only OCI in lieu of PIO conversions.

So as far as I infer, the PIO program has been phased out but existing PIO cards are valid, for now.

They might extend the 31st March 2016 deadline for conversion of PIO to OCI (or OCI in lieu of PIO as they prefer to call it).
If they do, well & good. If they don't, I think they'll just being charging more for the conversion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kishgator
3. Any other attestations, U visa etc. to be required for them to ensure trouble free travel between US and India?
Is this what you're talking about -> U visa?
Probably (& hopefully) doesn't apply to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nowwhat
AFAIK, my minor son is ineligible for OCI because both his parents are Indians, or has that requirement also been done away with?
Are your wife & you Indian citizens & your son a US Citizen?
Then why is he ineligible for an OCI?
If he currently holds a PIO, then you can convert it to an OCI.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 19:19   #27
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
Are your wife & you Indian citizens & your son a US Citizen?
Then why is he ineligible for an OCI?
If he currently holds a PIO, then you can convert it to an OCI.
Thanks for all the info.

Well, the rule when I took the PIO card for my son was that one of the parents has to be non-Indian. That seems to have gone now, but some sites still mention it.

OCI in the case of minors seems to be linked to their 5 year passport, which is a pain unlike the 15-year old PIO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kishgator View Post
1. My two kids are both minors below 10 years, and both hold US passports (renewed recently) and PIO cards (valid for 15 years)
Should I go for the PIO to OCI conversion at FRRO Bangalore before Mar 2016, or will the 15 year valid PIO cards work?
If you end up going to the FRRO, please post your experience here as I would also like to know. My son's passport expires in March next year, so I would probably look into this after getting the new passport.

I found this regarding U Visa:

Quote:
Vide circular No. 26011/06/2015-OCI dated 29th January, 2015 of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, all immigration authorities in India will not insist on production of the foreign passport containing the 'U' Visa Sticker in the case of OCI Cardholders while they enter/exit India and the immigration clearance will be granted based on production of the 'OCI CARD ONLY'.

Last edited by nowwhat? : 23rd September 2015 at 19:27.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 23:56   #28
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
No new PIO cards are being issued, only applications for new OCI are being accepted.

For existing PIO holders, some Indian consulates are issuing a permanent PIO Lifetime Endorsement, while others are accepting only OCI in lieu of PIO conversions.
some overseas missions, visa outsourcing agents, etc, continue to be confused.

Quote:
So as far as I infer, the PIO program has been phased out but existing PIO cards are valid, for now.
The PIO scheme/status no longer exists. PIO cards are "deemed" to be OCI cards, and PIOs are "deemed" to be OCIs.

Existing PIO cards are valid for life. (for now )
Quote:
They might extend the 31st March 2016 deadline for conversion of PIO to OCI (or OCI in lieu of PIO as they prefer to call it).
If they do, well & good. If they don't, I think they'll just being charging more for the conversion.
The deadline seems to be somewhat mythical. If it exists, I wonder if it is only the deadline for doing the optional conversion for free?
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Old 23rd February 2016, 10:41   #29
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/society...h-31-1.1674899

Looks like now we can apply to upgrade PIO to OCI online.

http://www.passport.gov.in/oci/welcome
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Old 1st March 2016, 16:22   #30
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
The whole system/process seems currently in a mess. 2-1/2 weeks ago spoke with an officer in the OCI cell, Delhi FRRO who said the only dysfunctional online element was the payment, so that I should send the application copy and D.D. only to their office, as my supporting documents were already uploaded online.

Sent it off (this was the second time now) by Speedpost. Speedpost messed up and it got mis-directed somewhere in Delhi so was four days later than it should've been. Anyway, yesterday I AGAIN have the application returned to me, with a note: "not in our jurisdiction" (??????)

Call the officer again. He checks online and verifies that my documents are all there, verifies that I'm from H.P. and that I've sent it to the right address, says he can't find any issues with my application, and finally asks ME why it's being returned (by them!). "I wish I knew" I answer him, "this is difficult".

So he says I should re-send it (again). This will be the third time now. Makes one wonder how many other steps in the process have the potential to get screwed up, when they can't even get to the point of officially receiving it.

One little thing is that the address shown online is not exactly the same as the stamped return address on the application I received back from them.

-Eric
Should've updated this earlier, but anyway, in conclusion it finally did all work out, think I had it in my hands by November/early December. Yes, integration with the new online system was in shambles, and yes, there seemed to be big internal office problems re: communication/information, BUT after sending it four or more times and finally getting it officially received, the process moved like clockwork, quick and painless; Nobody even came around for Police Verification (think now it's just up to the various agencies to "post their comments" online in their internal system re: a given file if they have any objections), and I was in and out of the Delhi office within maybe a half-hour once it had been printed / delivered there.

The officer down there (probably not appropriate to name him directly, but one of the top guys in the OCI cell of the FRRO) is one of the best I've had the pleasure of dealing with. Somehow I got his personal cell number, which he was willing to pick up (when I called by mistake) even on off hours / Saturdays, and knowing that things weren't exactly going smoothly as far as the system was concerned, he put some extra effort into making sure things ultimately got done. I felt like writing a letter to the MHA praising him, but things being as they are, it might prove counterproductive for him...!

Anyway, very grateful for the relative freedom this status provides, particularly in terms of employment/business, etc, for those of foreign origin living happily on Indian soil.

-Eric
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