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Old 1st March 2016, 16:42   #31
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Just curious... Can you now visit Indian tourist places without paying foreigners price?
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Old 1st March 2016, 18:25   #32
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Can anyone tell me what I should do in my situation? My son's passport expires in April whereas the offer for free PIO/OCI conversion expires end of March. The conversion seems to require 3 months validity for the passport. I am not sure I can get a new US passport by the end of this month considering that the US Consulate officials in Chennai only make the trip to Bangalore once a month. I am wondering whether I should give it a shot and apply for the conversion with the current passport that will expire next month.
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Old 1st March 2016, 22:18   #33
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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... the offer for free PIO/OCI conversion expires end of March.
I wouldn't take that very seriously at all if I were you. In the unlikely event of them not extending the date yet again (have they already?) the only difference is that it won't be free. Added to which, even without conversion, it is plainly stated that the PIO (now deemed OCI) card itself is valid for life.
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Old 3rd March 2016, 15:23   #34
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Just curious... Can you now visit Indian tourist places without paying foreigners price?
Oh, yes. That provision is printed right inside the OCI booklet itself, lest any power-giddied ticket-sellers manning whichever tourist point would seek to affirm otherwise. I'm eagerly looking forward to proudly availing of this prime benefit - If I were to return to the Taj Mahal about ten times, the card will have paid for itself (but really I need to find something closer to home)!

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 3rd March 2016 at 15:26.
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Old 3rd March 2016, 15:31   #35
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Oh, yes. That provision is printed right inside the OCI booklet itself, lest any power-giddied ticket-sellers manning whichever tourist point would seek to affirm otherwise.
I am very happy know that.

When I visit tourist places in other countries, I have never seen a differential rate for foreign tourists. So whenever I see those cursed boards in Indian tourist places showing different price for foreigner, I cringe with shame. So I had to know. I would love to see the faces of those ticket sellers when they see that provision in the OCI.
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Old 3rd March 2016, 17:55   #36
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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Just curious... Can you now visit Indian tourist places without paying foreigners price?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Oh, yes. That provision is printed right inside the OCI booklet itself, lest any power-giddied ticket-sellers manning whichever tourist point would seek to affirm otherwise. I'm eagerly looking forward to proudly availing of this prime benefit - If I were to return to the Taj Mahal about ten times, the card will have paid for itself (but really I need to find something closer to home)!
Oh yeah!

That'll be something to show off to foreign visitors!

I did once search out the act of parliament (try digging around the ASI web site if desperately curious about this) which establishes the differential pricing, and it does state Indian Citizenship, but if it's printed on the card, it's printed on the card.

If I remember right, the legislation could have been pre-independence, so it is another thing you can blame my four bears for!

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When I visit tourist places in other countries, I have never seen a differential rate for foreign tourists.
Sometimes, in UK, there may be special schemes for local residents, but not citizens of the whole country.
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Old 4th March 2016, 19:20   #37
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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.
I started the online application. Provided initial details, upoaded applicant & signature images. Then I got the temporary ID, using that I added more info and uploaded the PIO document. While uploading current passport, I took a longer time. May be session expired, so the current passport upload failed. So I couldn't do final submit. But I have successfully filled PART-A and PART-B Forms, just passport needs to be uploaded. But I haven't received any registration number.

I thought I could continue from where I left off later. But the temp ID is not valid anymore, neither is the PP_Number+DOB able to retrieve my record. What am I supposed to do now, start the process all over again?

What if I end up having multiple applications then?

Also, my son's PIO was issued in NYC in 2003. So I have to courier the documents to NYC?

PIO/OCI Queries-chrome-legacy-window-342016-73250-pm.bmp.jpg

Last edited by Samurai : 4th March 2016 at 19:37.
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Old 5th March 2016, 12:46   #38
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Alright, I did everything again in one go. It was lot faster now that I knew what are the documents needed. The online submission is complete and I generated the OCI registration form.

What next? Since the photo/signature/PIO/passport were submitted online, I have nothing else to submit. What do I do with the OCI registration form?

Some of the inconsistencies I noticed in the process:

The photo requirements are given at 3 different stages.

Name:  Chrome Legacy Window 352016 123103 PM.bmp.jpg
Views: 654
Size:  114.5 KB

So I was ready with the photos with above specifications before I started. But when I was about to upload, it says the applicant photo should have aspect ratio 1:1 and signature photo should have aspect ratio 1:3. Why didn't they say it earlier? Anyway, I quickly resized them and uploaded.

After the whole process was over, OCI registration form is generated. When I was looking at that form, it has more photo specifications.

PIO/OCI Queries-avpageview-352016-123506-pm.bmp.jpg

Why can't they give all specifications at one place in the beginning? Now I am not sure whether they will accept or reject the photo.

About the place of submission. His PIO was issued in NYC in 2003 when we lived there. My son left USA in 2003 and has been in India since then, mostly in Bangalore, even now. Some instructions say he has to submit the form at NYC where his PIO was issued, but the online application asked where he is currently staying and chose that as the submission place. So I did as the web application commanded, that is submission at FRRO Bangalore. That is where his records exist.

Here is something even more weird. The web says OCI status enquiry is available only for the applications which are submitted at Indian Missions. Yet, the form asks for Online registration no. ??? [I tried nevertheless, it said no record found]

PIO/OCI Queries-chrome-legacy-window-352016-124330-pm.bmp.jpg

  • Is there anything more I need to do once the online registration is complete? There is absolutely no information about that.
  • How long should I wait before checking with the FRRO? No information about that too.

Last edited by Samurai : 5th March 2016 at 12:52.
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Old 5th March 2016, 13:10   #39
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The photo requirements are given at 3 different stages.
I was planning to take a photo with a light background using my mobile's high resolution camera. Did you get yours done at a photo studio or should the former suffice? Does one actually need to print out the photographs? I thought only an online application was required.

By the way, thanks for posting the photo requirements. It will help those like me who have not yet started the application.

As you mention, the photo requirements on their website are so typically sarkari.

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I wouldn't take that very seriously at all if I were you. In the unlikely event of them not extending the date yet again (have they already?) the only difference is that it won't be free. Added to which, even without conversion, it is plainly stated that the PIO (now deemed OCI) card itself is valid for life.
Apparently they already extended the date. Don't know when the previous deadline was.

According to their FAQ, the PIO Card would be defunct (When? I have no clue). So I am planning to bite the bullet and try the online process. I already paid a tidy amount to get the PIO card as they did not have an FRRO in Bangalore when we settled here.

The US Consulate in Chennai no longer does its Bangalore Outreach, so now I have to go to Chennai to get a passport renewal.
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Old 5th March 2016, 17:46   #40
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Apparently they already extended the date. Don't know when the previous deadline was.
Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse....

I suspect that the actual "upgrade" is not proving very popular. The deadline may go on being extended for ever!
Quote:
According to their FAQ, the PIO Card would be defunct (When? I have no clue).
Whilst according to other official sources, it remains valid for life.

Quote:
So I am planning to bite the bullet and try the online process. ...
Me too
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Old 6th March 2016, 14:15   #41
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

The PIO-OCI conversion application turned out to be an anti-climax. I finally reached a screen which asked to upload documents, I uploaded a copy of the PIO Card and Passport and the only button there was to Exit. Clicking Exit asked if I was sure, and gave me a page which asked to submit and that was it.

No acknowledgement whether they received the application and when I can expect to hear back from them. The PDF of the application which got spit out on clicking Submit has some reference to submitting a hard-copy of the application at the FRRO, but I thought this entire process was online.

One can't even check the status of the application as that only works for applications submitted to Indian missions abroad. However it seems my application is there as I was able to access part of it by going to the Upload/Re-Upload photograph page.

By the way, be aware that you need supporting documents (in my case, PIO Card and Passport) in separate PDFs (Only PDF) and size has to be less than 500KB.
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Old 6th March 2016, 14:27   #42
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I am very happy know that.

When I visit tourist places in other countries, I have never seen a differential rate for foreign tourists. So whenever I see those cursed boards in Indian tourist places showing different price for foreigner, I cringe with shame. So I had to know. I would love to see the faces of those ticket sellers when they see that provision in the OCI.
Another country which does this is Thailand for some tourist attractions. And then there are some countries, which like to rob everyone equally.
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Old 17th March 2016, 22:47   #43
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...No acknowledgement whether they received the application and when I can expect to hear back from them. The PDF of the application which got spit out on clicking Submit has some reference to submitting a hard-copy of the application at the FRRO, but I thought this entire process was online.

One can't even check the status of the application as that only works for applications submitted to Indian missions abroad. However it seems my application is there as I was able to access part of it by going to the Upload/Re-Upload photograph page.

By the way, be aware that you need supporting documents (in my case, PIO Card and Passport) in separate PDFs (Only PDF) and size has to be less than 500KB.
Ahhh, negotiating the murky waters of bureaucratic process... when I did it, they wanted PDF's for things my scanner could only spit out JPEG's of... and then they wanted a very tiny file size (30kb) JPEG for my photo, which upon downsizing to that level exhibited terrible quality not meeting specified standards... in both cases I needed to download special software to do the converting, etc.

I, too, remember coming to that "Exit" screen and thinking it indeed a little anti-climatic; in my (fresh OCI) case, especially so since fees were still due, and nary an indication of how these were to be paid. There were parts of the official system that were dysfunctional then, that by now may be working.

If it's any consolation, the online process for U.S. visa applications, as recently suffered for the sake of my immediate family, is perhaps even more murky / irksome / inscrutable. Same "exit" type scenario with no further instructions; I had to Google it to find the (subcontracted?) payment portal (which was unclear itself in more ways than one).

I'm left wondering whether "they" (?) do all this intentionally or not, and why...

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 17th March 2016 at 22:50.
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Old 20th March 2016, 20:23   #44
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

Has anyone heard back on their PIO-OCI conversion? Approximately how much time did it take after submitting the online application?
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Old 28th March 2016, 14:09   #45
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Default Re: PIO/OCI Queries

"The last date for submission of application for conversion of PIO cards to OCI cards has been extended till 30th June 2016."

Sushma Swaraj's tweet

I assume this is for the free conversion as one can convert at any other time by paying a fee.
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