Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card
FAQs – PIO Card
1. Who is a PIO?
A person who was an Indian national or whose any ancestor (upto four generations) was an Indian national and who is presently holding a foreign passport.
2. Who is eligible for a PIO Card?
Any person who at any time held an Indian Passport; or
Any person or either of his / her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in or was permanently resident in India as defined in Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; or
Any person who is a spouse of an Indian passport holder or a person of Indian origin as mentioned above.
3. Which nationals are eligible?
PIOs of all countries except Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
4. Does he / she require a visa for visiting India?
An adult PIO Card holder can visit India on a valid passport without visa for 15 years from the date of issue of the PIO Card. If a PIO Card holder subsequently renews his / her passport, the number of the new passport would be endorsed on the PIO Card. For a minor (upto the age of 18 years) a PIO Card is issued for a duration of 5 years at a time.
5. What activities can be undertaken in India?
All activities except mountaineering, missionary and research work and existing Protected Area Permit / Restricted Area Permit which require specific permit.
6. What benefits is one entitled to?
He / She shall not require a separate visa to visit India.
He / She will be exempt from the requirements of registration if his / her stay on any single visit in India does not exceed 180 days.
In the event of continuous stay in India exceeding 180 days, he / she shall have to get himself / herself registered within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days with the concerned FRRO / FRO.
He / She shall have parity with Non Resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to the latter in the economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural / plantation properties. No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.
He / She can apply for and acquire Indian citizenship subject to conditions for grant of Indian citizenship being fulfilled.
7. Is he / she required to register with local police authorities in India?
Yes, one time when the stay in India exceeds 180 days for the first time.
8. Is prior appointment required for submission of PIO application?
No. PIO application can be submitted on any working day of the Embassy of India, Brussels between 0930 hours and 1130 hours.
9. What documents have to be submitted with a PIO application?
(1) Duly completed PIO form, in duplicate (click here for the form)
(2) Proof of present citizenship (Copy of passport and Copy of resident card of Belgium / Luxembourg)
(3) Evidence of self or parents/grandparents/great grandparents being an Indian national. (Copy of passport or Copy of the domicile certificate issued by the competent authority or any other proof)
(4) If the applicant was himself / herself holding an Indian passport, copy of surrender certificate from an Indian mission is to be enclosed with the application. If a surrender certificate has not been taken previously please present the Indian passport for cancellation and for acquisition of a surrender certificate (click here for form for surrender certificate) before applying for a PIO Card. In addition, if foreign nationality has been acquired on or after 1st June, 2010, a declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship is required to be submitted (click here for form for declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship) before applying for a PIO Card. If the applicant who was previously holding an Indian passport has not taken a surrender certificate from any Indian mission in the past and is unable to present the last held Indian passport due to any reason (lost or misplaced or surrendered to an Indian mission without getting a surrender certificate etc. ), he / she is required to submit an affidavit in the prescribed proforma (available at the Counter of Embassy of India, Brussels) before applying for a PIO Card. Similarly, if an applicant never possessed an Indian passport, he / she is required to submit an affidavit in the prescribed proforma (available at the Counter of Embassy of India, Brussels).
[Erstwhile Indian nationals, who have not collected a surrender certificate from any Indian Embassy in the past may do so on payment of € 25 + € 3 ICWF surcharge, if foreign nationality was acquired prior to 1st June, 2010. If foreign nationality was acquired on or after 1st June, 2010, surrender certificate and declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship may be taken on payment of € 183 + €3 ICWFsurcharge, (see under “Certificates issued on the basis of a valid passport”) Affidavits mentioned above are to be submitted on payment of € 12 + € 3 ICWF surcharge]
(5) If the applicant was himself / herself not holding an Indian passport, evidence of direct link to the ancestor who was a person of Indian origin (Copies of passports, birth certificates etc.)
(6) The spouse of an Indian national should submit proof of Marriage (Copy of Marriage Certificate / Registration) and proof of endorsement of spouse’s name in the Indian national’s passport (Copy of Indian passport, including endorsements, if any, done by Indian Passport Issuing Authorities) The spouse of an Indian origin person should submit proof of Marriage (Copy of Marriage Certificate / Registration) and copy of PIO Card / OCI Card of the Indian origin person.
10. What is the fee for application for PIO?
Fee for a PIO Card is € 312 + € 3 ICWF surcharge, for adults and € 156 + € 3 ICWF surcharge, for minors (less than 18 years). Fee is payable in Cash only.
11. What is the fee for endorsing a new passport number on a PIO Card?
There is no fee for this service. On presentation of the old and new passports alongwith the PIO Card, service is rendered on the same day at the counter of the embassy.
12. What are the consequences of furnishing wrong information or suppressing material information?
Application forms should be filled in fully, legibly (IN BLOCK LETTERS) and accurately. Applications received with incomplete details would remain unprocessed causing unnecessary delays. It is an offense to give false information in the application. PIO card facilities can be denied / withdrawn on grounds of misuse, suppression of factual information, misrepresentation of the facts, submission of false particulars and for making unauthorized changes in the PIO cards.
Checklist for PIO Card
(1) Copy of Surrender of Indian passport Certificate / Renunciation Declaration / Affidavit
(see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – PIO Card)
(2) Duly filled in PIO form, in duplicate (see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – PIO Card). All columns to be typed or handwritten legibly, preferably in capital letters.
(3) Signatures / thumb impression (for non school going applicants) on the last page of the PIO form as also on a plain paper.
(4) Where applicable, evidence of direct link to the person of Indian origin (copies of passports / birth certificates / PIO Cards or OCI Cards). For an adopted Indian, copy of the Indian passport / evidence of adoption may be furnished. For a minor (below 18 years), copy of birth certificate and copies of passports of parents are mandatory.
(see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – PIO Card).
(5) For the spouse of an Indian national, copy of marriage certificate / registration and copies of the Indian national’s passport showing endorsement of spouse’s name.
For the spouse of an Indian origin person, copy of marriage certificate / registration and copy of PIO Card / OCI Card of the Indian origin person
.(see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – PIO Card).
(6) Copy of current passport. In addition, if the applicant is a minor (below 18 years), copies of passports of parents of the minor.
(7) Copy of Resident Card of Belgium / Luxembourg
(8) Prescribed fee for a PIO Card (€ 312 + € 3 ICWF surcharge or € 156 + € 3 ICWF surcharge – see Sl. No. 10 of FAQs – PIO Card)
(9) Prescribed fee for Surrender Certificate (€ 25 + € 3 surcharge) / Renunciation Declaration (€ 183 + € 3 ICWF surcharge) / Affidavit (€ 12 + € 3 ICWF surcharge) (see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – PIO Card). The fee is not to be paid in case the applicant is already in possession of a Surrender Certificate / Renunciation Declaration / Affidavit).
Processing time for issuance of a PIO Card
Ordinarily it takes 5 to 10 working days for issuing a PIO Card.This schedule does not apply to cases which require reference to India.