Person of Indian Origin card (PIO Card) (2022)

PIO is a person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/ nationality i.e. he/she is holding foreign passport.

Eligibility for getting the PIO Card

Every person of Indian origin who is a citizen of another country, NOT being a citizen of any country that may be specified by the Government of India from time to time, will be eligible to apply for PIO Card if:  

(i) the person at any time held an Indian passport; or 

(ii) the person or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in, and was permanently resident in India, provided further that neither was at any time a citizen of any of the aforesaid excluded countries; or  

(iii) the person is the spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (i) or (ii) above. 

Presently, the specified countries whose nationals are ineligible for grant of PIO Card are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Iran, China and Nepal. Further, if the applicant himself or either of his parents, grand parents or great grand parents held the nationality of these specified countries at any time, he will not be granted PIO Card.

Iranian nationals of Indian origin can be considered for grant of PIO card. The Missions or other agency authorised to issue PIO card would obtain prior clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs before issuing the card to an Iranian national. 

How to get PIO card in USA?

An application for issue of PIO Card shall be made in the prescribed Form to an Indian Mission/ Post in the country where the applicant is ordinarily resident. 

How to get PIO card in India?

Applicants already in India on long term visa (one year or more) may submit the application to the FRROs concerned as per their jurisdiction.

FRROs may ensure that application which is submitted to the FRRO concerned is acknowledged and PIO card is issued to the eligible applicants within 30 days of submission of application, if no adverse information is available in the matter. Henceforth, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi will not accept PIO applications but will deal with all policy matters pertaining to PIOs. However, in case of any doubt, the cases may be referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs by FRRO concerned for clarification/decision. Applications beyond their respective jurisdiction may be accepted by concerned FRRO in exceptional cases and forwarded to Ministry of Home Affairs with recommendation of the officer concerned for grant/refusal of PIO card.

What are the documents required to get PIO Card?

  1. Indian Passport/travel document of the applicant or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents.
  2. Proof of previous Indian nationality of the applicant or either of his/her parents or grand parents or great grand parents.
  3. Any other document satisfactorily proving the previous nationality of the applicant as an Indian e.g. revenue records / domicile certificate / school / college leaving certificates, etc. may be considered on proper verification.  

What is the Fee for PIO Card?

A fee of Indian Rupees 15,000 or equivalent in local foreign currency shall be payable along with the application. The fee for a PIO Card for a child upto the age of 18 Years will be Rs. 7,500 (or, its equivalent in local foreign currency). 

What is the Validity of the PIO Card?

The PIO Card will have a validity of 15 years subject to the condition that a valid Passport accompanies it. 

What are the benefits to a PIO Cardholder?

The PIO cardholders is entitled to the following benefits:

  1. A multiple entry, multi –purpose visa for visiting India. PIO Card itself is treated as a Visa; 

  2. No separate Student/Employment/Business visa will be required for admission in colleges/intuitions or taking up employment, business, etc in India; 

  3. Special counters for speedy immigration clearance at designated Immigration check posts; 

  4. Exemption from registration with local police authorities for continuous stay upto 180 days in India;

  5. Exemption from registration with local police authorities for miners upto 16 years of age; 

  6. Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in economic, financial and educations fields except for acquisition of agricultural land or plantations;

  7. PIO Card can be used as identity proof for applying for a (i) PAN card, (ii) driving license and  (iii) opening of Ban account in India, if the PIO card holder resides in India.


  1. In the event of continuous stay in India exceeding 180 days, the PIO Cardholder must get himself/herself registered, within 30 days of the expiry of 180 day, with the concerned jurisdictional FRRO/FRO. 

  2. The grant of a PIO Card does NOT entitle the cardholder to visit a restricted / protected area. Prior permission of the competent authority is required to be obtained for visiting a restricted / protected area. 

  3. A PIO card does NOT entitle the cardholder to undertake any missionary work, mountaineering and research work, without the prior permission of the Government of India. 

What are the provisions for the issue of a Duplicate PIO Card?

In the event of the loss of a PIO Card, a duplicate card may be issued after charging a fee of US$ 100 or equivalent in local currency, subject to the completion of the other formalities viz. lodging of an FIR, scrutiny of claim, etc. as required to issue a duplicate passport. A duplicate PIO Card may be issued from the same office that issued the original card.  

On what grounds PIO Card can be Cancelled?

(a) the PIO Card was obtained by fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or

(b) the PIO cardholder has shown himself by act or speech to be disaffected towards the Constitution of India and other laws of India; or

(c) the PIO cardholder is a citizen or subject of any country at war with, or committing external aggression against India, or of any other country assisting the country at war with, or committing such aggression against, India; or 

(d) the PIO cardholder has been sentenced in India for indulging in acts of terrorism or smuggling of narcotics, arms, ammunitions etc. or has been sentenced for committing an offence punishable with imprisonment upto one year, or fine upto rupees ten thousand; or 

(e) if it is not conducive in the public interest that the person should continue to hold a PIO Card.


What are some common queries related to Citizenship?
You can find a list of common Citizenship queries and their answer in the link below.
Citizenship queries and its answers
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Will foreign-born children of PIOs be eligible to become an OCI?
Yes, provided one of the parents is eligible to become an OCI.
Will the PIO Cardholder be granted an OCI registration gratis?
No. PIO card will have to be surrendered to the Indian Mission/Post/MHA for grant of OCI registration certificate and an OCI ‘U’ visa sticker
I have recently acquired a new passport; do I need to re-issue my OCI card?
OCI Card renewal is only required once after acquiring a new passport after turning 20 years of age.
Will the applicant lose his citizenship after registering as an OCI?
No. As only citizen of the country which allows dual citizenship under the local laws in some form or the other are eligible for applying for registration as an OCI, losing foreign citizenship does not arise.
I have recently acquired a new passport; do I need to re-issue my OCI card?
OCI Card renewal is only required once after acquiring a new passport after turning 20 years of age.
Are minor children eligible for OCI Card?
Yes, minor children whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India are eligible for OCI Card.
Are foreign military personnel of Indian origin eligible for OCI cards?
No, foreign military personnel either in service or retired are not entitled for grant of OCI. No person who has earlier served in a foreign military organization is eligible for an OCI card.