Indian origin foreign nationals get relief on entry till year-end
From Krishnan Nayar
NEW DELHI, 4th January 2022 (WAM) – Persons of Indian origin (PIOs), who are citizens of other countries will be allowed entry into India on the strength of their handwritten PIO cards issued by Indian diplomatic missions until 31st December 2022, according to new government guidelines issued here.
The deadline for such entry, earlier fixed as 31st December 2021 has been extended by a year.
They will have to present the PIO cards along with a valid foreign passport at immigration check posts, according to a press release granting the extension.
“Nevertheless, all PIO cardholders with valid PIO cards as on 1st September 2015 are advised to urgently apply for conversion of their PIO card to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs,” the press release said.
OCI cards give foreigners of Indian origin all the rights in the economic, financial and education spheres that are available to Indian citizens except the right to vote in elections and in acquiring agricultural land.
The OCI card is a life-long visa allowing holders to visit India at any time and for any length of time.
The announcement of the extension timeline warned that if in the meantime, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) notifies handwritten PIO cards as invalid, then holders of such PIO cards may have to obtain appropriate visas from Indian diplomatic missions to enter India.