Union Home Ministry issued an order on 6 March 2014 saying that an Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can visit India without a medical visa for commissioning surrogacy. This facility will be applicable for those couples who are married for at least two years and will only require permission only from the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO).
The notification also says that the Indian couples will have to fulfill
• The foreign man and woman are duly married and the marriage should have sustained at least for two years.
• A letter from the Embassy of the foreign country in India or the Foreign Ministry of the country should be enclosed with the visa application stating clearly that
a) The country recognizes surrogacy and
b) The child/children to be born to the commissioning couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as biological child/children of the couple commissioning surrogacy.
• The couple will furnish an undertaking that they would take care of the child/children born through surrogacy.
• The treatment should be done only at one of the registered ART (reproductive technology) clinics recognized by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
• The couple should produce a duly notarised agreement between the applicant couple and the prospective Indian surrogate mother.
It also says that the couple will also have to provide an undertaking that mentions that the couple will take care of the child.
Other provisions mentioned in the order for carrying out surrogacy are
• The permission and certificates for commissioning surrogacy and liabilities of the surrogate mother have been settled will be required before granting exit to the child. The confirmation will be required from FRRO/FRO and the office will retain a copy of the birth certificate
The notification has also mentioned that this facility will not be applied for foreigners and they will have to obtain a medical visa. It also mentions that a wife of a foreign national or OCI/PIO cardholder not involved in the treatment may not require a specific medical visa
Person of Indian Origin (PIO)
The new PIO Card Scheme, 2002, is in operation since 15 September 2002 and it defines the guidelines for being issued a PIO Card and they include
• He/She had any time held an Indian passport
• He/She or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents was born in India or permanent resident in India provided neither was at any time a citizen of any other specific country
• He/She is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered less than 1 & 2 above
• Iranian nationals of Indian Origin can be granted PIO card after MHA approval.
Foreigners holding PIO cards
• The foreigners holding PIO cards can gain entry into India if valid PIO card is presented along with the valid new foreign passport issued in lieu of the passport endorsed on the PIO card.
• However the foreigners are advised to have necessary endorsement of the new passport from the competent authority on their PIO cards to avoid any inconvenience.
A person of Indian origin, who is not a citizen of any of these countries, namely
c) Sri Lanka
Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
Foreigners of Indian origin (except Pakistan and Bangladesh) are eligible to apply under OCI scheme, if he/she possesses evidence of self or parents or grandparents:
• Being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of Indian Constitution i.e. 26 January 1950
• Belonging to a territory that became a part of India after 15 January 1947
• Being a citizen of India on or after 26 January 1950