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Comparison between the PIO Card Holder and Overseas citizen of India (OCI)

30-SEP-2016 17:46

    Like any other modern state, India has two kinds of people—citizens and aliens. Citizens are full members of the Indian State and owe allegiance to it. They enjoy all civil and political rights. Aliens, on the other hand, are the citizens of some other state and hence, do not enjoy all the civil and political rights. They are of two categories—friendly aliens or enemy aliens.

    The Constitution deals with the citizenship from Articles 5 to 11 under Part II. However, it contains neither any permanent nor any elaborate provisions in this regard. It only identifies the persons who became citizens of India at its commencement (i.e., on January 26, 1950).

    Comparison between the PIO Card Holder and Overseas citizen of India (OCI) is given in the table below:

    S.N. Element of the Comparison Person of Indian Origin (PIO Card Holder) Overseas citizens of India (OCI)
     1.  Who A person registered as PIO card holder under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ scheme dated 19-08-2002. A person registered as Overseas Citizen of India
    (OCI) under the Citizenship Act, 1955. The OCI scheme is operational from
    02-12-2005.
     2.  Who is eligible who at any time held an Indian passport; or (ii)
    he or either of his parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in and was permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; or (iii) he is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as Mentioned above.
    A foreign national who (i) was eligible to become a
    citizen of India on 26-01-1950; or (ii) was a citizen
    of India on or at any time after 26-01-1950; or (iii)
    belonged to a territory that became part of India
    after 15-08-1947; or (iv) his/her children and grand children; or (v) minor children of such person.
    However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen
    of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
     3. What is the fee
    Rs.15000/- or equivalent in local currency for adults. For the children upto the age of 18 years, the fee is Rs.7500/- or equivalent in local currency. US $ 275 or equivalent in local currency. In case of
    PIO card holders, it is US $ 25 or equivalent in
    local currency
     4. Which nationals are eligible PIOs of all countries except Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. PIOs of all countries except Pakistan and
    Bangladesh.
     5. What benefits one entitled to? (1) Shall not require a separate visa to visit India.
    (2) 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.
    (3) Parity with NRIs 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.
    (1) A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India.
    (2) Exemption from registration with local police Authority for any length of stay in India.
    (3) Parity with NRIs in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation
    properties.



    No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.
     6. Does he/she require visa for visiting India Can visit India without visa for 15 years from the date of issue of PIO card.

    Can visit India without visa for life long.
     7. Is he required to register with local police authorities in India Yes – one time when the stay in India exceeds 180 days for the first time. No
     8. What activities can be taken under in India All activities except mountaineering, missionary, research work and visiting protected / restricted areas which require specific permit. All activities except mountaineering, missionary, research work and visiting protected / restricted areas which require specific permit.
     9. How can one acquire Indian He/she has to reside in India for minimum 7 years before making application for granting Indian citizenship. He/she may be granted Indian citizenship after 5
    years from date of registration provided he/she stays for one year in India before making application.
     10. Can it be cancelled? Yes – on certain grounds Yes – on certain grounds

    Source: laxmikant

    Note 1: The provision for Commonwealth Citizenship was omitted by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003.

    Note 2: In 2011, the Government of India announced its decision to merge the PIO card and OCI card schemes into a single scheme.

    This new scheme is proposed to be called as the Overseas Indian Card Holders Scheme. In this regard, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2011, is under consideration of the Parliament.

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    who at any time held an Indian passport; or (ii)

    he or either of his parents or grand parents or great grand parents was born in and was permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; or (iii) he is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as Mentioned above.

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