In a significant step toward granting dual citizenship to overseas Indians, the Government of India announced a scheme for issuance of a Person of Indian Origin Card acknowledging the sentiments of the people of Indian origin and the need to help them reconnect with their roots.
The PIO Card is a tool to increase and facilitate the participation of non-resident Indians (or NRIs) in the development of their country, in simpler, easier, flexible and hassle-free ways. There is a prescribed system to applying for the PIO card-there is a list of PIO card requirements, a specific PIO application form, and PIO follow up procedure.
Who is eligible for PIO Card?
- Any person who at any time has held an Indian passport; or
- He/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents were born in and permanently resided in India as defined by the Government of India Act, 1935
- Any person who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as mentioned above.
Benefits to a PIO Card holder
There are many benefits for PIO Card holders.
- No separate tourist visa, student visa or employment visa is required for visiting India.
- Will be exempt from the requirement of registration if stay on any single visit in India does not exceed 6 months. In the event of continuous stay exceeding 6 months, registration will be required within 30 days of the expiry of the 6 month period with the concerned Foreigners Regional Registration Officer/Foreigners Registration Officer.
- Parity with Non-Resident Indians with respect to facilities available to the latter
- All facilities in the matter of acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.
- Facilities available to children for getting admission in educational institutions in India including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Institutes of Technology, Institutes of Management etc. under the general category quota for NRI s.
- Facilities available under the various housing schemes of Life Insurance Corporation of India, State Governments and other Government agencies
No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.
PIO Card Requirements
What is the validity of the PIO Card? A PIO Card shall be valid for a period of 15 years from the date of issuance, but is subject to the validity of the passport of the applicant. Remember that the PIO Card will be valid only when accompanied with a valid passport.
What is the fee for the PIO Card in U.S.?
- $ 370 (for adults) or $ 185 (for children upto the age of 18 years).
- The validity of PIO card is 15 years.
- Fee is non-refundable.
- Extra charges for return mailing services are $20.
- If you are sending a mail application to an Indian Consulate:
- check the rules as described on the Consulate website.
- do not submit a non-track able return mailing envelope. You can get a track able return mailing envelope at Fedex, UPS, USPS, etc.
- The Consulate prefers to maintain high traceability of these documents after dispatch. It will also help you to know where your PIO Card is.
- Some Consulates accept Debit Cards with a service charge of $3.00 (three) at the counter in addition to money orders and cashier's checks.
- Personal checks, credit cards or other banking instruments are not accepted.
PIO Card Application: Where to Apply?
Generally the rule is that an application for issue of a PIO Card shall be made to an Indian Embassy or Consulate in the country/area where the applicant is ordinarily a resident. However, applicants already in India on Long Term Visa (for more than one year) may apply for a PIO Card in India as well.
- For those residing in USA, please check The list of Indian Consulate in USA.
- For those residing in India please see the contact addresses below:
Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Hans Haven, I.P.Estate New Delhi - 110002.
Tel: 91-11-331 9489 Fax: 91-11-375 5183
Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Annex II, Commissioner of Police, Craw Ford Market, Mumbai - 400001.
Tel: 91-22-262 1169 Fax: 91-22-262 0721
Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, 237, Acharya Jagdish Calcutta - 700020.
Tel: 91-33-247 3301 Fax: 91-33-247 0549
Chief Immigration Officer, Bureau of Immigration, Shastri Bhavan Annex, No.26, Haddows Road, Chennai- 600006.
Tel: 91-44-827 7036 Fax: 91-44-827 7036
- For those residing in other parts of India, please apply to
Joint Secretary (Foreigners)
Ministry of Home Affairs,
1st floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market,
Tel: 91-11-469 3334 Fax: 91-11-462 1563
Can the PIO Card be canceled?
The Central Government may by order, cancel the PIO Card for reasons valid to them.
PIO Card Application Form
If you are applying PIO card in USA please see the website of the Indian consulate for applicable PIO card process and requirements.
For PIO card at San Francisco(SFO) please check:
For PIO card at Washington, D.C. please check
For PIO card at New York please check
For PIO card Chicago please check
For PIO services at the Indian Consulates and Embassy offices in US please check the table below.
2536 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington,
Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South- Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, DC.
3 East, 64th Street, New York, NY 10021,USA
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands.
455 North Cityfront Plaza Drive, #850 Chicago, IL 60611, U.S.A., Tel(312) 595-0405
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
1990 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 600 Houston, TX 77056 Tel: (713) 626-2355 Fax: (713) 626-2450,
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas.
540 Arguello Boulevard San Francisco, CA 94118 Tel: (415) 668-0662 | Fax: (415) 668-7968
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.