OCI in Lieu of PIO Card

Since the PIO OCI merger that took effect January 9, 2015, the PIO card scheme no longer exists and current PIO cardholders may apply for an OCI in lieu of PIO card. All PIO card holders are to apply for an OCI card by 31st December, 2017.
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The deadline to apply for OCI in lieu of PIO card is 31st December, 2017. This is the last day to apply. After this date requesting for a OCI card will incur a fee. However, September 30, 2019 is a hard stop after which PIO cards will be deemed invalid.


All US and non-US passport holders of Indian origin who do not have a PIO card and:

  • Were eligible to become a citizen of India on or after January 26, 1950.
  • Were citizens of India on or after January 26, 1950.
  • Belonged to a territory that became a part of India after August 15, 1947.
  • Are a child or grandchild of a person who meets any of the above listed criteria.

Those who are not eligible include:

  • Non-US passport holders who hold a temporary visa (such as a B1 or B2 visa)
  • Anyone who has ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh

OCI in Lieu of PIO Application

September 30, 2019 is the last day applicants may apply for an OCI in lieu of PIO Card. PIO cards are no longer valid to travel. You must apply for OCI.

The OCI in lieu of PIO card application process is as follows:

  1. Visit the VFS Global Website
    • Check your eligibility before applying
    • If you are already an OCI Card Holder, use OCI Miscellaneous Services
    • If you are an PIO Card Holder, register through OCI Registration (In Lieu Of Valid PIO-Card)
    • If you are an PIO Card Holder and card is in lost state, register through OCI Registration (In Lieu Of Lost PIO-Card)
  2. Prepare Application to File
    • Have your Applicant’s image and Applicant’s signature image ready to go (see details here)
    • Be ready with all supporting documents in PDF format, ready to upload. Uploading your documents is REQUIRED, and your application will be rejected if you do not upload all supporting documents in the provided checklist.
  3. Complete the VFS Online Registration Process
    • You may start the process here.
    • Completing online registration on the VFS Global website is mandatory before sending in your physical application.
  4. Fee Payments 
    • When completing the online registration process, you will be prompted to pay your OCI card fees.
    • You will receive confirmation of your payment.
    • You must enclose your Application confirmation/Payment confirmation receipt with your physical application.
    • If paying by money order or banker’s check, then it should be made in favor of “VFS Services (USA) Inc.
    • Personal checks are not accepted.
  5. Submit Your Application
    • After you submit your online registration, a copy of the application form will be printed with an Online Registration Number.
    • Send your application form along with all relevant documents and fee or fee confirmation to the VFS India India Consular Application Centre as per the Consular Jurisdiction in whose jurisdiction the applicant is ordinarily residing irrespective of the fact whether the same Indian Mission/Post/Office has issued the original OCI documents or not.
    • You can select and pay for VFS provided courier service at the time of paying the fee online on VFS website.

OCI in Lieu of PIO Required Documents

OCI applicants who have ever held an Indian passport must provide proof of Renunciation of Indian Citizenship along with their application. Those who already have a Renunciation Certificate or have a “Cancelled on Acquisition of Foreign Citizenship” stamp on their most recent Indian passport do not need to re-apply.

In addition to proof of Indian citizenship renunciation, OCI card applicants must provide the following documents:

Additional documents may be required by the Consulate or Embassy once the application is verified.

All forms and letters enclosed with the OCI card application must be typed. All forms required by the Checklist must be printed and signed. Signatures must be in the applicant’s personal handwriting.

If an application is missing any documents as per the Checklist, it will be treated as “incomplete” and processing will be put “on hold.”

OCI in Lieu of PIO Fees

The consular fee for OCI card in lieu of PIO card is Gratis. The fees breakdown is detailed in the table below. The fees are shown in USD.

ServiceOCI FeeICWF FeeVFS Service FeeTotal
OCI in lieu of PIO Card$100$3$15.90$118.90
OCI in lieu of PIO Card (for Lost PIO Card)$200$3$15.90$218.90

The $15.90 VFS Global Processing Service Fee is non-refundable.

The following payment methods may be used to pay the OCI in lieu of PIO card fees:

  • Online payment/payment by credit card, a convenience charge of 3.5% will apply over the total payment
  • Mastercard and Visa only
  • Money order or banker or cashier’s check may be used, and should be made out to: “VFS Services (USA) Inc.”

Fees that are not paid in full may result in processing delays.

Application Processing

Once your application is submitted to the Embassy/CGI for processing, you can track the progress of your application via https://ociservices.gov.in/statusEnqury.

OCI application processing time takes 6 weeks from the date application reaches to the Embassy/ Consulate.

For more information, visit the VFS Global website for further details about the OCI in lieu of PIO card process.


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