What is a PIO Card?

India boasts one of the largest diasporas in the world, with millions of individuals living outside the country

There is an extensive need for the home country that these individuals might need to be facilitated with the connection they have with India.

The Indian government has implemented several initiatives to simplify administrative processes and enhance its engagement with India. Indian Government has introduced various initiatives, including Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card for the facilitation of these individuals.

In this article, we will delve into the significance of the PIO Card, its features, how it benefits individuals of Indian origin residing abroad, and much more.

What is a PIO Card

What is a PIO Card?

A PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card is a document issued by the Indian government to individuals of Indian origin who are residing outside of India.

This card serves as a form of identification and provides certain privileges and benefits to the cardholders.

 It is designed to foster a sense of connection and facilitate the interaction between non-resident Indians (NRIs) and their home country, India.

Eligibility of PIO Card

The following are the eligibility of the PIO Card-

  • The person must have had an Indian Passport in the past or his/her parents grandparents or great-grandparents were born in India with permanent residency
  • The person is the spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin

Persons Not Eligible for PIO Card

The following are the persons who will not be eligible for the PIO Card-

  • Nationals with citizenship of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Iran, China, and Nepal will not be granted a PIO Card.
  • Iranian nationals of Indian origin can be considered for grant of PIO card

Benefits of PIO Cards

The following are the benefits of the PIO Card-

  • The PIO Card Holder enjoys visa-free travel to India for business, tourism, or visiting family and friends.
  • PIO Cardholders have the right to invest in Indian businesses and properties, fostering economic engagement and entrepreneurship like Indian Citizens
  • PIO Cardholders are eligible to purchase residential and commercial properties in India, enabling them to invest in real estate and own assets
  • PIO Cardholders have access to educational institutions in India, including admission to universities and colleges for higher education or specialized courses
  • PIO Cardholders can open bank accounts, make investments, and conduct financial transactions in India
  • PIO Cardholders are eligible to seek employment in India without requiring a separate work visa
  • PIO Cardholders may avail of social security benefits and services provided by the Indian government, such as healthcare, pension schemes, and welfare programs
  • It helps streamline administrative processes for various services, including property transactions, tax filings, and legal documentation

How to Apply for a PIO Card?

You can use the following steps to apply for the PIO Card-

  • The very first step is to check whether you are eligible for a PIO Card or not and if you are eligible then you can proceed further by collecting the documents mentioned below
  • Visit the official website of the Indian Portal and navigate to the PIO card services section followed by downloading the application form alternatively, you can visit the nearest consulate or Embassy of India in your country to apply for the PIO card
  • Now, fill out the application form with your details like name, address, parents name, etc.
  • After filling out the application form, submit the form along with the application fee to the counter
  • After applying, wait for it to be processed by the relevant authorities. Processing times may vary, so be patient during this stage.
  • Once your application is approved and processed, you will be notified and your PIO card will be sent to your address or you can collect it from the embassy or consulate

Documents Required for applying for PIO Card

The following are the documents required for the PIO Card-


  • Any of the following document
    • Original/Photocopies of Indian passport
    • Original / Photocopies of Indian passport of parents or grandparents of the applicant
    • Birth Certificate of the applicant and the parents/grandparents of the applicant
    • Nationality certificate of the applicant and the parents/grandparents of the applicant
    • School / College leaving certificates of the applicant or parents/grandparents of the applicant

Application Fee for PIO Card

The following is the application fee for the PIO Card-

ParticularsIndian Rupees or equivalent in local foreign currency
PIO cardsRs.15,000/-
PIO Card for a child up to the age of 18 YearsRs.7,500/-


What is PIO status?

PIO status refers to the status granted to individuals of Indian origin or ancestry who are not citizens of India but have roots or connections to India through their ancestors.

What is OCI status?

OCI status refers to the status granted to foreign nationals who are of Indian origin or descent or have been granted citizenship of India and are residing outside India.

What are the benefits of holding PIO status?

PIO status allows individuals certain rights and privileges in India, including the ability to own property, open bank accounts, and undertake financial transactions.

Can PIO status be converted to OCI status?

Yes, PIO cardholders were required to surrender their PIO cards and apply for OCI cards by a specified deadline.

Are there any restrictions for PIO or OCI cardholders when visiting India?

While both PIO and OCI cardholders enjoy certain rights and privileges in India, there may be some restrictions related to political rights, government employment, and land acquisition. The Government of India provides these as priveledges and can be revoked anytime the Government sees fit.