Indian expatriates having a PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) card from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been urged to convert it to the OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card and not waste any time, said Indian Ambassador to the UAE, TP Seetharam.
The last date for conversion of PIO card to OCI card after extension is June 30; following this date, PIO card holders will be refused entry into India if they do not have a valid visa.
Seetharam was quoted by Emirates 24/7 as saying that there would be a processing time and the card would be issued from New Delhi. Henceforth, those who do not have an OCI card will have to apply for a visa in order to be eligible for entry into India. The PIO card, which was introduced earlier, was for people of India who no longer are Indian citizens. The OCI card is a subsequent addition, said Seetharam.
While the validity of the PIO card was 10 years, the OCI card is valid for life. After it was found that the beneficiaries neither increased nor decreased, following due consultations, a decision was taken to club the two cards. In order to apply for an OCI card, one has to have a PIO card and a valid passport, according to Seetharam.
A circular issued by the Indian Consulate in Dubai stated that, barring a service charge of DH6, it would be done free of cost.
The circular said that the Consul General of India (CGI) Dubai would accept applications for converting PIO to OCI card between 0900 hrs and 1200 hrs on all working days.
Applicants residing in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain should visit Abu Dhabi’s Embassy of India.
Applicants possessing a residence visa of Fujairah or Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Dubai and Umm Al Quwain may visit the Indian consulate located in Dubai.