Indian Government proposes to scrap OCI-PIO cards & replace with new ‘Overseas Indian Card’: NRIs unhappy

A new Bill, which seeks to do away with the existing Overseas Citizen of India (OCI ) card & the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and replace them with a new Overseas Indian Card has been proposed by the Indian Government amidst oppositions and rage from Indians living overseas.

The bill, has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha and is likely to come up before the Lok Sabha for passage in the current parliament session, which ends on 21st February 2014. The Overseas Indians are unhappy with the new changes. Members of the Indian diaspora, many of whom are OCI and PIO card-holders cannot understand the rationale behind the Indian government’s move to suddenly change the nomenclature of the cards and introduce a new one.

The OCI card scheme has drawn unprecedented emotional appeal and resulted in huge numbers signing up for it at about 250,000 a year. Applicants have to pay around $300 per card and it helps them to connect emotionally to their country of origin.says Munish Gupta, co-ordinator of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International.

Indian Government proposes to scrap OCI-PIO cards & replace with new ‘Overseas Indian Card’

Indian Government proposes to scrap OCI-PIO cards & replace with new ‘Overseas Indian Card’

PIO CARD: This is issued to any person currently holding foreign passport, who can prove their Indian origin up to three generations before. The same holds for spouses of Indian citizen or persons of Indian origin. Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other countries as may be specified by the central government are not eligible for grant of Persons of Indian Origin card.
The PIO card must be produced alongside the foreign passport when entering or departing any port in India. Any changes in the foreign passport – name changes or passport renewal – must also be reflected in the PIO card.

The news about scrapping the OCI and PIO cards may create confusion among the Indian diaspora as even the implementation of the existing PIO-OCI cards were riddled with massive problems.

OCI CARD: the OCI card is for foreign nationals who were eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or after that date.

The country of the citizenship of the OCI applicant must also allow dual citizenship in some form and applications from citizens of Bangladesh and Pakistan are not allowed.

While PIO card holders do not require a separate visa and can enter India with multiple entry facility for 15 years; the OCI card is a multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India. OCI card-holders have parity with non-resident Indians in respect of economic, financial and educational matters except in acquiring agricultural land.

Image Courtesy: wikipedia

Sharanya Bharathwaj

Comments

comments

31 Responses to Indian Government proposes to scrap OCI-PIO cards & replace with new ‘Overseas Indian Card’: NRIs unhappy

  1. Dr.Joy K.Joseph

    February 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Why and what is the purpose? For making money?
    It is always a joke for the Indian Government to crucify the NREs’. We are going to file a case. You have to keep the existing conditions for the existing holders. You could make the enactments only with today’s effect.

    • Manu

      February 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      I will not pay extra paiso for OCI/PIA cards. I rather go to some other country than India. They are taking our Motherland from us for money for them. Keep your OCI/PIA, Indian Government!

  2. vijaya

    February 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    One other reason why the world sees Indian government to be among the most corrupt ones in the world! India does not want any connection with the drained brains who want to return to offer back to their native land when opportunities open up! It is pathetic to see how the country is not even aware that it is drowning at a faster pace as it is going down! Is this all to show that the government is doing its job?!!

  3. Dilip

    February 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I’m against the scrapping idea. The indian govt is finding a way to make money from the NRI’s. If they want to change the card, they should keep the validation of the old OCI certificate. New application of oci/pco should be implied to the new cards. They have already charged us huge fees for the blue oci certificates which should be accept until the applicant decide to change to the new cards. new application = new card, thus old issued certificates of oci/pco’s should be valid because of the hassle and fees paid for it.

    • Ebrahim patel

      February 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Ebrahim patel

      February 18.2014pm
      One other reason why the world sees Indian government to be among the most corrupt ones in the world! India does not want any connection with the drained brains who want to return to offer back to their native land when opportunities open up! It is pathetic to see how the country is not even aware that it is drowning at a faster pace as it is going down! Is this all to show that the government is doing its job?!!

  4. Ashok

    February 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Oh Dear
    Another money making exercise for the Indian Govmnt..

    Its a JOKE, We NRI’s aee paying the price to go to our homeland…with all these costs we and our children will LOOSE all their culture and roots…
    The Indian Govmnt should be promoting culture and Indian awareness and more children born to NRI’s abroad to come to India without ties and costs…
    SO SAD

  5. Ashok

    February 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Oh Dear
    Another money making exercise for the Indian Govmnt..

    Its a JOKE, We NRI’s are paying the price to go to our homeland…with all these costs we and our children will LOOSE all their culture and roots…
    The Indian Govmnt should be promoting culture and Indian awareness and more children born to NRI’s abroad to come to India without ties and costs…
    SO SAD

  6. lakhsman Gajparia

    February 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    I am disappointed to hear this as I have spent almost £1200 to get my wife’s OCI as indian birth certificate issuing took almost 10 months as had to be in person at magistrate’s before they accept application
    It was night mare and joke dealing with Indian courts

  7. Ranjit Laxman

    February 12, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Im proud to be an Indian.i feel so bad fellow indian make dif rules for their foregin nri brothers and sisters.when something happens to India we are bleedind here.and those corupt and two face politicans make diffrent rules for us.for them to stash money away have lavish life abroad is a nome.and thats the only reason India is not coming up other wise India could have been No 1 in the World. And i hope Narendra Modi will bring some changes to Mother India. And i hope Mr Modi is aware of all this and dont let us down.

  8. anom

    February 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Typical corrupt Indian government. Line your own pockets. No wonder many people left your corrupt country. Shame on you.

  9. Jay

    February 13, 2014 at 3:53 am

    It was extremely difficult to obtain my oci… i had all the correct documents but the idiots at the uk visa office operate so slow and are so corrupted… i had to write letters after letters and get a solicitor invovled… finally after three months i obtained my oci… the crazy thing is all my family members used exactly the same documents and they had no problem. The visa employes do not admit their mistake tjey are not humans.

    I didnt go through that and Pay £300 pounds just to hear a year later they are changing the oci to oic…. wtf… this is what stops our connection to Bharat… im thinking they do not need oversea support.. maybe i stop buying my stock from there and find a supplier from China… Im sure they be happy to gone a customer with monthly order of £500,000+.. This Indian government is corrupt and have their brain up their @#$, come to think about it they dnt have a brain.

  10. Bharat Gohil

    February 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

    I have only had mine 30 days and just sent application for my children’s oci, do we get a refund ? Can’t believe the stupid indian goverment, money making croocks

  11. Krina

    February 13, 2014 at 6:51 am

    It takes ages just to get a simple OCI and PIO card not to mention the amount of money it costs !!!!! You finally get one and now you are thinking of scrapping it ???? That is so unfair ! Why don’t u create this new rule for new applicants and in future PIO card holders will have to reapply for the new card upon expiration ??? Ppl will stop going to india if you keep changing the rules, you forget the world is a beautiful place!

  12. Shamlal

    February 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

    The Indian Government will never stop playing games with its people living abroad and churning out ideas to swindle us offering us the same old wine but with new labels.

    Frankly, we are tired of their machinations and should reject their latest move to get swindle money from hard-working NRIs. What benefits do you REALLY get with all these PIOs and OCIs coming out – except for a visa-free travel?

    I now hear that India is planning to make visa-free travel for many nations such as UK. So what has this charade been forcing people to fork out all that money for Indian visas?

    I know of people who have failed to attend marriages and funerals because they were travelling within the two-month exclusion time from their last trip as imposed by the Government (but only rescinded recently).

    In the bad old days when bereaved relatons visited the high commissions/embassies requesting permission for urgent travel, they got glaring looks from embassy officials almost sahying WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH ME? . Now do deaths have to wait until the relatives living abroad are eligible to travel again to india on a new visa?

    It is immoral to charge a fee for a visa for those Indian-borns holding foreign passports. Even when you are India, visiting your “emotional” land of birth the locals look at you with disdain thinking how best to fleece you. Sad.

    Totally agree with Vijaya – India is drowning atg a fast pace. NRIs are playing a small but a vital role in remitting to india regularly – the NRI remittance industry is helping oil the machinery of the Government.

    I always think there is a big wide world out there where people can go for vacations and where there are fewer hassles. It is our annual visit to India that is making the Goverbment big-headed.

    Some with India zeal may not agree with me but tough luck.

    Additional info:

    The Indian Government will never stop playing games with its people living abroad and churning out ideas to swindle us offering us old wine with new labels.

    Frankly, we are tired of their machinations and should reject their latest move to swindle money from hard-working NRIs. What benefits do you REALLY get with all these PIOs and OCIs coming out – except for a visa-free travel? Very few people take advantage of investment policies because when doing business in India one needs a really thick skin. I know of stories of a few adventurous investors who have returned to their adopted countries with their fingers badly burnt – swindled by the locals on whom they placed so much trust.

    I now hear that India is planning to make visa-free travel for many nationals such as UK. So what has this charade been forcing people to fork out all that money for Indian visas?

    I know of people who have failed to attend marriages and funerals because they were travelling within the two-month exclusion time from their last trip as imposed by the Government (but only rescinded recently).

    In the bad old days when bereaved relatons visited the high commissions/embassies requesting permission for urgent travel, they got glaring looks from embassy officials almost saying people die daily and anyway WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH ME? . Now do deaths have to wait until the relatives living abroad are eligible to travel again to india after a two-mong gap on a new visa?

    It is immoral to charge a fee for a visa for those Indian-borns holding foreign passports. Even when you are India, visiting your “emotional” land of birth the locals look at you with disdain thinking how best to fleece you. Sad.

    Totally agree with Vijaya – India is drowning at a fast pace. NRIs are playing a small but a vital role in remitting to india regularly – the NRI remittance industry is helping oil the development machinery and lining the pcckets of the Government and bureaucrats. How many overseas Indians have been recognised nationally by the indian government for the valuable work they do living in their adopted countries? You come to the Government’s attention only if you fund their political parties?

    I always think there is a big wide world out there where people can go for vacations and where there are fewer hassles. Like if UK passport holders visit the UAE, you get a 30 day tourist visa on arrival – and no charge. It is our annual visit to India that is making the Indian Government big-headed.

  13. Hashmukh Parekh

    February 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Yes another way to get more money of course. Sabsay corrupt hay Hindustan Government hamara.

  14. raju

    February 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    This is crap! It took almost 4 months to get an OCI. Leave alone the hassle of the staff at the Indian mission. My brothers OCI applied since Sep 2013, still not received. And now comes this news. FORGET IT! I m not going to re apply, its better to apply visa as and when required. Atleast OCI s will sure that there is no money making game.

    I suggest that the indian diaspora holding OCI should sign an online protest.

  15. Kishore

    February 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    This is money making effort.Indian goverment must think money grows on back garden tree for us NRI.Looks as if they got plenty of £&$ ,and now they don’t need our contribution to the ecconomy.If this continues people will only go there if one’s mother or father is dieing, any one else will have to wait. Taking our little ones for a break there, well it is cheaper to go local break any where else ,rather than being ripped off there, from the momment you land there.

  16. lakhsman

    February 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    From reading comments, its seams that all people have got OCI and PIO is no longer valid or usable with new bills. Please someone clear for me as i have spent almost 13 months for me and my family to get OCI. It took me a trip to india as clowns in Birmingham indian commission and london high commission took almost 4 months each to refused my application.
    In india it cost me more for agent fee but i finally did get it.
    If they invalid this then we have to get together and make rally against this money making operation by indian government

  17. nanji halai

    February 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    This shows how thick the Indian Government is,no wonder they make themself a laughing stock.

  18. K Patel

    February 13, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    This is a total scam .. What a cheek to do such
    A change.
    To our fellow Indians & their loved ones .. There should be a protest nationwide.
    Kick out the corrupted politicians & members of the Indian govt.
    do you write these rules & regulations whilst chewing on a pan & taking back handed money from the corrupted businessman .. Citizens etc whilst having a dump ..??
    God help you corrupted bunch of a* holes..

    Have you checked the rate if the rupee ??

    I love my India .. Not the idiots who run it !!

    Modi .. I hope you make some drastic changes to this.

    Jai hind !!

  19. Sanjeev Sharma

    February 14, 2014 at 2:33 am

    In protest to this idiotic proposal, all prominent Indians and NRIs should boycott the much hyped Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas in New Delhi.

  20. Syed Maqbool

    February 14, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I am not sure if this news is correct or not, I am in process of submitting my application for OCI and after reading the news on this website I have sent an email to OCI Team, High Commission of Indian, London, UK to confirm about the future of OCI/PIO. Following is their reply @15:57 dated 13/02/2014:

    “Sorry, we have no idea about that till date.

    Rgds,

    OCI Team
    High Commission of India
    India House, Aldwych
    London WC2B 4NA
    Tel: 0207 632 3071/72
    Fax:0207 632 3073″

  21. Jas

    February 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    I have just had my OCI and am in the process of getting my family their cards. If a new rule is coming out, the present issue of OCI/PIO cards should be stopped temporarily and people informed about it.

  22. Kiran Patel

    February 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    This is a total scam .. What a cheek to do such
    A change.
    To our fellow Indians & their loved ones .. There should be a protest nationwide.
    Kick out the corrupted politicians & members of the Indian govt.
    do you write these rules & regulations whilst chewing on a pan & taking back handed money from the corrupted businessman .. Citizens etc whilst having a dump ..??
    God help you corrupted bunch of a* holes..
    Have you checked the rate if the rupee ??
    I love my India .. Not the idiots who run it !!
    Modi .. I hope you make some drastic changes to this.
    Jai hind !!

  23. Kiran Patel

    February 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I’m against the scrapping idea. The indian govt is finding a way to make money from the NRI’s. If they want to change the card, they should keep the validation of the old OCI certificate. New application of oci/pco should be implied to the new cards. They have already charged us huge fees for the blue oci certificates which should be accept until the applicant decide to change to the new cards. new application = new card, thus old issued certificates of oci/pco’s should be valid because of the hassle and fees paid for it.

  24. patel

    February 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    can someone set up a petition so all conconcerned sign and forward it to indian government.i have spent atleast £1300 for my fely.never travelled once yet.

  25. Sanjay

    February 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Fail to understand why I should pay again & stand in queue if I already OCI. ..
    Govenment need to provide rationale on this decision ..

  26. aruna desai

    February 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    this is ridiculas, if they want to change then free of charge they have to provide us.we are lower class family not enough fianince. so they should not misguide us. indian goverment has plenty moeny why they are greedy no good. india will get our curse.

  27. farook

    February 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    They already made money on Oci, pio.now new scam to make money.

  28. get modi

    February 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

    This has to be done by filing petition and someone should make an effort to do it. Get Congress corrupt out and get MODI in who want indians to invest in India. Not hate their system.

  29. Lakha Abdul

    February 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I spent 14000 South African Rand for mine and my 3 daughters’s OCI, 3500 each. What about that money? Will goverment of India replace it free or will we going to pay. No clarification. I don’t think it will b free. Even it will be free Embassy in Johannesburg is 500km far from where I live, and for minor mistake they don’t accept your aplication. They will tell u ti come back again. This is money making scheme for election.