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Posted on: October 09, 2018 | Back | Print

As per International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, it is mandatory to have Machine-Readable Electronic (MRE) travel document. However, it is not a precondition prescribed by Ministry of Home Affairs/Bureau of Immigration of the Government of India for entry into India.

2.   As per the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Notification No. 26011/01/2014-IC.I dated 9.01.2015, all PIO cardholders with valid PIO cards as on 9.01.2015 are deemed to be OCI cardholders. Hence the PIO card, which is a deemed OCI card continues to be legally valid as per Law.

3.   As far as Bureau of Immigration (BoI) is concerned, it will accept PIO cards as valid document till March 31, 2019 along with valid foreign passport. However, if in the meantime, any deadline is notified by the ICAO, thereby making hand written PIO cards invalid, then PIO cardholders may have to obtain appropriate visa from the concerned Indian Missions/Posts abroad, if they have not converted their PIO card to OCI card. However, the Indian immigration check posts will continue to consider all PIO cards valid for exit/entry to India till 31st March, 2019.

4.  All PIO cardholders with valid PIO as on 9.01.2015 are once again requested/advised to apply for conversion of their PIO cards to OCI card against the payment of prescribed/applicable fee for the purpose.