Persons of Indian Origin [PIO]
A person who or whose ancestors were an Indian national and who is presently holding another country's citizenship/nationality are called a Person of Indian Origin. It means a foreign citizen who at any time held an Indian passport; or him or her or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents were born in or were permanently residing in India; or he/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or of a person of Indian Origin.
PIO card holder
Any person who at any time held an Indian Passport or either of his parents or grandparents was born in or were permanently residing in India as defined in Government of India Act, 193 5; provided neither was at any time a citizen of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who has registered as PIO card holder under MHA's scheme vide notification No.26011/4/98-EI dated 19.8.2002.
Benefits can a PIO card holder
PIO card holders can visit India without visa for 15 years and will be required to register with the Foreigners Registration Officer in India within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days when the stay exceeds 180 days continuously. In other words, a PIO card holder can stay in India for 180 days without registration with the Foreigners Registration Officer in India. PIO cardholders enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of certain facilities such as in economic, financial and educational fields but have no political rights and can apply for Indian citizenship after residing in India for a minimum of seven years.
Who is the authority to issue PIO card?
A PIO card shall be granted by an officer of the Indian Mission notified for the purpose or the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India or the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta or the Chief Immigration Officer Chennai
Validity of PIO card
A PIO card shall be valid for a period of twenty years subject to the validity of the passport of the applicant.