Mumbai immigration officials have announced that all former PIO cardholders who report to a Mumbai Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) must obtain OCI cards within the upcoming weeks (the exact deadline has not yet been confirmed). As outlined in our February 2015 Global Brief, the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) status was officially closed in mid-January of this year and all foreign nationals holding PIO status were automatically granted the benefits, rights, and guarantees of the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status.
This new order from Mumbai comes as somewhat of a surprise as the federal authorities had earlier confirmed that individuals with PIO status would not be required to obtain a physical OCI card unless they chose to do so. Rather, PIO cardholders would be able to appear at their designated FRRO office and obtain an endorsement confirming that the status was granted for a lifetime validity and that they were granted OCI status. However, the Mumbai FRRO officials announced last week that they would not issue these PIO endorsements and that anyone holding a PIO card from a Mumbai-based FRRO should obtain an OCI card as soon as possible.
It is unknown at this time whether other cities or regions in India will follow suit with Mumbai’s recent announcement; however, Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor this situation closely and will report on any additional regions that may issue similar requirements for former PIO cardholders.
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