India - PIO card holders face March 31 deadline for conversion to OCI cards

  • India
  • 02/29/2016
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden

What is the change? Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders are reminded that the Indian government has set March 31 as the deadline to convert PIO cards to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.

What does the change mean? Although Indian authorities have not explicitly made it mandatory to convert from PIO to OCI cards, and although the conversion deadline has been extended in the past, PIO card holders are nonetheless encouraged to complete the conversion before the March 31 deadline in order to avoid interruption of travel plans.

  • Implementation timeframe: March 31.
  • Visas/permits affected: PIO and OCI cards.
  • Who is affected: PIO card holders.
  • Next steps: PIO card holders should submit an application to convert to an OCI card at their earliest opportunity and no later than March 31.

Background: The Indian government merged PIO and OCI cards in January of 2015. Authorities originally set a Sept. 30. 2015 deadline for converting PIO cards to OCI cards, but subsequently extended the deadline. The current deadline is March 31.