July 1: Some Indians need visa for India

PIO cards expire on June 30 (File)

With little more than two weeks left for the extended deadline on the conversion of PIO card (Persons of Indian Origin Card) to OCI card (Overseas Citizenship of India card), the Indian Ambassador in the UAE is urging cardholders to not wait until the last minute.

The PIO cards must be converted to OCI cards by June 30, after which those holding PIO cards will not be allowed to enter India without a valid visa.

“The deadline to apply for the OCI card is end of June. There will be a processing time and the card will be issued from New Delhi. Those who fail to get the card will have to apply for a visa to enter India,” TP Seetharam, Indian ambassador to the UAE, told Emirates 24|7.

“The PIO card was the original one and was introduced for people of India who are not citizen anymore. The OCI card was brought in subsequently.

“The PIO card had a 10-year validity whereas the OCI has a life-long validity. The beneficiaries were more or less the same and after consultations, it made sense that the two cards should be merged. It’s simple to apply and anyone with a PIO card and a valid passport can apply,” he told this website.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai further noted in a circular that the conversion of PIO card to OCI is at no cost (a service charge of Dh6, however, is levied).

“It is also clarified that CGI Dubai will accept all applications for conversion of PIO to OCI card with no restriction of number between 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs on all working days,” it said.

Applicants with an Abu Dhabi or Al Ain must visit the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi. Applicants with a residence visa from Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah or Umm Al Quwain may visit the Indian consulate in Dubai.