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NRIs, PIOs and OCIs - An ABC Guide

NRIs, PIOs and OCIs - An ABC Guide

November 14, 2010

A guide for non-Indian passport holders in how to stake a physical claim on your homeland.

A young Indian family migrated to Canada back in the early 1970s. With them came a young married man and his wife and two kids. Most of their relatives had moved to Canada in the years before. It only made sense to follow. The wife’s parents had already passed away. There wasn’t much in India left for her. The son left behind his parents and the bungalow they owned.

Years passed, they became Canadian citizens, and prospered in Canada. The parents in India eventually died. The son went back home to attend his father’s funeral but found the bungalow occupied by another family. The family claimed ownership rights. The son threatened to sue but found he couldn’t legally do anything. He was no longer an Indian citizen. Even though the home had been in the hands of his parents, their death meant the property came in the hands of the government. The son’s Canadian citizenship meant he had forfeited his Indian citizenship and had no legal claim to property in India.

Cases like this have happened many times to NRIs who haven’t been able to understand India’s nationality laws and rushed into a foreign citizenship. The Indian citizenship and Indian passport must be formally renounced once a foreign citizenship is claimed: a dual citizenship does not exist in India. Among the privileges you lose thus are the ability to vote in Indian elections, to run and hold public office, and legal claims to property. In order to maintain some of these privileges, Indian embassies offer quasi-citizenship options. Unfortunately, these options are very confusing. Getting accurate information on these citizenship options is difficult as embassy websites of different countries offer conflicting information, usually muddled in a lot of legal language. In simple ABC terms, this article seeks to clarify the three generally confused terms in Indian citizenship law: NRI, OCI, and PIO.

As you all know, the acronym NRI means non-resident Indian, any Indian living abroad. An NRI can be a citizen of Indian or a citizen of another country. Let’s say you move to the United States. You’re still an Indian citizen. Let’s say you get married and want to become American. You will need to renounce your Indian citizenship to do this. Once this happens, you become a PIO, a Person of Indian Origin living abroad. Now, to go back to India, you’ll need a Visa. You can go this route but if you want some physical claim to your homeland, you must entertain other options.

From here you have two options: apply for a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card or an OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card. What are the differences between the two? Let’s explore both cards.

The PIO card offers a set of privileges that are valid for 15 to 20 years. These privileges include; visa free entry into India, exemption from registering at the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office for stays less than 180 days, economic, financial, and educational parity with regular Indians, legal claims to property and the ability to open bank accounts in Indian banks. After the 15 years, the PIO card must be renewed. Foreign-born children are eligible. If you’ve been a citizen of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, you’re not eligible for the PIO card.

The OCI card is the closest thing to having a real dual citizenship in India. In a sense, it is an upgraded version of the PIO. Like the PIO card, it shares many of the same privileges. Unlike the PIO card, it is more restrictive in membership. Foreign-born children aren’t eligible. The procedure and processing time to get one is longer. Finally, in order to be eligible, you must have been born in India on or after the date of January 26th, 1950. Unlike the PIO, the OCI card lasts lifelong and never expires. With it, you’re always allowed back to India anytime and can stay for as long as you want without reporting to the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office. Like the PIO, you get legal claims to property and have economic, financial, and educational parity with regular Indians.

The last comparison in the two cards is their differing requirements for regaining Indian citizenship. With a PIO card, you can apply for Indian citizenship after being a resident of India for 7 years. With an OCI card, it takes 5 years, with at least 1 year of permanent residency in India. In both cases, you must forfeit your foreign citizenship.

Overall, the differences between the cards are minute: the OCI card is option closest to a dual citizenship and the PIO is like the OCI-lite. Nonetheless, both offer NRIs the appropriate privileges they need to protect assets in India.


77 Comments

  • Vivek
    By
    Vivek
    03.12.15 04:16 PM
    You are an idiot. Not sure what type of family was that who lost Bungalow to others but this kind of stories can only suit to Taxi driver type Indians sitting in Tim Horton who never had any civil property related litigation in India or they were some sort of rural Gujratis/Punjabis coming straight from a Village where barely anyone saw Civil lawsuit and courts in India. Even if I become Citizens of XYZ country unless I formally apply for revocation of Indian Citizenship, all rights are as it is. It was a simple matter of trespassing and encroachment and should have been easily dealt with Transfer of Property Act and other laws of India. Accepting other countries' passport is like applying for other IDs unless you cancel formally your Indian Citizenship it is Pro Bono.

    BTW I own three homes in Etobicoke, One Condo in downtown Calgary Alberta and have parental house on rent in South Extension of New Delhi and enjoy my Canadian Passport and OCI card!
  • Pallavi
    By
    Pallavi
    07.10.15 11:00 PM
    Me and my daughter are having PIO Card and are US citizens. We are in India currently and are planning to be here for longer period of time. Do I need to take permission from Police commissioner regarding this. Please kindly help me.
  • mukesh
    By
    mukesh
    19.09.15 12:50 AM
    Dear Sirs / Madam

    My mother is 78 years old and has a PIO card , How can she apply OCI card
    and how much will it costs.

    Can you please provide me link to apply on line or by post.

    I thank you in the mean time.

    Regards
    M Patel

    I thank you in the mean time.
  • maria
    By
    maria
    22.07.15 05:09 PM
    In 2005 he took nationality of Canada and lost Indian nationality according Indians rules and regulation please I want to ask they have now right for share in Indian property or not
  • shibu
    By
    shibu
    13.07.15 06:05 PM
    Can US green Card holder (more than 182 days staying in India) is NRI genuine for taking admission in INDIA under NRI category
  • priya
    By
    priya
    13.05.15 12:22 AM
    im a canadian citizen and also an oci card holder. im in India right now n am leaving to Canada soon. do i need to take a exit visa of any sort. please help.
  • Lipika Singh
    By
    Lipika Singh
    11.05.15 05:35 PM
    I would like to know if a person is Indian Origin having British citizenship; can he participate in Indian elections and join Politics? What can be the possibilities and procedures. Kindly suggest.
  • maria jamal
    By
    maria jamal
    06.05.15 10:27 PM
    i want to know if a person is indian origin and having canadian citizenship then he have right to claim his father's property after father's death.
    thanks
  • VJayanth
    By
    VJayanth
    15.03.15 08:39 AM
    My sister is a US citizen but born in india. Can she stake a claim in our ancestral property here in India? If so what id the procedure? Please clarify and help
  • S K Srinivasan
    By
    S K Srinivasan
    06.02.15 08:21 PM
    Sir /Madam,

    I request you to clarify on the following points

    1)Can the PIO coples adopt children born in India (if PIO's living in India after getting PIO Card)

    2) Can the adopted Child get Indian Passport

    Thanks and regards,

    Srinivasan
  • Ananda
    By
    Ananda
    03.02.15 09:15 AM
    you mentioned: "In both cases, you must forfeit your foreign citizenship."
    I am of USA origin and citizenship; and wish marriage to an Indian woman I've known for many years, and I am in India on a resident permit ... soon to expire.
    If we do the marriage, must I surrender USA citizenship, for getting OCI residency? Thanks.
  • sashi
    By
    sashi
    03.02.15 07:50 AM
    i am wondering that where is the position of woman?there is no column for mother name ,why?why?why?this is totally partial behaviour
  • Gopal Sharma
    By
    Gopal Sharma
    09.01.15 10:50 AM
    Hi I was born in India and i am from Nepal i don't have any documents neither nepal and India .. so can i apply for my docs from India as i am still living in India ??
  • Ann
    By
    Ann
    25.12.14 01:17 AM
    I recently acquired US citizenship as the US laws for Greencard has become strict and you cannot stay outside US for more than 6 months. My husband is a US citizen by birth and is not of Indian descent. We want to apply for OCI for my daughter and me but PIO for him. When I called CKGS they said he is not eligible for PIO which does not make sense as before I got US citizenship he would have got lifelong PIO and I could then have applied for US citizenship.
  • Llewellyn Tripp
    By
    Llewellyn Tripp
    01.12.14 04:23 AM
    My wife was born in Nepal as he father was a Nepalese citizen and she held a Nepalese Passport till she got her Australian citizenship in 2010.
    Her mother at the same time was a bonifide Indian citizen with voting rights and lived in Darjeeling India where she was working and live in her own house. She has documents proving her Indian citizenship and voting papers plus documents from the municipality to prove her Indian citizenship plus her voting docs from the Court.
    I am holding an OCI certificate and would like to ask if my spouse can apply for a PIO visa?

    Thanking you and appreciate a reply to my query.

    Regards

    Lue
  • Allan
    By
    Allan
    14.10.14 04:19 PM
    Hi Ashish,
    Good DaY!
    Can you please advise the following.
    I am planning to become Australian Citizen
    and have vast agriculture land in India purchased by me.Can I sell them or have option to keep them with me.

    Please advise with regulation category.

    Appreciate your reply.

    Regards
    Allan
  • Seshadri Kannan
    By
    Seshadri Kannan
    04.10.14 09:15 AM
    My son is US citizen by birth, has CIO.Can he repariate the rupee money from sale of my property after my demise?
  • surbhi goswami
    By
    surbhi goswami
    30.07.14 06:21 PM
    Hello sir/mam,
    I am Indian national.I just got married in India according special marriage act with German national person. Soon I will apply visa. I need ration card .can my foreign national husband apply ration card? What process for it?
    Please guide me.
  • ravindra
    By
    ravindra
    06.07.14 03:16 PM
    dear sir
    I'm living in usa,my father passed away in 2010, leaving behing money in bank without nomination,now bank is not releasing money to my mother
    what is the process to get the money releaesd in my mothers name
    I have already sent NOC and letter of disclaimer to bank in favor of my mothers name with proper attestation from a notary in usa.
    Please guide me .
  • Arvind Pradhan
    By
    Arvind Pradhan
    09.06.14 01:43 AM
    So if a person is born in India before 26 Jan 1950, for some reason, he cannot apply for an OCI card?
  • Indu
    By
    Indu
    10.02.14 04:29 AM
    Foreign born children can get OCI cards. My kids were born in the US and have OCI cards.
  • deep
    By
    deep
    22.01.14 02:32 AM
    Your article states that canadian citizen
    son has no legal right on the property of
    his father in india after his father's death
    This information is not correct. Canadian
    citizens have INHERITANCE rights in india
    deep .
  • Nirmal Ghosh
    By
    Nirmal Ghosh
    27.07.13 11:18 PM
    Hi Ashish
    Your article is very informative and clear.
    I understand that you live in Canada.
    So do I.
    Can you please tell me if I can get a PIO or or an OCI?
    Here is my situation:
    -I am a born Indian
    -I am a Canadian for the l;as t 40 years.
    -I have lost my Indian pass port in a fire in my basement some 35 years back
    -My wife was an Indian but still has her old pass port which has expired.
    -I have NO birth certificate
    -I have NO ration cards
    I have 20 years of educational document as a proof that I was born there (Ithink)
    Can I apply for a PIO or a OCI
    What proof can I provide given my
    situation.
    Thanks
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    25.04.13 11:11 AM
    @Sebastian,

    Please read as:

    If you are flying Emirates don’t fly Business class because the Airport in Dubai has become so large that by the time you walk to find the Business class lounge nearest to your Boarding Gate its time to board your connecting flight.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    25.04.13 11:07 AM
    @Sebastian,

    You are welcome. I too think there should be no problem being allowed the transport. However it would be safer to check the following information beyond any reasonable doubts about the cost of transport.

    Knowing the Immigration rules in India, arriving there with a cancelled passport can be tricky.

    If the Immigration officers in India say that due the cancelled passport the deceased is no longer a citizen of India and put the body back on return flight you may not enjoy the Ping-Pong game.

    • Valid passport of the applicants accompanying the dead body?
    • Gratis service (no fee to be charged)
    Note: If the deceased person held an Indian passport, the same may be brought to the Consulate for cancellation.
    Valid passport of applicant taking the ashes?Gratis service (no fee to be charged)

    It is also important to know not many flights take off during Easter and Christmas time because British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France workers always choose this time to push for more pay and go on strike. Do Kingfisher and Sahara Airlines exist anymore? Don’t hear much of Indian Airlines either.

    If you are flying Emirates don’t fly Business class because the Airport in Dubai is so large that by the time walk to you find the Business class lounge nearest to your Boarding Gate its time to board your connecting flight.

    It may be advisable to be India at the right time to avoid the entire harangue. Wish you all the best.
  • Sebastian
    By
    Sebastian
    24.04.13 03:16 PM
    @Rajpriya,

    Thank you for that information, so I take it from your comment that a deceased OCI will face no difficulties in being transported and buried in India.

    I know it is , but I tend to go overboard with my sense of so called humor at times!

    Thanks again and God bless!

    Sebastian.
  • Sebastian
    By
    Sebastian
    23.04.13 06:40 PM
    Dear Rajpriya,

    Many thanks for taking your time to respond! Good to know there are'nt any obstacles as far as burial in India is concerned...
    I know it is'nt but I tend to go overboard with my sense of humor at times!
    Thanks again!God bless.
    Sebastian.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    23.04.13 03:12 PM
    @Sebastian

    Being in possession of an OCI and producing it could prove one has surrendered his or her passport. Another good point to remember is take copies of all-important original documents or have them scanned before surrendering them over for any reason.

    Inform your closest relations your desire to be buried in India when you are still alive. Do not forget to inform where you usually keep your OCI card. The only issue would be if your survivors do not fulfill your wishes after your death. You could only hope they would.

    Dying is no laughing matter so I will leave out any LOLs.“Long Live Sebastian” is my personal wish.
  • Sebastian
    By
    Sebastian
    23.04.13 02:03 PM
    Dear Rajpriya

    Thank you for that information. Though , How would you take the Indian passport of the deceased OCI for cancellation when it was already submitted for cancellation during the time he/she had applied for an OCI ?
    Sorry if my question was a bit vague.
    So , in case of my death as an OCI , I take it there should be no issues of me being buried in India ? :)
    Thanks!
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    23.04.13 09:19 AM
    @Sebastian,

    Try the following:


    Certificate in connection with taking of dead body to India
    • Application form for miscellaneous services (to be filled in by the person accompanying the dead body)
    • Death certificate from the relevant local authority
    • Coroner's Out of England order
    • Doctor's Free from Infection certificate
    • Embalming certificate
    • Certificate from the undertaker confirming that the packing of body is in accordance with international regulations
    • Valid passport of the applicants accompanying the dead body
    • Gratis service (no fee to be charged)
    Note: If the deceased person held an Indian passport, the same may be brought to the Consulate for cancellation.

    http://www.cgibirmingham.org/form_files/Form_Pdf_71.pdf

    • Ashes/human remains certificates
    Application form for miscellaneous services (to be filled in by the
    person accompanying the dead body)
    Death certificate from the relevant Local Authority
    Cremation certificate
    Certificate from the undertaker confirming that the urn contains ashes of the
    deceased person
    Valid passport of applicant taking the ashes
    Gratis service (no fee to be charged)

    http://www.cgibirmingham.org/form_files/Form_Pdf_73.pdf
    CLICK HERE FOR FEES FOR PASSPORT & CONSULAR SERVICES
  • Sebastian
    By
    Sebastian
    22.04.13 05:46 PM
    Hi friends,
    I am currently living abroad and have an OCI.I have been trying to search for answers in this regard and have'nt been to lucky to get anything.Here goes..
    In the event of a death of an OCI abroad , can the dead body be transported and buried in India ?
    Thanks!
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    24.03.13 06:03 PM
    @doubt,

    No problem Sir. You are welcome. The greatest thing in life is to help each other even in the smallest possible way when and where ever possible.

    I am happy the information helped. Very rarely I get a "Thank You" I appreciate yours.
  • doubt
    By
    doubt
    24.03.13 04:50 PM
    Thank you Rajpriya, that is a very good reference indeed.
    I belieive what I stated is possible.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    24.03.13 04:38 AM
  • doubt
    By
    doubt
    24.03.13 12:55 AM
    Hi

    I am a British citizen with OCI. My wife is still an Indian citizen. We plan to re-locate to India. Will our children born in India be eligible for Indian citizenship because the mother is Indian and furthermore in the future can they apply for British citizenship since the father is a British citizen
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    13.03.13 10:10 PM
    First register the birth of your child in Britain. Then apply for a passport for the child as a first step to apply for anything. First get a visa to go India.

    http://www.aboutimmigration.co.uk/giving-birth-child-uk.html

    Then you could approach for either PIO or OCI-read details at link below.
    http://www.immihelp.com/nri/pio-vs-oci.html
  • CB
    By
    CB
    13.03.13 08:30 PM
    Hi Ashish,

    Great post.
    I am an Indian passport holder and so is my husband. We live in UK. My son was born in Feb 2013 and is a British passport holder. I am going to India with the baby for more than 6 months. What should I apply for ? a PIO or an OCI or a Visa. I am really confused as none of the official websites give straight forward answers! Do you know how long does it take for all 3 of these to arrive?
    thanks!
  • jimm
    By
    jimm
    28.02.13 06:46 AM
    I am hong kong citizen,holding OCI card,can i keep my fathers land in india with me? thanks
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    10.02.13 11:10 PM
    @Vikram Jariwala,

    Try the following website for answers to obtain OCI.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5897645_obtain-overseas-citizenship-india.html
  • Vikram Jariwala
    By
    Vikram Jariwala
    10.02.13 03:07 AM
    To be more specific, I am an Indian origin and born in 1946 and now citizen of U.S. for over ten years. Am I eligible for OCI? Thanks.

    Vikram
  • Vikram Jariwala
    By
    Vikram Jariwala
    10.02.13 03:02 AM
    I am a U.S. citizen born in India in 1946. Am I eliogible for OCI? Please adivse. Thanks.
  • A query
    By
    A query
    26.01.13 05:00 PM
    Hello

    I was wondering if I complete 3 years in Canada...can I apply for Canadian citizenship and move to India
  • prashant
    By
    prashant
    16.12.12 06:19 PM
    hi, i am indian passport holder ,my wife chinese, and i have daughter she is chinese passport holder, but i need for here PIO CARD OR OCI CARD ,PLESASE HELP ME HOW TO APPLY.
  • Ginu George
    By
    Ginu George
    31.07.12 07:18 PM
    Personally I am against any non-Indian citizens deriving privileges accorded to Indian citizens. One can't have both cakes to eat. If you choose a foreign land over your homeland, then India is no longer your home.
  • Dev
    By
    Dev
    31.07.12 03:19 PM
    Ashish, per your original article, foreign born children are not eligible for OCI. There may be an error in this interpretation. According to an Indian high commission website, A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and his/her children and grand children, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. So this would mean that foreign children of someone who was a ctizizen of India - for any time - after 26.1.50 would be eligible for OCI Card ?
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    28.05.12 10:19 AM
    @Stuart,

    I am almost (99.9%) certain you are reading it correctly.

    Read the link "To whom all it may concern" above by me. Try to be sweet as you can to the Indian officials then (they need pampering like children and don't ever say I said this) you are 50% through and the other 50% documentary proof.
  • Stuart
    By
    Stuart
    27.05.12 05:12 AM
    "Finally, in order to be eligible, you must have been born in India on or after the date of January 26th, 1950." I've been helping someone apply for OCI this week and the Indian High Commission site says this about eligibility:

    "A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 *****and his/her children and grand children***** (emphasis added). My reading of this is that the child of someone born in India before 1950 is eligible for OCI, am I reading this incorrectly?
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    26.05.12 10:08 PM
  • Puja Saxena
    By
    Puja Saxena
    26.05.12 09:51 PM
    Hi,
    My name is Puja - still holding a Indian Passport - but have Immigrated to Canada (B.C.) - 5 years back but right now living on a PR basis.
    I wanted to reapply for a Indian Pan Card as I have lost the original one.
    How do I do that - and how much time does it take to have a new one.
    Thanks
  • Charles
    By
    Charles
    19.05.12 03:49 AM
    Charles:
    No , Answer on this from anyone..Here is the question,

    When one is visiting India, if ‘Diplomatic Protection’ is required, in case of unforseen circumstances, does the help provided by country of citizenship (that was adopted when Indian citizenship was given up) differ in case of OCI or PIO?

    Varying sources point to the fact that PIO is beneficial in this regard whereas OCI proves detrimental. Any comments/feedback will be much appreicated.

    Thanks!
  • Sridharan S
    By
    Sridharan S
    04.05.12 03:40 PM
    In continutation with the RTIs I filed, OCIs are now allowed on par with Indian National to appear for MBBS in JIPMER and AIIMS
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    27.04.12 05:23 PM
    To whom all it may concern:

    Here is a link in a table form explaining all you may need to know and in detail.

    http://www.immihelp.com/nri/pio-vs-oci.html
  • Aman
    By
    Aman
    27.04.12 08:03 AM
    Hi,

    Thanks for this helpful post. It indeed clarifies important differences between PIO, OCI and NRI.

    However, I have one question that has repeatedly come up from different internet sources and for which I have not found an answer so far.

    When one is visiting India, if ‘Diplomatic Protection’ is required, in case of unforseen circumstances, does the help provided by country of citizenship (that was adopted when Indian citizenship was given up) differ in case of OCI or PIO?
    Hi All,

    Does anyone know the answer about the below which was originally posted by Mishthee in 2011. Noone has responded to it yet.

    My parents want OCI but are afraid that they wont' get diplomatic protection from Canada (their country of citizenship now). Help would be appreciated.


    Varying sources point to the fact that PIO is beneficial in this regard whereas OCI proves detrimental. Any comments/feedback will be much appreicated.

    Thanks
  • RAZ
    By
    RAZ
    14.04.12 03:54 PM
    HI, Im holding PIO card and i stay in Philippines, now i want to apply for indian passport .. can you please help me out in this .. thanks
  • Yashoda
    By
    Yashoda
    13.02.12 03:13 PM
    Can a pio gift any immovable property situated in India to his or her children.?
    Yashodha
    India.
  • Yashoda
    By
    Yashoda
    13.02.12 03:10 PM
    As a oci holder do I need to declare about the assets/lands and money transactions in India.
    How about the global income proceedure and it's tax payments.
    Yashodha.
  • Sagar B Kelkar
    By
    Sagar B Kelkar
    11.02.12 11:14 PM
    hey ppl,

    we have NRI quota where an NRI can sponsor education of a close relative through this quota fo UG and FOR PG in Medical field and others too.
    i wished whether this quota can be excercised and used by a OCI card holder who is a USA national of indian origin.
    i. e can an OCI card holder sponser my education in post graduation M.S orthopaedics in NRI quota.
    do they hav this right as an NRI. if so plz send me a link which states this specifically, m tired of searching on the net
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    07.12.11 10:06 PM
    @Ashish Seth,

    Hi, can you please enlighten me on a few facts on OCI and PIO specifically referring to my situation.

    I was born in India and hold a OIC Card. Can my Son who was born in Germany and a citizen of Germany apply for OIC or PIO on the basis that my wife and I were born in India but are not citizens of India anymore. His wife is an Indian passport holder.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rajpriya
  • Jay
    By
    Jay
    07.12.11 08:39 PM
    Hello Ashish,
    Thanks for the information. Does the 7 years of being an indian resident for PIO card holder to become Indian citizen apply for a minor child? We are Indian citizens, and our baby is a USC +PIO card holder. How long does it take between applying for citizenship and getting it? What about the USA not recognizing her renounciation of citizenship until 18 years of age? In that case, will she be refused citizenship in India until she becomes 18 years?
  • Jagpreet
    By
    Jagpreet
    30.08.11 09:09 AM
    Hello Ashish,

    I became Canadian citizen in Feb 2011. I also got OCI. I want to know:

    1. What kind of accounts can I have in Bank? Till now, I have joint savings accounts with my parents. I also have few FDs. Can I still maintain these accounts?
    2. I have a few shares of an Indian company. Can I still trade with them?
    3. On the sale of the shares, do i have to pay income tax? Can I still keep my PAN number?

    please clarify,
    Thanks
  • Venkat Sundaresan
    By
    Venkat Sundaresan
    09.07.11 07:40 PM
    Does a US citizen with a PIO, having acquired a property in a Co-operative Housing Society, have the right to vote in the General Body Meeting of Society?
  • Ashish Seth
    By
    Ashish Seth
    05.07.11 02:48 AM
    The scenario is just a scenario to help the reader segue into the concepts discuss. I'm sure there were many different things I didn't touch upon, as the legal system of India regarding such matters is very complex.

    As to your assertion that "Persons of Indian origin can buy or inherit proerty without even having a PIO or OCI card even if they are foreign citizens...", it doesn't say that anywhere in your link.

    Thanks for the information.
  • Carlos Carmo
    By
    Carlos Carmo
    04.07.11 06:31 AM
    Even though your post is helpful and provides good information, the scenario you described in your post of a person of Indian origin losing the right to inherit property in Indian upon taking foreign citizenship is completely incorrect. Indian laws allows full inheritance rights to any kind of property, including agricultural land, by the way of inheritance for all people of Indian origin and even foreigners of non Indian origin. Persons of Indian origin can buy or inherit proerty without even having a PIO or OCI card even if they are foreign citizens. Please take a look here:

    http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/FAQView.aspx?Id=33
  • BK
    By
    BK
    15.05.11 07:04 AM
    great work .. Last month got Canadian citizenship ..not sure a right thing to do .., still has many issues unresolved in terms of Indian Bank account/Immovable properties etc.Not able to bring hard earned money in Canada ,,on the other hand always under debt here. Not sure if there is any resolution, quite stressful,
    Thanks.
  • meeshtee
    By
    meeshtee
    06.05.11 01:32 AM
    Hi,

    Thanks for this helpful post. It indeed clarifies important differences between PIO, OCI and NRI.

    However, I have one question that has repeatedly come up from different internet sources and for which I have not found an answer so far.

    When one is visiting India, if 'Diplomatic Protection' is required, in case of unforseen circumstances, does the help provided by country of citizenship (that was adopted when Indian citizenship was given up) differ in case of OCI or PIO?

    Varying sources point to the fact that PIO is beneficial in this regard whereas OCI proves detrimental. Any comments/feedback will be much appreicated.

    Thanks!
  • Pawan Sharma
    By
    Pawan Sharma
    17.04.11 01:19 PM
    Hi Rahul,
    from what I understand from the post and other documentation on the links, you will be treated as a NRI and that is the reason for higher fee, if you plan to stay in India permanently then you can apply for Indian citizenship after you have had the OCI card for 5 years and stayed in India for one year after which you get all rights as an Indian citizen.
  • Rahul Pathak
    By
    Rahul Pathak
    29.03.11 11:38 AM
    Hello,
    I am naturalized Britsh citizen,holding a OCI card. i have recently moved back to India permanently. I am a Physiotherapist and for my profession i have to register with maharashtra council. They have said other than Indian citizens the fees is 10 fold than normal fees. But because of my OCI i should get parity with the indian citizen and allowed to pay normal fees. can u throw some light on this.......
  • Kshitiz
    By
    Kshitiz
    28.01.11 11:54 PM
    www.mha.nic.in/pdfs/oci-chart.pdf

    I think this is the chart you were talking about.
  • RAMESH
    By
    RAMESH
    05.01.11 07:56 AM
    Yes, that is true. You would have to pay NRI fees under OCI and PIO. Also your kids will not be eligible to apply for national exams for eg. MBBS. You will have to pay the NRI fees. That is why many parents who plan on settling in India permanently apply for Indian citizenship for their kids.
  • elegantstroke
    By
    elegantstroke
    03.12.10 12:24 PM
    Hi Ashish,

    In your post, you say that the PIO card holder would be treated on par with regular Indians for education. Is this true? The consulate general of India websites in the USA state that PIO card holders will be treated on par with "NRI". Does this mean the card holders fall under "NRI quota" for school and college admission purposes?
    This has serious implications in terms of fee structure and that's why I wanted to clarify.

    Thanks.
  • The NRI
    By
    The NRI
    19.11.10 05:10 PM
    Saurabh, please click on the highlighted link at the bottom of the post which will take you straight to the LinkedIn group, and then apply to join. If you are not already a member of LinkedIn, you will need to create an account first.
  • saurabh Bhauwala
    By
    saurabh Bhauwala
    19.11.10 11:06 AM
    Hi Ashish,

    Appreciate the work you are doing and would like to multiply them in India creating awareness. I would be happy i would be also part of this group on linkedin.

    Can i request you to send request to me through linkedin.
  • Ashish Seth
    By
    Ashish Seth
    16.11.10 06:37 AM
    Thanks for reading Barnaby. I'm a fan of your stuff so it means a lot.
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    By
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    15.11.10 10:57 AM
    A fine info sheet, Ashish - not that any of this will ever apply to me, but I've wondered what those terms mean for a long time.
  • Ashish Seth
    By
    Ashish Seth
    15.11.10 10:36 AM
    Thanks Gourav, I'm glad I could be of help. And if I were in your position, I'd have asked the same question: is my info reliable.

    There are a lot of websites online which offer information that is badly organized, misleading, and sometimes downright wrong. In order to compile this post, I had to cross reference many different websites as well as check the embassy websites for some countries (Canada and the U.S. mostly). Here are my sources:

    http://www.nriinformation.com/dual_citizen.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_nationality_law

    http://www.immihelp.com/nri/pio-vs-oci.html

    http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com/OCI_vs_PIO.htm

    http://www.nriinformation.com/pio_card.htm

    The info you read in my article is confirmed my multiple sources so I'm confident it's correct.

    There was also a PDF which detailed the differences in a table but I don't have the link for it. In order to make sure the info was correct, I also looked at a couple of embassy sites of the Indian embassy in Canada and the U.S. You can probably find that yourself easily.

    Thank you for reading. Let me know if you come across any errors in my information. I doubt there will be but the topic is so muddled and disorganized, something is bound to turn up in the future.
  • Gourav Sharma
    By
    Gourav Sharma
    15.11.10 10:21 AM
    Rely*
  • Gourav Sharma
    By
    Gourav Sharma
    15.11.10 10:17 AM
    Ultimate post Ashish, You might be unaware but you solved some of my unanswered questions from last 2-3 years.

    The question of dual citizenship was in my mind from long time and nobody answered it correctly, I always got wrong information that a person who receives abroad citizenship still remain Indian citizen Holding Dual citizenship.
    Now everything is clear like a mirror..

    But can i reply on this information? May i know what is your source ?

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