In terms of the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 9th January 2015, all the existing PIO Cardholders as on 9 January 2015 shall be deemed to be OCI Cardholders. However, all persons having valid PIO cards as on 9th January 2015 are advised to apply for registration as OCI Cardholder in view of the following advantages in processing as OCI card:
(a) OCI card is a smart card;
(b) Possession of an OCI card will facilitate quicker immigration clearance at the Immigration Check Posts;
(c) It will help in obtaining various Consular Services from the Indian Missions;
(d) For those who are resident in India, it will facilitate in availing various services in India.
The date for submission of applications for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card online has been extended till 30 June 2017. This cutoff date will be only for submission of the applications online by the applicants. A separate online application form for submission of application for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card is available in the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/.
The erstwhile PIO cardholder with valid PIO card as on 9 January 2015 will have to upload only the following documents with his/her application :
(a) Copy of the valid Passport
(b) Copy of the PIO card
The applicants can submit the applications online from anywhere. The grant of OCI card in lieu of the PIO card will be on a gratis basis.
The OCI card shall be issued by the Indian Mission/Post/FFRO concerned within the jurisdiction of the applicant's place of residence. The applicant will have to approach the Embassy for collecting the OCI Card by surrendering the PIO card.