OCI and PIO cards

Why in News?

The scheme of converting the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to OCI cards free of the cost comes to an end as a decision has been taken not to give any more extension beyond December 31. However, the change of PIO cards to OCI cards would continue on payment of fees.



Constitutional Provisions

The Constitution deals with citizenship from Article 5 to 11 under Part II .It does not deal with the problems of acquisition or loss of citizenship subsequent to its commencement.

Through Article 11 it empowers to enact a law to provide for such matters and any other matters relating to citizenship.

Article 9 of Indian Constitution says that a person who voluntarily acquires citizenship of any other country is no longer an Indian citizen. Thus the Constitution of India prevents Indians from holding dual citizenship.

Overseas Citizen of India

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a scheme that was introduced in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora, particularly in developed countries.

The holders of OCI cards don’t enjoy full citizenship of India and thus, does not amount to dual citizenship or dual nationality.

Moreover, the OCI card is not a substitute for an Indian visa and therefore, the passport which displays the lifetime visa must be carried by OCI holders while travelling to India.

Overseas Indian Citizenship does not entitle people who have acquired, or are planning to acquire, foreign nationality or to retain their Indian passports.

Person of Indian origin

A person of Indian Origin is again NOT a citizen of India. Anyone who hold passport of any other country (with certain exceptions) are eligible to be PIO if he/she, at any time held Indian passport or he/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great-grandparents (this means 4 generations) was born in and permanently resident in Undivided India and other territories that became part of India thereafter .

In 2015, the Person of Indian Origin card scheme was withdrawn by the Government of India and was merged with the Overseas Citizen of India card scheme.



Source-Business Line.