indica News Bureau-
Providing relief to Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders, the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that Bureau of Immigration (BoI) will accept all PIO cards (including handwritten PIO cards) as valid travel document till September 30, 2020, along with valid foreign passport, extending the earlier deadline by 6 months.
According to the website of the MHA, all Indian immigration check post (s) will continue to consider PIO cards valid for exit from / entry into India till 30th September, 2020 instead of earlier circulated deadline i.e. 31st March, 2020. This extension of timeline is subject to the condition that if in the meantime any deadline is notified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) thereby making handwritten PIO cards invalid, then PIO cardholders may have to obtain appropriate visa from Indian Missions / Posts.
All PIO cardholders are meanwhile advised to convert their PIO cards to OCI cards well in time to allow smooth travel to India form US without hassle as the possession of an OCI card will facilitate quicker immigration clearance at Immigration Check Posts.
As the OCI card is a smart card, it will help in obtaining various Consular Services from Indian Missions/Posts and or those who are resident in India, it will facilitate in availing various services in India.
The fee for conversion of PIO card to OCI card is $100. The fees for issuance of fresh OCI cards will remain as $275.
Details regarding obtaining OCI in lieu of PIO card can be seen at the https://www.in.ckgs.us/pio/index.shtml