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rlss     04/03/2019 00:11 AM

As per announcement on Mar 28, 2019, https://www.in.ckgs.us/resources/pdf/pio/press-release-pio-2019.pdf, PIO card validity seems to have been extended until Sep 30, 2019.

Various websites seems to be rolling out the changes slowly.

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haihai     04/08/2019 14:21 PM

So I called CKGS to inquire about this and they said that only machine readable PIO cards are accepted. In the press release statement, it specifically says "handwritten travel documents" which means handwritten PIO cards. When I asked CKGS about it, they said that it's just a subject and handwritten aren't accepted anymore. Nothing makes sense to me at this point.

I am travelling on May 15th, 2019 and I have a handwritten PIO card, not a machine readable one. I want to know if I can go through Indian immigration with my handwritten PIO or not? I don't want to waste my money on an e-visa if they truly are accepting both handwritten and machine readable PIO cards. The press release statememt also specifically says "all PIO cards", by all it literally means all or just machine readable?


Mrudula here     04/10/2019 11:03 AM

I'm in the same situation for my daughter! Different websites have different information! Not sure from where to get the correct info!


saransathy     04/11/2019 20:47 PM

Hi, I sent a mail to BOI (Bureau of Immigration in India) to confirm.

They confirmed me that the Handwritten PIO Card validity is extended till 30th September 2019.

Here is the mail:
Dear Sir/Madam,

Handwritten PIO cards are valid up to September 30, 2019.

Team BoI Support Centre.

The mail id for BOI support team is [email protected]

Hope this helps


ajaymk     05/17/2019 13:25 PM

As you mentioned that you are planning to travel on May 15th, 2019, can you please share your experience?


parnajagan     07/08/2019 23:07 PM

I am facing similar situation.Any update please?


toadie     05/02/2019 09:46 AM

They are private company with motive of scare tactics to make money. They knew that new PIO was abolished and yet they requested the application for my daughter in 2015. Then sent me email saying PIO is abolished, retaining all processing fees. Crook Kings.

Further, I had reached out to Ministry of Home Affairs and to "[email protected]" in 2015 when this topic was hot. Indian Ministry and not CKGS are the authority on this subject. They responded to me with similar response that all PIOs have been automatically converted to life long validity and are treated as OCIs by default. Here is a snippet of response (they sent big email on application of OCI etc etc) from Anand Joshi (Secretary of OCI/PIO at that time) and someone named Dr. B.N. Shetty from OCI team in Delhi.

"PIO Card holders

All valid PIO cards as on 9th January 2015 have automatically been extended till LIFELONG consequent upon merger of both schemes. These cards have now been equated with the OCI cards and the restriction for Police registration after 180 days stay has been removed. Conversion of PIO to OCI is NOT MANDATORY, but voluntary, at present. Applicants are advised to apply for conversion of PIO card to OCI online at the earliest convenience and submit the application to the same office which issued the original PIO card, as these cards will be phased out soon. This service is being provided on GRATIS basis without any fees.

And here is complete response from [email protected]

" PIO scheme has been merged with OCI scheme w.e.f. 9th January 2015 and new PIO cards are not being issued w.e.f. this date. The validity of existing PIO cards is automatically extended till LIFELONG and it will remain valid.

1. It is not mandatory to convert PIO to OCI. It is optional.
2. No time frame has been prescribed for conversion. It can be done at any time if the holder desires to convert it.
3. Conversion is GRATIS and no application fee is charged. Therefore, the question of penalty does not arise as it is not time bound.
4. Existing cards are valid Lifelong and the validity stamp on it may be affixed by any FRRO, Indian Missions or even Immigration Check Posts, if desired by anyone. Validity stamp is NOT MANDATORY.
5. Conversion applications from PIO to OCI need to be submitted to the same office, which originally issued the PIO cards, since these cards were issued by the Indian Mission under their delegated powers and entire records/data of the applications are available with them only.
             So long as PIO card is valid, one should have no problem in entering/exiting the country. For query related to OCI card, please write to [email protected]

 Visa Support"

Please consider this for what it is. Because it is India we're talking about. It won't take them an iota of shame to just back out of what they said in 2015.

I, for one, still not going to convert PIO for my son as they have been extending the date from 2015 and now it is 30 Sep 2019. It's just plain non-sense and cluster of errors that they can't fix this confusion for 5 years.


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