Centre notifies lifetime visa promised to PIOs

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New Delhi: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that PIO cardholders will get life-long visas, the government notified new rules on Tuesday giving lifetime validity to all PIO cards held by foreigners of Indian origin. According to the gazette notification issued by the home ministry, the NRIs holding Persons of Indian Origin cards will now get life-long entry to India.

Mr Modi had announced the concession at the Madison Square Garden rally in the United States. The PIO cardholders have also been exempted from the police reporting during their period of stay in India, irrespective of any duration.

“A PIO card issued to an applicant shall be valid for his lifetime from the date of its issue provided that such applicant has a valid passport,” says the MHA notification. The notification made it clear that a PIO card which has been issued prior to notification issued September 30 will have a lifetime validity if the person has a valid passport.

Earlier, Persons of Indian Origin had PIO cards with 15 years validity for visa-free entry to India which was extendible for 10 years at a time.

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