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PIO card holders to obtain machine readable OCI cards in lieu of the existing hand-written PIO cards

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From October 2018, International Civil Aviation Organisation will accept only machine readable travel documents. It would be necessary for PIO card holders to obtain machine readable OCI Cards, in lieu of the existing hand-written PIO cards

International Civil Aviation Organisation has informed Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India that it will accept only machine-readable travel documents from October 2018 onwards. In this context, the existing PIO cards, which are hand-written, will become invalid travel documents, unless the PIO card holders obtain machine-readable OCI cards in lieu of their existing PIO cards before October 2018.

It is further informed that vide its notification dated January 1, 2015, Ministry of External Affairs had specified that existing PIO card holders, as on January 01, 2015, shall be deemed to be OCI card holders. Further, it had also informed that application for OCI cards in lieu of PIO cards may be on voluntary and gratis basis for the initial three months. Since then, this validity has been extended several times and presently such conversion, on gratis basis, is valid up to December 31, 2017.



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