Persons of Indian Origin (PIO)

Originally launched in 1999 the Indian PIO Scheme (Person of Indian Origin) is a long term Indian visa service which is available to any person who has at any time held an Indian passport, was born in India or is the grandchild or great grandchild of someone born in India and living there as a permanent resident.

The Free Visa Assessment service allows Visas To clients to quickly and easily determine the best visa for their needs. While you are researching your Indian visa, why not find out your eligibility for other types of visa? Visas To can organise immigration to any country, including popular choices such as UK immigration, US visas and Canada immigration.

The scheme also applies to the spouse of any qualifying applicant as defined above.

The PIO scheme functions as a long-term Indian visa, affording many of the same rights as Indian citizens, with the exception of the right to vote.

The scheme is available to all persons of Indian origin as defined by the eligibility criteria living in most destinations across the world; however, the scheme is not available to applicants resident in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.

Visas To specialise in Indian immigration and visa services from short-term visit visas through to long-term solutions including the Overseas Citizenship of India scheme (OCI) and Indian Citizenship. 

Our unique team of immigration lawyers and ex-immigration officials manage and monitor your Indian visa application from your initial enquiry through to the successful grant of your visa, and will be on hand to offer guidance and support throughout.

To begin your Indian visa application today, visit our online assessment form now.


Unlike India's other long-term immigration service for Indians living overseas, the Overseas Citizenship of India (OIC) scheme, the PIO scheme is not granted for indefinite use although successful applicants may pursue Indian citizenship after 7 years of  residing in India.

The PIO scheme is also much quicker to process, taking around 2-4 weeks, rather than several months, as is the case with OIC.

PIO cards are issued for a period of fifteen years and are only valid when accompanied by a valid passport.

A PIO card removes the need to apply for any other Indian visa and allows for hassle free travel to and from India, on unlimited occasions.

PIO holders are also exempt from the need to register their presence in India with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer / Foreigners Registration Officer (FRRO/FRO) so long as no single visit exceeds 180 days.


The key requirement for this long term Indian immigration service is that candidates have a qualifying link to India through their own birth or passport status or through a member of their family.

This Indian immigration route is aimed specifically at those who can demonstrate a link to the country.

Where PIO cards were issued under the previous version of the scheme in 1999, these cards will continue to be valid and will have their duration extended by ten years.

In some circumstances, a 'Gratis' PIO card may be granted to a person of Indian origin who is seen to have performed an important role in strengthening relations between Indian and their adopted country.

Spouse Immigration and Dependent Immigration

In India, immigration through a PIO card is intended as a long-term service.

Although not granted for life, PIO cards are issued for more than a decade at a time, and as such, provisions are made for the immediate family members of a qualifying applicant to relocate to Indian with them. Find out further information on our Tourist Visa page.

Visit the Visas To online assessment area now to get your application started. Simply complete a few straightforward questions and a Visas To migration consultant will contact you.

July 15, 2015

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