Consulate General of India
India’s Consulate General in New York has announced a deadline of June 30 for the conversion of People of Indian Origin cards.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — The Consulate General of India has announced that the deadline for the conversion of People of Indian Origin (PIO) cards into Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards is June 30, 2017.

“PIO card holders under the jurisdiction of this Consulate are requested to urgently convert their PIO cards into OCI cards before the expiry of the deadline for the conversion process, which is June 30, 2017,” the consulate said in a press release.

India’s government announced last December the timeframe for conversion had been extended by six months, for the cards that were first introduced in 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in 2014 that the cards would be merged to provide better service to India-born foreign residents. OCI cards are valid for the lifetime of the card holders, whereas the PIO cards are valid for 15 years.

The Indian government, however, has not made it mandatory for PIO cardholders to convert them to OCI cards. Additionally, previous PIO cardholders enjoyed the same benefits as those who carried OCis, but the Ministry of External Affairs’ website advises that for the sake of convenience at the entry ports, beneficiaries obtain OCI cards.

“You are advised to convert your PIO Card to an OCI Card in order to avoid any potential inconvenience at immigration check points,” the ministry’s website reads.