In terms of the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 9th January 2015, all the existing PIO Cardholders as on 9 January 2015 shall be deemed to be OCI Cardholders. However, all persons having valid PIO cards as on 9th January 2015 are advised to apply for registration as OCI Cardholder in view of the following advantages in processing as OCI card:
(a) OCI card is a smart card;
(b) Possession of an OCI card will facilitate quicker immigration clearance at the Immigration Check Posts;
(c) It will help in obtaining various Consular Services from the Indian Missions;
(d) For those who are resident in India, it will facilitate in availing various services in India.
The date for submission of applications for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card online has been extended till 30 June 2017. This cutoff date will be only for submission of the applications online by the applicants. A separate online application form for submission of application for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card is available in the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/. The applicants can only submit their application forms as walk-in at the CKGS counter. If the applicants intend to mail the applications, they are advised to visit the CKGS website for filling up the application forms and further details at http://www.in.ckgs.us/.