The Consulate General of India, Dubai has issued a statement regarding the extension of timeline for handwritten travel document and PIO cards beyond 31 March 2019.
The statement said that the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), Government of India will continue to accept PIO cards as valid travel documents until September 30, 2019 along with a valid foreign passport.
This is an extension of the earlier deadline of March 31, 2019 conveyed by BoI. The extension of the time-line is subject to the condition that International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) does not make handwritten PIO cards invalid. It is also reiterated that all PIO cardholders with valid PIO cards as on January 9, 2015 should apply for conversion of PIO card to OCI card at the earliest.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also told overseas Indians in January 2019 that his government is making efforts to ease the processes concerning their social security, passport, visa and PIO and OCI cards and that work is on to issue chip-based e-passports.
Inaugurating this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), he said that the government's endeavour was that overseas Indians should stay "happy and safe wherever they are".
"The government is trying to ease the entire processes concerning your social security, passport, visa, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cards. We have taken a new step a few months back concerning overseas Indians. Our embassies and consulates are being connected to the Passport Seva Project worldwide," he said.
This, he said, will prepare a centralized system connected to the passport service for all of them. "Going one step ahead, work is on for issuing of the chip-based e-passport."
The Prime Minister said that along with passport, the rules related to visa were also being simplified.
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