International Law / Immigration

Permanent Residency

Permanent residency is a person's legal resident status in a country or territory of which such person is not a citizen but where they have the right to reside on a permanent basis. This is usually for a permanent period; a person with such legal status is known as a permanent resident.

The Permanent Residency Status (PRS) is a new scheme to attract foreign investors in India as India does not permit purchase of immovable property in India for foreigners. PRS will be granted to foreigners for a period of 10 years with multiple entry visa.

Permanent Residency

There are two options for permanent residency.

  • OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) Card
  • PIO (Persons of Indian Origin)

OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) Card

The OCI affords many of the rights of an Indian citizen. As India does not permit dual citizenship, this card is for those who may have given up their Indian citizenship but want to retain links to the country.

It essentially provides a lifelong visa allowing multiple entry to India for any purpose. Those in possession of an OCI card are exempt from registering their stay in India. An OCI card holder can apply for Indian citizenship provided they have been registered as OCI for at least five years, and have lived in India for one of the five years prior to application.

PIO (Persons of Indian Origin)

This is for all those of Indian origin who are holders of a passport of another country. Exclusions to this are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Sri Lanka.

The PIO card is valid for 15 years and allows holders to enter India without a visa including for studies and employment. Registration at the Foreign Registration Office (FRO) is not required for single periods of stay under 180 days.

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