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  Canada Immigration Forum > General > Our Native Country! > PIO to OCI Conversion
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PIO to OCI Conversion




Has anyone so far applied or gone through the process of submitting the application to get the OCI card/booklet by giving the PIO card as they are no longer issuing new PIO card and letting existing PIO holders get an OCI without any fee till 31-Mar-2016 per this page from Toronto Indian Consulate.

http://www.cgitoronto.ca/content/pio-0

I have filled the form for my child who has PIO and we both have OCIs. But before going to the BLS office here in Toronto wanted to get some tips, so that I don't have to make visits again for missing anything.

They still have the stupid requirement of a "light colored (not white)" photo. None of the regular passport photo places in Toronto have anything other than white background. I remember for mine, I had to go to some Afghani photographer, who had a light blue colored background.

I am going to take my chance and just the regular 2x2 inch white background photo of my child and see what happens.

The form itself just asks for photocopy of Passport and PIO card along with the application. It does not give any details of any prepaid envelops needed etc.

So just hoping if anyone has done this, can provide any pointer.

What is more confusing is that the BLS page states that all PIO Cards issued till 9 jan 2015 are considered OCI cards, so then why do I have to go through this so called conversion process.

http://www.blsindia-canada.com/notices.php

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
22 JANUARY 2015 4:15:22

This is to inform that vide Gazette Notification No.26011/01/2014IC.I dated 09 January 2015; all PIO cards issued till 09 January 2015 are deemed to be OCI cards.

PIO Card scheme has been withdrawn vide Gazette Notification No.25024/9/2014F.I dated 09 January 2015.

All PIO applications, pending with Mission for processing, are being returned to the applicants with a request to apply for an OCI card on the same fee prescribed for the PIO card.
Henceforth, applicants may apply for an OCI card ONLY, as the PIO card scheme is no longer in existence.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>


 
photohobbyst1

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Member since: May 08
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Post ID: 227136 08-09-15 17:09:12
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adamthorat
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Member since: Aug 11




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There is a photographer named MEHBOOB studios right next to the Brampton BLS.

http://www.yellowpages.ca/bus/Ontario/Brampton/Mehboob-Studio/7662113.html

He will take the proper photos for you & he is right next door, so if the photo gets rejected, you can re do with him. He knows ALL the BS of the Indian embassy & BLS & their stupid requirements.

I think inside BLS Brampton they also have a self-serve photo kiosk for taking photos, if you want to take a chance.

You want to hear something funny, there was a time when BLS wanted a White background, the CGI Toronto wanted a light Blue background :D :clap: , the form/checklist you printed said White background, but the website said light blue background :cuss:

Vague, Confusing, Ambiguos, Obsolete information is the speciality of Indian Embassy & BLS, so just go with the flow:cry:

Like OCI they are saying U-Visa sticker is no longer required, ONLY OCI card is enough, but they are still collecting your Canadian PP for OCI sticker stamping :D :clap:


 
Post ID: 227142 08-09-15 18:29:07
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adamthorat
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Just do what they tell you, even if its illogical & makes NO sense to you. Don't argue with them its a lost cause.

I have seen them shouting & yelling at customer's over there :D . Typical Indian Gov. attitude, its like a Government Ofiice in India, not some office in Canada:(


 
Last edited by: adamthorat on 08-09-15 18:32:44
Post ID: 227143 08-09-15 18:31:04
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photohobbyst1
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Member since: May 08




Posts: 24
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adamthorat, you have put it very correctly. Just boils my blood to see these kind of illogical things still going on, I don't know where is Modi's digital India and Acche din impact to feel in our interactions with Indian government.

I do recall the conflicting info about Photo background that you mention from the time I did my OCI.

And another craziness is the endorsing of your new passport number in the PIO booklet (yes, the darn thing is not even a card) when you renew and get a new passport. Why is that useless administrative step even needed when you can carry your old passport along. Infact, that is what I did for my son when we went last year without even knowing about that rule and it was all fine. But then you see the 2nd page of PIO booklet mention getting the passport number endorsed by a "competent authority" and I see several of my colleagues doing that trip to BLS for this. Is the officer at the immigration in India less competent than the BLS staff or babus at Toronto Indian consulate to see with his own eyes and determine that the old passport is genuine. Ridiculous requirements.


 
Post ID: 227155 09-09-15 09:44:19
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chandresh
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Member since: Mar 03




Posts: 2601
Location: Toronto


See the different versions for PIO to OCI at different Indian Missions:

San Francisco
http://www.cgisf.org/page/display/30/231

No. 475/US(CPV)/2015
Government of India
Ministry of External Affairs
(CPV Division)
New Delhi, June 05, 2015CIRCULAR This is to notify that submission of application for OCI card in lieu of PIO card is voluntary and optional. OCI card in lieu of PIO card can be applied at https://passport.gov.in/oci. All extant PIO cards will continue to be valid until further instructions on the matter are conveyed by MHA. 2. Endorsements stating that existing PIO cards are valid for life would be made at the first point with which the card holder comes into contact, be it an Indian Mission, an FRRO or an immigration check-point. These endorsements/ stamps would, however, not be mandatory * * * * *
Consulate General of India, San Francisco
22 May 2015
It has been brought to our attention that rumors are spreading among Indian Diaspora community members that PIO card holders are not able to travel to India with PIO CARD after June 18th, 2015. 2. As you are all aware that the Government of India has withdrawn the PIO Card scheme and replaced it with OCI scheme for all Indian origin US passport holders. As part of the exercise of bringing about an uniformity in the scheme, all PIO card holders were intimated to get their PIO card converted into OCI card at the earliest as per instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As per these earlier instructions, initially for a period of 3 months, the submission of the application for OCI card in lieu of PIO card was voluntary. However, after the initial period of three months, the conversion of the cards was to be made mandatory. The persons were to apply for OCI card in lieu of PIO card only at https://passport.gov.in/oci. 3. Considering the concerns and issues related to this conversion from PIO card to OCI card, it has been decided that PIO cards already issued continue to be valid documents. Applying for OCI cards in lieu of PIO cards at the website indicated above will be optional for the applicant until further instructions. All concerned are hereby informed that there is no deadline for conversion from PIO card to OCI cards. However, we urge all PIO card holders to apply for change to OCI cards for uniformity sake. However, when passports are changed / renewed, applicants may apply for miscellaneous services to update their passport details in the OCI cards. 4. As conveyed earlier, endorsements stating that existing PIO cards are valid for life would be made at the first immigration point with which the card holder comes into contact, be it an Indian Mission, an FRRO or an immigration check-point. These endorsements/stamps would, however, not be mandatory.

New York
http://www.indiacgny.org/pages.php?id=989

Home Passport/Visa/OCI Conversion of PIO card to OCI card is not mandatory
As per the present circular of the Government of India, conversion of PIO card to OCI card is not mandatory but is encouraged. One can travel on their existing PIO cards and applying for OCI cards in lieu of PIO cards is optional.

CGI Toronto
http://www.cgitoronto.ca/content/pio-0

Updated information on requirement of registration for OCI in lieu of PIO cards:

Date of submission of online applications by the erstwhile PIO cardholders with valid PIO cards as on 09 January 2015 for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card has now been further extended till 31 March, 2016.



The applicants may submit applications for OCI card in lieu of PIO card to the Embassy/Consulates/FFRO concerned within the Consular jurisdiction of his/her place of residence. This is in modification of the earlier instruction that they should apply only at the location where the PIO card was issued.

===============================================

However, it is not mentioned what will happen after March 31, 2016 to those who have still not changed their PIO to OCI??

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chandresh

Advice is free lessons I charge for!!

 
Post ID: 227157 09-09-15 10:09:13
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Pramod Chopra
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Member since: Sep 03




Posts: 1284
Location: Pickering, ON


I believe that if you have a valid PIO card which was issued prior to scrapping of the scheme will remain valid lifelong AND there is no need to convert them to OCI by going through the tedious and confusing process as mentioned above.

One simply need to visit the consulate with valid PIO card and valid Canadian Passport and they will simply stamp the PIO CARD with LIFE LONG validity stamp. The process takes less than half an hour and there is NO fee for this service.

As I am visiting India in couple of months and I have a PIO card which was issued in 2011. So, about 10 days ago I visited Consulate office in Toronto with PIO Card and Canadian Passport and it took less than half an hour and they stamped my PIO card as under.

VALIDITY OF PIO CARD EXTENDED TO 'LIFE LONG'
REGISTRATION NOT REQUIRED

and it was signed by the Vice consul (OCI) at Consulate General of India, Toronto

I was also told there is NO need to convert the PIO card to OCI as it is not mandatory as the PIO card with life long validity stamp would serve the same purpose.

I hope it helps.


-----------------------------------------------------------------


Pramod Chopra
Senior Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Company of Canada



 
Post ID: 227166 09-09-15 10:50:44
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tamilkuravan
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Member since: Jun 05




Posts: 5730
Location: God's own country

When it is a child
The question comes when PIO has been issued to a child less than 16 years of age and when they are not in Canada and also if they have no plans to come to Canada ever.

When the child crosses 16 years of age, what will happen? Photo will be quite different at that time.

Murali

-----------------------------------------------------------------
I am a Gents and not a Ladies.

 
Post ID: 227168 09-09-15 10:55:00
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chandresh
Senior Desi
Member since: Mar 03




Posts: 2601
Location: Toronto


That indeed is good news!!

However since it is coming from Pramodji, it might be due to his usual charm, and so an exception!!;) We all might not get the same service.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chandresh

Advice is free lessons I charge for!!

 
Post ID: 227170 09-09-15 10:55:44
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photohobbyst1
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Member since: May 08




Posts: 24
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Thanks Pramod for the update. Again, the process you went through was no where mentioned on CGI Toronto site. So you did not even go to BLS and instead went to consulate and hat that smooth sailing. Makes me wonder if it would be same then for children as well and I just take a hike over downtown to try it or if I go by what Chandresh has put from SFO Consulate, I don't even need to go to a consulate for it and just have that stamped next time we enter India.

Why can't they then also put the renewed passport number at the same time.

Oh typical Indian govt. process. Someone should draw a flow chart for these babus.


 
Post ID: 227182 09-09-15 11:45:16
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Pramod Chopra
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Member since: Sep 03




Posts: 1284
Location: Pickering, ON


Quote:
Originally posted by photohobbyst1

Thanks Pramod for the update. Again, the process you went through was no where mentioned on CGI Toronto site. So you did not even go to BLS and instead went to consulate and hat that smooth sailing. Makes me wonder if it would be same then for children as well and I just take a hike over downtown to try it or if I go by what Chandresh has put from SFO Consulate, I don't even need to go to a consulate for it and just have that stamped next time we enter India.

Why can't they then also put the renewed passport number at the same time.

Oh typical Indian govt. process. Someone should draw a flow chart for these babus.




I would believe so for the valid PIO cards for the children as well, but I am not sure. However, I have also read and heard that there is no need to even go to CGI Toronto and a valid PIO card can be stamped at port of entry or departure in India as well.

I will check with my cousin who visited India couple of months ago to see if his PIO card was stamped with the life long stamp at the Airport in India and update here tomorrow.

Take care.

-----------------------------------------------------------------


Pramod Chopra
Senior Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Company of Canada



 
Post ID: 227184 09-09-15 11:50:34
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