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




adamthorat
Senior Desi
Member since: Aug 11




Posts: 1041
Location:


Quote:


As the photo instructions are not clear, I had prepared photos with 3 different background colors - off white, gray, and blue. On the application form, I pasted one with the off white background. They accepted it without any issues.



See this is exactly what I am talking about. How hard is it to put the right specification on their website or in the application form ? They don't care about you & don't care you have to waste your time, energy & money , taking 3 photos. They know you have NO choice & will do anything & will run from pillar to post & are helpless, when they deny your photo due to THEIR mistake, not YOURS :(

Quote:

Take a print out of CGI's PIO webpage. In my case, the agent there was not aware of the new process and began by asking me for all documents like parents passports, landing papers, etc. I showed him the print out of CGI website. Then he got up to ask another staff member and she told him that the process has changed and that they only need printed application with copy of passport and PIO card.


Again the staff has no clue. you have to update them and correct their misinformation & ignorance:(

Quote:


One thing is that they will try to get you to sign up for the optional courier service. Don't agree to that unless you want the OCI card couriered to you.




Yup, its less work for them to just courier it to you, plus they can make some money on it, so they want you to choose that option. But if its lost in mail, they don't care , its your problem or the courier comapnies problem & NOT theirs :(

If you have the time, insist on a pickup. Tell them you live closeby or work closeby, so will pick it up instead. Also check everything in front of them, to make sure there are NO spelling mistakes, Typos etc :(

Someone else can also pick it up on your behalf, with proper authority letter & ID. They have the letter on their website :). so you need not take a day off or something.


 
Post ID: 227221 09-09-15 20:54:25
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kulb
Senior Desi
Member since: Sep 08




Posts: 223
Location:


Adamthorat,

You are right. They don't provide clear instructions at all whether it is regarding the photos or even the supporting documents required to make an application.

I wasted so much time on the phone with staff at BLS call centre. Spoke to 3 different supervisors at the call centre and none of them are aware of the new OCI in lieu of PIO process. They kept insisting that the procedure stated on their website is the most up to date and that any future changes would be communicated via their website. By the way, their website is a joke. Even an 8th grader can design a better website.

Then I called the consulate and was able to speak to someone there. They told me that they have notified BLS centre supervisor about new OCI in lieu of PIO procedure and that I should just submit the application there and ignore what the BLS call centre told me.

I really wish this Government had not merged PIO with OCI and just left PIO alone. This merger has caused lot of confusion and inconvenience to all PIO card holders. There is no clarity around what is going to happen after March 31st. I have a feeling that eventually they are going to make it mandatory for everyone to convert PIO to OCI as they want all PIO cards phased out (since they are mostly handwritten!!). Even if you have a lifelong stamp in your PIO card, it probably won't mean much in the long run. Hence, it is better to get the PIO converted to OCI now while it is free and through the simplified procedure as you don't have to submit hundreds of documents right now.


 
Post ID: 227226 09-09-15 21:30:40
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photohobbyst1
Junior Desi
Member since: May 08




Posts: 24
Location:


So you still have the PIO card with you while the OCI is in process ? If that is the case, then it is a risk free process as I don't care how long the OCI takes and if we have to travel to India for some reason before that.

Where did you get these photos taken ? I am in Scarborough area.

Quote:
Originally posted by kulb

Quote:
Originally posted by photohobbyst1

Kulb,

I have filled the form up and taken photocopies of passport and PIO card. Did they accept a photo of the child with white background as it common here or did they hassle you to take a picture at their kiosk there.

And do they take the PIO card away or do you give that back when you go to pickup the OCI booklet (assuming you already got it, if you did not, then you probably don't know).

And do you have to pay any service or postage fee to get the OCI booklet, in case they don't let you come there and pick it up.




As the photo instructions are not clear, I had prepared photos with 3 different background colors - off white, gray, and blue. On the application form, I pasted one with the off white background. They accepted it without any issues.

Take a print out of CGI's PIO webpage. In my case, the agent there was not aware of the new process and began by asking me for all documents like parents passports, landing papers, etc. I showed him the print out of CGI website. Then he got up to ask another staff member and she told him that the process has changed and that they only need printed application with copy of passport and PIO card.

You will have to pay BLS service charge + ICWF fee = $9.70 cash. There is no other consular fee. One thing is that they will try to get you to sign up for the optional courier service. Don't agree to that unless you want the OCI card couriered to you.

My daughter's application is still in process, so I don't know if they will eventually keep the PIO card, or if they will cancel and return it along with the OCI card. I would be interested to find out about this as well.



 
Post ID: 227238 10-09-15 07:47:10
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kulb
Senior Desi
Member since: Sep 08




Posts: 223
Location:


Quote:
Originally posted by photohobbyst1

So you still have the PIO card with you while the OCI is in process ? If that is the case, then it is a risk free process as I don't care how long the OCI takes and if we have to travel to India for some reason before that.

Where did you get these photos taken ? I am in Scarborough area.




1. Yes
2. Print2Go. They have a location in Scarborough. http://print2go.ca/Locations.aspx


 
Post ID: 227255 10-09-15 10:41:58
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photohobbyst1
Junior Desi
Member since: May 08




Posts: 24
Location:


Kulb,

Did you get the OCI cards by now ?

I filled the forms for my kids, got photos taken, went one day in October, but there was a long lineup even early in the morning, so came back. But then got very ill for 1.5 months, so could not go to BLS office again and now the filled forms have expired, so have to re-do the form filling. Now they have made photo upload mandatory, so something exra to do.


 
Post ID: 229507 17-12-15 21:39:04
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shriya
Senior Desi
Member since: Sep 06




Posts: 121
Location: everywhere


Here is my story.
We are a family of four with PIO cards. 3 out of 4 renewed Canadian passports and travelling to India next month. So no time for OCI conversion. Went to Consulate and they said go to BLS and endorse new passport number on PIO. Also advised to apply for OCI when I get back (No, not here at the BLS).Went to BLS Brampton with all applications ready. They charged whooping $180 for 3 endorsements and courier charges. Had to pay because they said only OCI are handed out in evening.
I asked them(both BLS and CGI) IS PIO considered the new OCI according to website? Do they stamp PIO as "Life Long Visa" at the Airport again according to website?
The Answer was we have no notifications as such. we are still asked to do conversion of PIO to OCI and any endorsements necessary. No Airport stamps.

It seems we are the only ones reading the updated websites. Or some frustrated OCI/PIO / Visitor hacks the website to update .As soon as I come back from India, I will go to BLS and apply for PIO to OCI given the latest deadline is 31st March. you never know what changes in the there.

Shriya.

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you may be someone to the world but for someone you are the world.

 
Post ID: 229539 21-12-15 12:11:14
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photohobbyst1
Junior Desi
Member since: May 08




Posts: 24
Location:

At BLS Scarborough
Looking wait here. Second time coming as first time even at 8am they had a long line. Lets see how it goes.

That endorsement by the way is not needed on PIO when u get new passport. We have done it for my son....just took the old and new passport....no questions asked at Bombay airport immigration.

Quote:
Originally posted by shriya

Here is my story.
We are a family of four with PIO cards. 3 out of 4 renewed Canadian passports and travelling to India next month. So no time for OCI conversion. Went to Consulate and they said go to BLS and endorse new passport number on PIO. Also advised to apply for OCI when I get back (No, not here at the BLS).Went to BLS Brampton with all applications ready. They charged whooping $180 for 3 endorsements and courier charges. Had to pay because they said only OCI are handed out in evening.
I asked them(both BLS and CGI) IS PIO considered the new OCI according to website? Do they stamp PIO as "Life Long Visa" at the Airport again according to website?
The Answer was we have no notifications as such. we are still asked to do conversion of PIO to OCI and any endorsements necessary. No Airport stamps.

It seems we are the only ones reading the updated websites. Or some frustrated OCI/PIO / Visitor hacks the website to update .As soon as I come back from India, I will go to BLS and apply for PIO to OCI given the latest deadline is 31st March. you never know what changes in the there.

Shriya.



 
Post ID: 229544 21-12-15 14:24:47
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photohobbyst1
Junior Desi
Member since: May 08




Posts: 24
Location:

What a nightmare at BLS
Oh my God, I don't know where to begin sharing my experience. Sorry to say this, but nothing can change when dealing with government of India.

After a horrendous 3 hour wait at BLS Toronto office, my application gets handled by a senior staff member, who is so misinformed about the PIO to OCI conversion requirements. She is going by the full fledged OCI process and asking for such ridiculous documents, when I submitted the filled Online application print out along with current valid passport and valid PIO card photo copies.
They have totally changed the meaning of an Online application by asking for screenshots !!

1. Print out of confirmation of uploading of documents (PIO card, Valid passport).
2. Print out of confirmation of uploading of photo and thumb impression.
3. Print out of confirmation of submission of Part A and Part B of application.
4. Parents have Canadian citizenship and despite showing her the original, she ridiculously asks if I uploaded the parents Indian passport before getting Canadian Citizenship.
5. Photocopies of childrens passport at the time they got PIO as they now have new passport. I showed her the original, that was not enough.

CGI Toronto's own website lists the simple requirements at this page

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

as

Submit the print out of the application along with copy of the existing PIO card and the current valid passport at the BLS Centre.

They seem to be doing things for the petty purpose of increasing their photocopy revenue as luckily, I had taken screenshots of items 1,2,3 above and had them on my phone. I had to email it to them, they then took printouts of those and I paid them for that.



Quote:
Originally posted by photohobbyst1

Looking wait here. Second time coming as first time even at 8am they had a long line. Lets see how it goes.

That endorsement by the way is not needed on PIO when u get new passport. We have done it for my son....just took the old and new passport....no questions asked at Bombay airport immigration.

Quote:
Originally posted by shriya





 
Post ID: 229545 21-12-15 21:45:05
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JRF
Senior Desi
Member since: Jul 04




Posts: 1849
Location: GTA, Ontario


I am sitting down to
1. Renew the OCI as my younger kid's passport expired, got a new one.
2. PIO to OCI conversion for elder.

Im seriously appalled by the process and requirement.
So you need to upload Applican'ts passport, parent's passport etc etc and then you give them copy too ????

Hmmm..., there is a saying in Tamil 'Kashikku ponalum Saneeswaran Vidadhu'. Fits well for our life.

I am seriously looking to wind up my life there.. This is enough.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
The cowards never started,
The weak died on the way,
Only the strong arrived.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yK1i9cLAMM

 
Post ID: 229645 01-01-16 09:30:23
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Chamgadad
Junior Desi
Member since: Sep 12




Posts: 28
Location:

Some questions about this PIO conversion non sense
The day this idiot announced merger of PIO and OCI, I knew we are in big trouble.
Indian bureaucrats always find a way a problem to every solution.
Since it is pointless to argue with the idiots, can someone with recent firsthand experience please let me know answers to the following questions
1. Has anyone encountered any issues while travelling to India on a PIO that is valid but does not have the lifelong stamp etc.?
2. Has anyone tried to convert the PIO recently at BLS online site? If yes did you have to mail the PIO or visit them in person?
3. Any tips to make the conversion process as painless as possible?

I did travel to India 4 times last year on a PIO w/o any issues.
Thanks in advance for your time.


 
Post ID: 229974 23-01-16 19:33:17
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