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Very useful info on PIO / OIC so I reproduced it here from the original message.lemess wrote:The OIC though intended by the government to start on the 14th is not yet implemented by the Indian HC in London. In fact, I told the guys at the HC that they should check out the websites of the HC in Wellington and Washington It was the first they had heard of it - not unusual for the Indian Civil Service I guess ! Remember I actually went to apply for the PIO card on the date the OIC scheme is meant to start !
I applied for the PIO card because I need to travel to India frequently on work and it suits me. Secondly it only costs about £15 to upgrade from the PIO to OCI. I don't intend to stay in India beyond 6 months in the near future so it is good enough for now. When the OCI scheme is launched I just need to pay a nominal amount to upgrade. The OCI scheme is no less costly all things considered.
In terms of documents, the Indian HC needed the forms ( in duplicate) , 4 photographs ( no need to certify) and they took a photocopy of my British passport and returned it to me. They also took a copy of my Indian passport and handed it back after marking it as cancelled. As part of the package, I had given them a letter addressed to the passport officer asking them to cancel my Indian passport and return it to me as I had now acquired british citizenship- this they did without any problems.
The whole process was very quick - I recommend going in person to the HC - this way you get to keep all your documents and passports with you.
Go straight to counter 7 in London and tell them you're applying for a PIO card. People applying for PIO cards are taken aside ( often inside the inner sanctum !) and this way you get to escape the crush of the visa applicants who seem to crowd the place. Also , make sure you go after 9:30am in the morning as although they say that they accept applications from 8:30, the PIO guys don't kick in till 9:30. The best way would be to roll in about 10am - no appointments necessary.
Hope all this is helpful.