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This morning I submitted my daughters application to convert her PIO to an OCI. Lots of learning in the process – which I felt may be of use to others – listing the same below.

  1. You need to log in and complete your application in the online portal https://passport.gov.in/oci. Information that you will need to fill the Online Application – a) Passport & PIO card Details b) Aadhar card c) Body Identification Mark d) PP Photo & Scan copy of Signature as explained in point 2 & 3
  2. You will need to upload a PP Photo but there may be no specifications in the portal – Please have a Square Photograph not less than 51 by 51 mm with 80% face coverage with plain light colour background – not white – without the border with front view of persons head & shoulder showing full face in middle of photograph. While uploading the photo there is no mention of specification – but after you have completed and printed it out there is a space to paste a PP photo – and that has the specifications listed above. Now you could have a situation where the uploaded photo does not match the one you are pasting – and this could cause rejection.
  3. Filling the Online form could take about an hr – the tough part is scanning the PP Photo and the Signature in a certain format  a) Both images must be in jpeg or jpg format, with max size 200kb  b) The Min dimensions are 200 Pixels (W) X 200 Pixels (H) for the Photo and Max Dimensions are 900 Pixels (W) X 900 Pixels (H)  C) For the scan signature the Min dimensions are 200 Pixels (W) X 67 Pixels (H)  and Max Dimensions are 900 Pixels (W) X 300 Pixels (H)Once you have completed this take two print outs – the printout will state that all you need to attach are copies of the PIO & Passport – but beware you need many more documents to be  submitted.
  4. The FRRO office is located at TTMC A Block , 5th Floor , BMTC Bus Stand  Building, Shantinagar – Bangalore – 27 (Located at the Rear of the Bus Stand)
  5. The FRRO office is clean & well organised – starts at 930 AM – but they allow you to enter at 9 AM – Open only from Mon – Fri , 930 – 530 PM (Closed on Sat) – No Brokers
  6. Most people walk in with the printed form and a copy of the Passport & PIO – and they are sent back – so to save time and get the job done in 1 visit here are the set of  documents you need to carry
    • Copy of Applicants passport & PIO card – self attested – 2 sets , Take both front and back pages

    • Copy of Parents Passport – front & back pages

    • Address proof – Recent Gas / Electricity bill

    • Birth certificate of applicant – Copy self attested + Original

    • Aadhar Card Copy self attested + carry original

    • Parents Aadhar Card copy self attested + carry original

    • Good to have DL / Pan card of parents Copy self attested + Original

    • Have the address of your last Res abroad handy – you will be asked to write that in the form at the end

    • Keep extra copies of the PP Photos that you have pasted in the form ( keep a glue stick also) 

With all this you may still run into problems – some examples

  • The address has changed from your old PIO card – that will mean police verification
  • Your PIO card was issued in another City
  • The Passport Number endorsed on your PIO car is different from the current passport
  • Solving this will need the help of the Staff at the FRRO office and could delay the process 

If you sail through – you will get an acknowledgement – and I was told it takes 45 – 60 days for the OCI card to be ready. It will not be mailed out and one needs to go back to the FRRO office to collect it. In the interim if you need to travel abroad – the existing PIO card with the original acknowledgement should suffice.

Two More Points 

  1. No fees are charged – This could be till March 30th 2016 only
  2. Applicant need not attend – parent can carry all the documents
  3. Last Date was recently extended from March 30, 2016 to June 30 2016 – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/conversion-of-pio-cards-last-date-for-application-extended-till-june-30/articleshow/51143520.cms

All the best.