Saturday, July 29, 2017

Is NRIs, PIOs, and OCI holders are eligible for Aadhaar Card?

One of the common doubt among NRI community is whether they are eligible for Aadhaar Card or not. The doubt has created more worry with the recent announcement of the Indian government that Aadhaar will be mandatory for filing income tax in India and every tax payer has to link their PAN card to Aadhaar card before 30th June, failing to do may result in cancellation of PAN card. While, I am not aware of any official communication about the cancellation of PAN card if not linked to Aadhaar, but that's what I see on the Internet.

Since many NRIs, Indians living outside India for more than 182 days in a calendar year, file income tax return in India for income earned in India e.g. interest from fixed deposit, rental income from their properties in India, dividend and capital gain on Stock Market and mutual fund (because NRIs are allowed to invest in stock market), they are worried about linking PAN card to Aadhaar card while filling income tax. The most important reason for worry is that because most of them don't have the Aadhaar card.

This requirement of linking PAN to Aadhaar also brings a new question, whether NRIs, PIOs, OCIs are eligible for Aadhaar card or not? Well, they are not. The Aadhaar card is just like social security number of the USA and Canada, which is only applicable for people currently staying in India, irrespective of citizenship though.

This means if you are PIO, OCI, or even foreigner you can get an Aadhaar card and number if you are currently staying in India, but even if you are an Indian citizen, you are not eligible for Aadhar because you are living outside of the India.

Because of this, NRIs are also exempted by quoting Aadhaar number while filing income tax for this year. So, you don't need to worry about Aadhaar. You can simply file your income tax returns once you are ready. Btw, if you have obtained Aadhar card already, may be on your last visit to India then you need to wait for Government's directive.

Does NRIs are eligible for Aadhaar Card

By law, NRIs cannot get Aadhaar number as they also have to make a declaration that they have stayed for more than 182 days in India, as shown below from the screenshot of Aadhaar enrollment and correction form

Is NRIs, PIOs, and OCI holders are eligible for Aadhaar Card

Should NRIs cancel their Aadhaar cards to be on the safe side of the law? I think there is no provision to cancel Aadhar card. "Once generated, Aadhar number will exist forever." I hope Aadhaar will be soon available to NRIs as well to avoid any confusion.

That's all about whether NRIs, PIOs, OCI holder are eligible for Aadhaar Card or not. As I said, Aadhar is only for anyone currently residing in India. It's 12 digits unique number similar to Social security number, which anybody over the age of 15 can get, the only requirement is you must be currently living in India.

This means Indians who are not Indian Citizen anymore i.e. they don't have Indian passport but currently living in India are also eligible for Aadhaar card. This includes OCI holder, PIOs, and foreigners current lying living and working in India.

Since NRIs doesn't live in India, they are not eligible for Aadhaar card yet, but Government is working on to get then onboard and you may get Aadhar card in near future. You can check the Frequently asked questions about Aaddhar card @ UIDAI website for more details on Aadhar card.

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