The Government of India has announced that the PIO cards can be converted to OCI cards without any additional charge only till December 31, 2017. After this date, PIO card holders would have to pay a fee of $275.00 to convert their existing PIO cards to OCI cards.
As per the International Civil Aviation Organization rules/guidelines, passengers can now travel only with machine readable travel documents. Therefore, the PIO cards, most of which are hand-written, are being currently converted to OCI cards without any extra fee till December 31, 2017.
There are many benefits of converting PIO cards into OCI cards. It may be noted that the Government has extended the validity of OCI cards for life time as against PIO cards which were valid for 15 years only. The OCI card holders can also buy residential/commercial property in India except for agricultural/farming land. They can also travel to India without any restriction and the requirement of registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) if their stay is more than six months has also been done away with.