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Difference between NRI, PIO and OIC


NRI, OCI and PIO are status of Individual. If you are working or living abroad you should know your exact status. You can invest money in India or pay taxes based on your status. Not only that you can enter India in India without visa or not that also depends upon your status. Let’s try to understand basic difference between NRI, OCI and PIO.

Difference between NRI, OCI and PIO

NRI – NRI (Non Resident India) is an Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport.   NRI is Indian citizen temporarily emigrated to any other country for six months or above for employment, business, residence, education or any other purpose. An individual will also be considered NRI if his stay in India is less than 182 days during the preceding financial year.

Definition of NRI is important from Tax prospective. As per rule NRI has to pay taxes on the income or capital gain earned in India.

Benefits – All benefits as available to Indian citizens subject to notifications issued by the Government from time to time.

  • Your earnings outside India are not taxed by the Indian government, provided you have paid taxes in the nation you reside in. Local earnings in India (interest, rental income) are still taxed.
  • You can continue to own land and property in India.
  • There is a special quota of seats in Indian universities reserved for NRIs.

PIO – PIO (Person of Indian Origin) is a person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/ nationality i.e. he/she is holding foreign passport.

Benefits – PIO can enjoy benefit of NRI economic, financial and educational benefits like

  • Acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India, except agricultural/ plantation properties
  • Admission of children to educational institutions in India under general category quota for NRIs, including medical and engineering college, IITs, IIMs etc
  • Availing Various housing schemes of LIC of India, State Government and Central Government agencies

As per latest news PIO is removed and all PIO cards issued till 09 January 2015 are deemed to be OCI cards.

OCI – OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) is person from Indian origin who migrated from India and got citizenship of foreign country, other than Pakistan and Bangladesh are eligible to be granted an OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws.

Benefits –

  • Employment is allowed in private sector except research work.
  • Professional Practice doctor, dentist, CA, advocate are allowed.
  • You can make investments in India
  • You get the same economic, financial, and education benefits as NRIs

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