દેશી ધમાચકડી

PIO Card – How to apply

Posted in રાજકીય, શુભ by અશ્વિન on ઓગસ્ટ 8, 2011

I am not a big fan of any of the Indian govt agencies including consulate because of their well known performance.
But I must say that I am delighted to get exceptionally good service from Indian consulate – NY and Travisa.
P.S. I am not affiliated in any way with either Indian consulate or Travisa.

I got the PIO card of my son in 7 business days after I sent the documents. I was continuously kept informed of the status by travisa at each stage of the process. This is probably the quickest service I have got so far for something from Indian consulate.

Here I am sharing my own experience. I am sure it will help you a lot if you are planning to apply for PIO card for yourself/someone.

First of all, you would be aware of the fact that Indian Consulate in New York has outsourced the handling of PIO applications to an external agency called Travisa Outsourcing.

I wanted to apply for PIO card for my new born son. I went through the application procedure and had lots of doubts and questions. I had multiple email exchanges with Travisa to get answers of my questions but never got any satisfied answer.

Travisa has put FAQ page on their website but that doesn’t help much for some of the basic and common questions.

When we are paying $200 for application itself, I am sure many people wouldn’t be concerned about the total cost involved to get PIO card.

So here is how I applied for the PIO card.

  • Prepare the documents
    1. Fill up the forms:
      • Order Form (fill up online on travisa site)
      • PIO Application Form (download, fill and print)
    2. Original US Passport of applicant
    3. Copy of the US passport of applicant
    4. Four 2×2 photos (how to get photos? Read below for detail..)
    5. Copy of applicant’s birth certificate showing parents’ names
    6. Copies of first three and last two pages of both parent’s Indian passports
    7. Proof of Address – Photocopy of Driver License of both parents
    8. Copy of I94 of both parents as visa status proof
    9. Prepaid return shipping label (how to get this? Read below for detail..)
    10. Money order of $200 payable to Travisa outsourcing(I bought it from Walmart for 60 cents fee)
    11. Print shipping label to mail your documents(Read below to get detail..)

    This may not be the complete list. Type of document may be different or additional documents may be required on case by case basis based on the status.

    Here is the more detail on how some of the above can be done with less hassle (and also probably little less burn on pocket):

  • Photos
    • Got digital camera? Good.
      Get applicant’s photo with white background on your digital camera.
      Go to epassportphoto.com.
      Select country as India and 2×2” photo, upload your photo.
      It gives a 4×6 copy with 6 of your 2×2” photos.
      Get it printed from your local pharmacy(cvs,ritead,walgreens – online or in store) for around 8-10 cents for one copy.
      Cut it and you will have 6 2×2” photos.

  • Prepaid return shipping label
    • – This can be done from any of the known services like USPS, FedEx, UPS etc.

      – I got it from FedEx. They give discount if we have our account with them.

      – Create an account on FedEx.com

      – Create shipping label. You can enter below for the information they ask:

        Weight: 0.5 lbs
        Ship Date: We don’t know when the PIO card will be ready and when they will ship it back. Since ship date is not known in advance, put the last date available there (I think after 10 days).
        Package type: FedEx Envelope
        Service type: FedEx Express Saver

      – Based on address, FedEx automatically detects whether it is a residential or commercial and apply rate according to that.

      – FedEx charged $13.48 for this in my case.

  • Print shipping label to mail your documents
    • – I printed a shipping label on USPS to mail my application documents to Travisa.

      – I chose Priority Flat Rate method and printed it online which also includes Tracking number at no additional cost. The charge to get this shipping label was $4.75.

    I mailed my documents on 6th June 2011 which USPS delivered to Travisa on 7th June 2011 morning.
    I started receiving the updates of the status from Travisa on 7th June.
    PIO card was ready on 14th June 2011 and they shipped it back to me which was delivered to my home the very next day i.e.15th June 2011.
    Below is the screenshot of each status they updated for my application.

    PIO Status

    Indeed a nice and smooth service.

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    7 Responses

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    1. tiger said, on ફેબ્રુવારી 13, 2012 at 1:36 એ એમ (am)

      Great writeup. Helped me a lot. I got my money order from USPS. Make sure you dont endorse the money order. Only the Payee should. Also, I just use photoshop to tile the digital photo onto a 6x4inch canvas. Your tip is great for people who dont have photo editing software.

    2. Sunny said, on માર્ચ 13, 2012 at 3:37 પી એમ(pm)

      I had applied directly to the houston consulate. Got my son’s PIO back in 5 days flat! At that time, they had not outsourced the services and the charges were way less – less than half, in fact. Nice to know the new process and a great article!

    3. bobby said, on જુલાઇ 5, 2012 at 9:29 એ એમ (am)

      Thanks for sharing this, I need to get POI card for my daughter by next week.

    4. Rohit said, on જુલાઇ 15, 2013 at 2:01 પી એમ(pm)

      Thanks for info
      I have query on PIO card , does PIO card is issued on basis of valid I-94 status with visa expired?

      • અશ્વિન said, on જુલાઇ 16, 2013 at 4:43 પી એમ(pm)

        Hi Rohit,

        I believe a valid I-94 would be sufficient to prove the status. In my case too, visa stamp on my passport was expired and I applied with I-94.

        Thanks.

        • Rohit said, on જુલાઇ 19, 2013 at 4:27 પી એમ(pm)

          Thanks Ashvin for providing info ,I saw conflicting threads on some immirgration groups . Which counslate you applied?

        • અશ્વિન said, on જુલાઇ 22, 2013 at 2:55 પી એમ(pm)

          I applied at NY Consulate.


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