Thursday, July 30, 2009
The OCI Hoopla
Its 6 months since my daughter landed in India. I had to apply for PIO Card Registration for her. I thought why shouldn't I apply for OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India). I read pages and pages of nitty gritty details from FRRO website, carefully jotted down all the stuff that I've to collect and gathered loads of documents. I went to the bank and obtained a Demand Draft for Rs.1,290. I took my daughter to a photo studio to take Passport size photos. I then went to the Regional Passport Office to handover the OCI application form. I waited there for an hour and then learned that my daughter is not eligible for OCI because she is a minor & my wife/I do not hold US Passport. I got completely frustrated because the FAQ or other documentation in the FRRO website didn't explain it clearly. It looks like I can get an OCI for my daughter only after she reaches 18.
Though I was disappointed, I decided to atleast do the PIO registration. I had all the original docs with me. I filled the application form, took some photocopies of passport and stood in the line again. They asked me to write a requesition letter. I don't understand why they want me to write a requesition letter, since I had already filled the application form with all the details. I waited for another 1/2 hour to learn that I cannot give my passport as address proof for my daughter. The processing officer (a lady, who wasn't courteous at all) said I've to bring a phone bill or EB bill. I didn't have either of them. I came back home, completely frustrated.
I went to the bank (State Bank of India) to cancel my DD. They asked me to write a 'Requesition Letter' and get a Rs.1 revenue stamp. I really don't understand the purpose of both the revenue stamp & the requesition letter. Anyways, I got both and took it to the Bank manager. He collected all the docs + the DD and said, it will take some time and asked me to take a 'token' and wait in the queue. I took the 'token' and waited for about 30 minutes in the queue. When my coupon number was called, I went to the teller's counter. The lady in the counter said that the manager had gone out and I have to wait for him. I waited for another 30 minutes and lost my patience completely. All the folks in the queue were serviced. I was the only one left out. I went to the teller again and asked her how long it would take for the manager to come back. She said he'll come back soon (the same response she gave me previously). However, she said she can process the application for me. She took the application letter from the manager's office and processed it for me. If I had not gone back to the teller again, I would've waited for another 30 minutes or so for the manager to come back. The manager wasn't courteous enough to let me know that he is stepping out and it would take some time for him to process the application. Otherwise, I would've atleast gone back home and come back. I had a really bad experience at SBI, Gill Nagar branch.
I gathered some address proof documents in the evening and sent my wife to the Passport Office, the next day to submit the PIO card registration application + docs. They've accepted the documents. Hopefully, my daughter would get her PIO card registered without any issues. We've to wait and see.
Extending stay of a PIO card holder
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