PIO headache! How? What? Where? - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com

PIO headache! How? What? Where?

#1 Feb 20th, 2014, 22:05
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#1
So, this is a bit of a two in one question. I have read bits and pieces in different threads about this process. I will try to explain my situation as best as possible!

FACTS:

I am a Canadian citizen by birth.
I married an Indian citizen IN India September 2013.
I am currently pregnant and we are expecting the little "bun" in a few months.
Want to reside in India for an unknown but extended period of time.
DID NOT complete registering our marriage before leaving India.

It all seems so confusing and daunting and I have no idea where to start!

I have gathered most of my information about the PIO card regarding our 'soon to be' daughter and it doesn't seem that difficult, especially if I apply within Canada which I am planning to do. Just submission of her birth certificate and both of our passport copies.

For me, however is where I've really been scratching my head. Obviously as I have said above that I did read other threads and it seems easier to apply within my country of residence (Canada) but as we did not complete registering our marriage in India we are not "legally" married and so I would not be able to apply for a PIO card for myself in Canada. I am planning to just apply for a 6 month Tourist Visa, apply to register our marriage, apply for a PIO card once our marriage has hit the 1 year mark and be able to stay. but is this actually possible?? I read about two different scenarios, being yes it can be done and no it cannot be done. Something about having to convert my Tourist Visa into an "X" visa and then applying for PIO?

Obviously having a newborn baby puts this in a super stressful category because I don't want to have to leave India after 6 months and then come back again. Travelling across the world is hell as most of you probably know and I sure as heck don't want to be doing it again with a baby! I have heard the Indian government is somewhat "soft" for splitting up families especially with kids but I do have a feeling that this cannot be possible as rules are rules and everything should be done as per the regulations.

If anyone has any insight into this for me it would be grateful thank you!
#2 Feb 20th, 2014, 22:16
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  • nycank is offline
#2
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Originally Posted by missalexandrah View Post but as we did not complete registering our marriage in India we are not "legally" married
What does that mean ?
#3 Feb 21st, 2014, 16:14
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Miss A, I fear you have read a lot of information, some of which does not apply to you, mixed it up and got confused.

1. You are currently outside India, right? And got married, in India, on a previous visit? Do not think about getting a T visa and converting it India. This might have been possible on your marriage trip, if you had wanted to remain there then, but it is very unlikely to get done on subsequent visas/trips.

2. You can, as the wife of an Indian citizen, apply for a PIO card after one year (although there are variations on the time limit in different places) of marriage. Of course, you knew that! In the meantime, you can apply for an "Entry" (also called "X" because that is what they put on it) visa. This is renewable in India, and, so long as you have at least 1 year duration, you can apply for PIO whilst in India on this visa.

Yes, you will have to show proof of your marriage. Absence of registration does not necessarily mean absence of legality: there are millions of married couples in India with nothing more than a photo of a garlanded couple and (maybe) a scrawl from a temple priest.

As nycank, in his inimitable way, asks: tell us about your marriage. What evidence, documentation, etc do you have?
#4 Feb 21st, 2014, 16:25
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Indeed, they can be sympathetic to the family thing. Back when I got married, before PIO cards, I received 5-year tourist visa in my home country, that was marked "maximum stay 180 days per visit." So I turned puppydog eyes on the officer and pled "But I just got married, and am likely to have a small child for much of tis 5 year visa. How can I travel every six months?" And he immediately crossed the line off my visa (with a green pilot pen -- I could have done that myself!!!)
#5 Feb 21st, 2014, 20:35
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Absence of registration does not necessarily mean absence of legality: there are millions of married couples in India with nothing more than a photo of a garlanded couple and (maybe) a scrawl from a temple priest.
Registration has been mandatory for most of this century. The OP has not indicated where in India she got married, and under what law. There are provisions to register the marriage (after payment of fine) post-hoc. Millions of married couple who marry and do not bother to register, do not apply for a visa to go to UK/US/Gulf/or Tahiti
#6 Feb 21st, 2014, 20:47
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I mean that we were married in a Sikh temple and have a document for proof of that but we never registered our marriage in a court. Of course for most of these immigration processes it is difficult without that! Exactly why I cannot change my name on any of my documents here in Canada!
#7 Feb 21st, 2014, 21:46
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Miss A, I fear you have read a lot of information, some of which does not apply to you, mixed it up and got confused.

1. You are currently outside India, right? And got married, in India, on a previous visit? Do not think about getting a T visa and converting it India. This might have been possible on your marriage trip, if you had wanted to remain there then, but it is very unlikely to get done on subsequent visas/trips.

2. You can, as the wife of an Indian citizen, apply for a PIO card after one year (although there are variations on the time limit in different places) of marriage. Of course, you knew that! In the meantime, you can apply for an "Entry" (also called "X" because that is what they put on it) visa. This is renewable in India, and, so long as you have at least 1 year duration, you can apply for PIO whilst in India on this visa.

Yes, you will have to show proof of your marriage. Absence of registration does not necessarily mean absence of legality: there are millions of married couples in India with nothing more than a photo of a garlanded couple and (maybe) a scrawl from a temple priest.

As nycank, in his inimitable way, asks: tell us about your marriage. What evidence, documentation, etc do you have?

Thank you for all your information! Yes, I am outside India at this time.
Are you suggesting that I may be able to apply for an Entry Visa aka "X" visa here in Canada? I will call the visa office for more information but on the websites of BLS and VisaHQ they say this visa can be applied by someone of "Indian Origin" and it does not specify the validity so I am a bit confused as to how I would be eligible for this?

Would I have to submit any marriage proofs I have when I apply? I do have lots of wedding pictures of course and the "certificate" of sorts which was written in the Sikh temple we were married in.

What a weight that would lift off my shoulders rather than going into India blind and having a ticking clock to get everything done in a short period!
#8 Feb 21st, 2014, 22:10
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#8
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Originally Posted by missalexandrah View Post Thank you for all your information! Yes, I am outside India at this time.

What a weight that would lift off my shoulders rather than going into India blind and having a ticking clock to get everything done in a short period!
In your case there is no short cut, You have to apply for tourist visa go to India and there your marriage will register. When you get marriage certificate then you will elegible for long term visa and you can check if it is possible apply within India.

As you aware Canada has best health care and it is free of cost, it will good for you and your baby to stay here until birth of your baby. Your Hubby may be more interested for Permanent Resident of Canada rather your long term visa in India. You can discuss with him and you can apply for his PR only from Canada.
Best Regards,
#9 Feb 21st, 2014, 22:11
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by missalexandrah View Post I mean that we were married in a Sikh temple and have a document for proof of that but we never registered our marriage in a court. Of course for most of these immigration processes it is difficult without that! Exactly why I cannot change my name on any of my documents here in Canada!
You had an Anand Karaj. Have your in-laws, or relatives take that document and have it registered with the local registrar. Get the certificate and have it authenticated. Get the authenticated marriage certificate Fed-Ex'ed. Use that for all your applications.
#10 Feb 22nd, 2014, 02:03
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Miss A, I fear you have read a lot of information, some of which does not apply to you, mixed it up and got confused.

1. You are currently outside India, right? And got married, in India, on a previous visit? Do not think about getting a T visa and converting it India. This might have been possible on your marriage trip, if you had wanted to remain there then, but it is very unlikely to get done on subsequent visas/trips.

2. You can, as the wife of an Indian citizen, apply for a PIO card after one year (although there are variations on the time limit in different places) of marriage. Of course, you knew that! In the meantime, you can apply for an "Entry" (also called "X" because that is what they put on it) visa. This is renewable in India, and, so long as you have at least 1 year duration, you can apply for PIO whilst in India on this visa.

Yes, you will have to show proof of your marriage. Absence of registration does not necessarily mean absence of legality: there are millions of married couples in India with nothing more than a photo of a garlanded couple and (maybe) a scrawl from a temple priest.

As nycank, in his inimitable way, asks: tell us about your marriage. What evidence, documentation, etc do you have?
I did contact BLS International and they had no information except to email link me a checklist for the Entry Visa application which states a marriage certificate issued by a marriage registrar (in the country the marriage took place) needs to be submitted.

http://www.blsindia-canada.com/Canad...0Checklist.pdf

The point is, I don't want a "textbook" answer for this like I just got. I would have liked to have gotten information on their experiences with other applicants and if marriage documents ASIDE from the obvious registered marriage certificate were used in submission.

As I know, most of the Indian population IN India hasn't even registered their marriages but are still considered "legally" husband and wife and have no problem seeking help. Why must it be SO difficult for foreigners?! SIGH.
#11 Feb 22nd, 2014, 14:08
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post Registration has been mandatory for most of this century.
You are ususally right about this stuff ...but I seem to remember reading in the press that it was to become mandatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by missalexandrah View Post Are you suggesting that I may be able to apply for an Entry Visa aka "X" visa here in Canada? I will call the visa office for more information but on the websites of BLS and VisaHQ they say this visa can be applied by someone of "Indian Origin" and it does not specify the validity so I am a bit confused as to how I would be eligible for this?
Yes indeed. My first married year in India was with an X visa. True, our marriage was registered, although the manually typed certificate doesn't look very official.

By marriage to an Indian you become a sort-of-honorary person of Indian origin, at least for certain purposes --- such as being able to get an X visa, and, of course, a Person of Indian Origin card.

Quote:
Would I have to submit any marriage proofs I have when I apply? I do have lots of wedding pictures of course and the "certificate" of sorts which was written in the Sikh temple we were married in.
Yes. I do not know what they will or won't accept. They may demand registration; they may also demand that the registration be "legalised." On the other hand, being an Indian consulate, they may be used to seeing all sorts of Indian stuff.

Quote:
What a weight that would lift off my shoulders rather than going into India blind and having a ticking clock to get everything done in a short period!
Well, you would have six months, on a tourist visa, which is ample time --- but you would have to leave India before the expiry of that visa, to apply for X visa or PIO before returning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surinder20e View Post In your case there is no short cut, You have to apply for tourist visa go to India and there your marriage will register. When you get marriage certificate then you will elegible for long term visa and you can check if it is possible apply within India.
Surinder: why not an X visa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by missalexandrah View Post As I know, most of the Indian population IN India hasn't even registered their marriages but are still considered "legally" husband and wife and have no problem seeking help. Why must it be SO difficult for foreigners?! SIGH.
Frankly, it isn't. Getting you into India is infinitely easier than getting your husband into Canada, or my wife into UK.

If there is a problem here it is your problem, in that you did not register your marriage. It would have been easy to do at the time. Did you not research the visa/immigration aspects before saying "I do" (or equivalent)? I'm not trying to turn this into a blame game, just pointing out that you can't blame the Indian authorities if you cannot now satisfy their documentary requirements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank You had an Anand Karaj. Have your in-laws, or relatives take that document and have it registered with the local registrar. Get the certificate and have it authenticated. Get the authenticated marriage certificate Fed-Ex'ed. Use that for all your applications.
nycank is good at this stuff. Might be better to try giving his advice a go, before trying mine.
#12 Feb 23rd, 2014, 04:38
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Nick-H you answered in detail thanks for it. You have PIO card and earlier X visa and you are right person who has knowledge about this query.

If OP has marriage certificate and applied for PIO card it will send to Delhi and time will around 3 months. In 2000 I registered my marriage and official made sure presence of me and my wife, with parents and Sarpanch both side. Paperwork and and big amount of bribe was extra. I heard in big cities it is easy to register marriage. For X-Visa you can tell requirements.
#13 Feb 23rd, 2014, 05:32
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My wedding happened in 2005, my X visa must have been 2006. I regard this as being somewhat out-of-date for giving detailed, rather than broad, advice. Our Special Marriage Act wedding was simple, uneventful and cheap, and we were blessed with a registrar who was 100% strictly honest. No bribes. One of the clerks got Rs200 out of us, but we did not resent that.

At that time, PIO card applications in UK were, I think, handled by the High Commission. Sending the application to Delhi would imply some problem for higher-level clearance. OCIs would be sent to Delhi, hence probable longer processing time.

My X-visa was granted in London, in ten minutes, after an Indian agent faffed around for months trying to get a conversion. I just showed my marriage certificate. I had both photo album and actual wife on hand, but neither were asked for.

My PIO application was made in Chennai. It was done in a few days, so I doubt that it was referred to Delhi. It did cost us a leeeeetle bit, err, extra.

Experiences in 2014, or in different countries, or in different Indian cities --- may differ.
#14 Feb 24th, 2014, 06:50
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Well, you would have six months, on a tourist visa, which is ample time --- but you would have to leave India before the expiry of that visa, to apply for X visa or PIO before returning.
This is all SO frusterating! But you are right. I unfortunately took things too lightly and assumed it would be an easy process. I have mulled it over and unless some brainy idea or new information comes to me, I have decided to go to India again on a Tourist visa, register my marriage and then at some point within the 6 month validity return to Canada and apply for an Entry/X visa and then again enter India.

Another question I do have:

Do I have to be married (LEGALLY, on paper I mean) for a certain period of time to be able to apply for an X visa? It didn't say anything on the application form..
#15 Feb 24th, 2014, 07:02
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post You had an Anand Karaj. Have your in-laws, or relatives take that document and have it registered with the local registrar. Get the certificate and have it authenticated. Get the authenticated marriage certificate Fed-Ex'ed. Use that for all your applications.
Alexandra, the above by nycank is the best advice so far on your next steps, reinforced by Nick and Surinder. Can you not get anyone in India to do what he advises?

Quote:
Do I have to be married (LEGALLY, on paper I mean) for a certain period of time to be able to apply for an X visa? It didn't say anything on the application form..
No. The X-visa is available immediately as long as you can show proof of marriage. In contrast, to get a PIO, you need to have been married for over a year.

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