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From October 2018, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will accept only machine readable travel documents. The existing PIO cards which are hand written will, therefore, become invalid travel documents. Hence, it will be necessary upon PIO cardholders to obtain machine readable OCI cards in lieu of existing hand written PIO cards to avoid any inconvenience.

Indian diaspora members can submit application for conversion of their PIO card to OCI card on gratis basis till 31 December 2017 only.