We are planning to travel to India with my 4 year old daughter.

Given complexities of time/ money/ visa complexities / duration of visa, What is most preferred visa options for her

  • OCI Card
  • PIO Card
  • Visitor visa
  • 1
    PIO is deprecated, isn't it (as in, they no longer issue them, but continue to honor existing ones)?
    – phoog
    Mar 30, 2017 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


@Amit Kaneria: Your math is wrong. You don't have to pay 300 everytime you renew your OCI card. The renewal fee is $25. So it's 375 vs 316. The advantage with OCI is you can stay as long as you want. For a tourist visa, you can't extend beyond 6 months. If you want to stay more than 6 months, you need to get a permission from some ministry of external affairs or someone and deemed illegal.

  • 1
    You have made a very important point regarding the renewal fee. To add further weight to your answer, could you add a link to the relevant GoI page that has details about renewal fee/process?
    – RedBaron
    May 26, 2017 at 4:47
  • 1
    Thanks Kiran, I am not aware of OCI renewal fees of $25. Can you please attach links if any. Thanks May 26, 2017 at 13:42

I have gone thru few websites to find the gist of above options:

  1. Visitor visa

    • India issues 10 year visa for Indian origin people (Cost:$158)
  2. PIO Card

    • deprecated --> out of scope/ Not an option any more
    • India honors existing PIOs, but does not issue new PIOs any more
  3. OCI Card

    • OCI Card need to be renewed with every passport renewal until the age of 20
    • OCI Card need not be renewed from age 20 until 50, with U stamp on passport (Passport is stamped when applicant is 20+, so the applicant can use old passport with stamp, and new passport, and OCI card for India travel purpose)
    • US passport is given for 5 years of validity(expiry) until the age of 15, 16 years and onward US issues passport for 10 years
    • In a given scenario, my daughter is 4 years old now, until her age 20, I need to reapply OCI card every 5 years, in total 4 times until she turns 20 (total cost: 4*$300 = $1200)

In above scenarios, OCI is very expensive to maintain (renew every 5 years), costly ($1200) as compared to visitor visa of 10 years at a fraction of cost of $158.

Though OCI card provides much more benefits, my daughter may not need those extra benefits as now, and can consider it later when needed. I am going for VISITOR VISA to India for a minor.

  • 1
    As a person of indian origin, I think your daughter will only be granted an entry visa and those come with a maximum validity of 5 years.
    – RedBaron
    Mar 31, 2017 at 1:36
  • We requested for 10 year visitor visa for my minor daughter, and granted :) May 22, 2017 at 23:13
  • Suppose a parent gets OCI for his or her young child, but does not renew it because of the expense. Could the child later reacquire OCI, perhaps after reaching the age of 20 years?
    – phoog
    Jul 22, 2017 at 20:08

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