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Efforts to strengthen bond with overseas Indians: Modi


New Delhi, Oct 7 :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said efforts for overseas Indians being undertaken by the government will help “further strengthen our bond with the diaspora”.

In a series of tweets, Modi said: “Am very glad to share that government of India has moved swiftly on the announcements I had made on consular and visa issues during my US visit.”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi delivering his address at the reception hosted by US-India Business Council, in Washington DC on September 30, 2014.“Am sure these efforts will further strengthen our bond with the diaspora and give an impetus to our development journey,” he added.

The prime minister said that a Sep 30 Gazette notification said that all Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards are valid for lifetime of cardholders. Earlier it was for 15 years.

“The gazette notification fulfils the announcement that all PIO cardholders will now enjoy a lifelong visa to India,” he said.

He said that the gazette notification also says that PIO card holders would not have to report to police stations, even if their visit exceeds 180 days.

“Instructions have been issued to embassies and consulates that apart from special circumstances, US nationals should get visas for 10 years,” he said, adding that the ministry of home affairs is working on the new scheme which will merge the People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) schemes.

Modi had made a number of announcements on consular and visa issues during his address at the Madison Square Garden in New York Sep 28, while he was on a five-day sojourn to the US.