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Aadhaar Card for Non Resident Indians

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the UIDAI on behalf of the Government of India. Aadhaar card, which is a biometric document, stores an individual's personal information on a government database. The use of Aadhaar is not meant to replace PAN, passport, driving license and other identification documents. It can, however, be used as a single identification document. Aadhaar is issued to the residents of India based on their biometric and demographic data.

According to the Aadhaar Act, 2016, every resident can apply for an Aadhaar number. A resident is an individual who has been living in the country for 182 days or more in the year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment. Therefore, if a Non-Resident Indian has lived in the country for 182 days or more in the last one year right before the date of application for enrolment, then the NRI can apply for an Aadhaar card. If the NRI has not lived in the country for at least 182 days in the last 12 months, although being a citizen of India, he or she will not become eligible to avail Aadhaar. The NRI will have to wait to complete 182 days of stay in India (in the last one year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment) to apply for Aadhaar.

It should be noted that the Aadhaar number is not a proof of Indian citizenship. It does not grant any rights to domicile in India.

Procedure for NRIs to Avail an Aadhaar Card

The procedure and requirement of documents are the same for Indian residents and Non-Resident Indians.

To apply for an Aadhaar card, the Non-Resident Indian can visit the UIDAI website and look for an UIDAI authorized enrolment centre which is close to his or her residence. After selecting the enrolment centre, the NRI can directly go to the authorized Aadhaar enrolment centre with the proof of identity and other necessary documents. Once all the documents are submitted, the applicant will be requested to provide the biometric information.

Following are the steps a Non-Resident Indian can take to avail an Aadhaar card at the Aadhar enrolment centre:

Step 1. Submit Documents

The very first step a Non-Resident Indian needs to take to avail an Aadhaar card is to submit all the necessary documents that establish his or her identity. Some of the documents that the NRI will have to produce at the enrolment centre include resident proof, birth certificate and PAN card. In addition to these, the individual may be asked to present specific documents that present their proof of relationship with another country. The submitted documents will be verified by government officials to determine if they are valid and eligible for an Aadhaar card.

Step 2. Scanning Fingerprints

After the NRI has handed over all the required documents, the second step is the biometric scanning of all ten fingerprints. The individual will have to place his or her fingers on the platen to enable capture. The biometric scan, which will be stored in the government database, is necessary to establish the unique identity.

Step 3. Scanning Iris

Next, the operator will scan the iris. The enrollee will be asked to sit in a fixed position and the iris recognition software will scan his or her iris. The image captured helps ensure that the individual's identity is never confused for someone else's.

Step 4. Photograph

After the scanning procedure for fingerprints and iris is complete, a passport size photograph of the NRI will be captured on the web-camera at the enrolment centre. The picture taken will be added to the Aadhaar documents and printed on the card.

The Aadhaar official will hand over an acknowledgment slip, containing the Enrolment ID, which can be used for tracking the status of the application.

Documents Required for NRIs for Aadhaar Card

NRIs who want to apply for an Aadhaar number are required to carry along a few basic documents when they visit the enrolment centre. The Following documents are accepted by the UIDAI for this purpose:

Proof of identity

PAN Card or Ration Card or Passport or Voter ID or Driving License or Government/PSU Photo ID, etc.

Proof of Address

Voter ID or Passport or Ration Card or Driving License or Government/PSU Photo ID or Gas Connection Bill or Electricity bill or Water Bill or Landline bill or Bank Passbook or Credit Card Statement, etc.

Proof of date of birth

Birth Certificate or Passport or PAN Card or Government/PSU Photo ID

NRIs, Aadhar Card and Income Tax Returns

Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017 states that it is mandatory to quote Aadhaar/Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form while filing income tax returns and for submitting an application for PAN w.e.f 1 July, 2017.

This mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID only applies to those who are eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number. As per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, only a resident individual is eligible to get Aadhaar number. Resident, as per the Act, is a person who has been living in India for a period of 182 days or more in the one-year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

Those who do not fall under the 'resident' category, as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, will not be required to quote Aadhaar.

FAQs on Aadhaar Card for NRI

Can NRIs also get Aadhaar?

Yes, NRIs can get an Aadhaar card if they have resided in India for a period of 182 days or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

Should an NRI hold an Aadhaar card?

Yes, in order to file income tax returns as Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, states that it is mandatory to quote Aadhaar/Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form while filing income tax returns and to submitting an application for PAN w.e.f 1 July, 2017.

What is the procedure for NRIs to link their Aadhaar Card?

The procedure and requirement of documents are the same for Indian residents and Non-Resident Indians. To apply for an Aadhaar card, the Non-Resident Indian can visit the UIDAI website and look for an UIDAI authorized enrolment centre which is close to his or her residence. After selecting the enrolment centre, the NRI can directly go to the authorized Aadhaar enrolment centre with the proof of identity and other necessary documents. Once all the documents are submitted, the applicant will be requested to provide the biometric information.

Will an NRI's PAN card be blocked if it is not linked with Aadhaar?

No, however Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, states that it is mandatory to quote Aadhaar/Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form while filing income tax returns and for submitting an application for PAN w.e.f 1 July, 2017.

This mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID only applies to those who are eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, states that only a resident individual is eligible to get an Aadhaar number. Resident, as per the Act, is a person who has been living in India for a period of 182 days or more in the one year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

Can OCI card holders apply for Aadhar card?

Yes, OCI card holders can get an Aadhaar card if they have resided in India for a period of 182 days or more in one year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

Can NRI sell property in India?

Yes, an NRI can only sell commercial or residential property in India to an individual living in the country or an NRI or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO).

Can a foreign citizen get Aadhar card?

Yes, Under the Aadhaar Act, 2016, any individual, including foreign nationals, can apply for Aadhaar provided they have been residing in India for 182 days or more in the year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

Can NRI open saving account in India?

No, NRIs are not permitted to have a savings account. The FEMA regulation states that when an individual becomes a Non-Resident Indian, the person must convert his or her savings account to an NRO account.

Can an OCI get an Aadhar card?

Yes, according to the Aadhaar Act, 2016, every resident can apply for an Aadhaar number. A resident is one who has been living in the country for at least 182 days, in the year immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment. If the OCI card holder meets this condition, he or she can apply for Aadhaar.

Can I buy land in India with OCI?

OCI card holders can buy residential or commercial properties in India. However, they are not allowed to purchase agricultural land, including farmland or plantation property.

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