It is mandatory for every Indian citizen to enrol for the Aadhar Card Scheme in India. So it goes without saying that NRIs, who are in essence, Indian Citizens, also need to get one for themselves. Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the UIDAI on behalf of the Government of India to create a common database of Indian Residents along with their biometrics and other important information. In this article, we will understand why an Aadhar Card is mandatory for Indian Citizens, what is its purpose and how can one enrol for them.
Can NRI get an Aadhar Card?
There is a very common doubt that NRIs often have which is whether they can get an Aadhar Card or not. The Aadhar Scheme, as already mentioned, has been made mandatory for every Indian citizen so naturally NRIs are eligible for the same and they can get an Aadhar pretty easily. Earlier there was a waiting period for NRIs of 182 days. They could apply for an aadhar only when they have stayed in India for more than 182 days before the enrolment date. However, the government of India amended this rule with a notification stating that the passport can be used as the Proof of Identity and Proof of Address for Aadhar in case of NRIs.
In the next few segments, we will understand how they can do so. But first, let’s understand what is the use of the Aadhar Card and if NRIs can get them, then why do they need it?
Do NRI need Aadhar Card: Usage of Aadhar
The Aadhar Card is used for many purposes. It is like the Social Security Number for India and a tool for ease and convenience for the citizens.The primary usages of the aadhar card are:
- Identity Proof: Aadhar serves as an Identity Proof and can be used everywhere you need to provide a proof of identity
- Address Proof: The address details provided on the Aadhar Card also serves as your address proof or Proof of Residence
- Online KYC (Know Your Customer): For investments in the Indian Market (such as Mutual Funds, Stocks etc.) Aadhar card is used as a tool for online KYC (Know Your Customer) which is a process of verifying your details for the investments
One Card, Many Uses. Aadhar serves as an all-in-one option for Indian Citizens. In the next segment, we will discuss the process of obtaining the aadhar card.
How to get Aadhar Card for NRI: The Process
The most essential thing to note in the entire process of obtaining an Aadhar Card is that you have to be physically present in India. The process requires a visit to the nearest enrolment centre as it includes recording of your biometrics (fingerprints, iris scanning and photograph). The detailed process is as such:
- Visit UIDAI website and find an enrolment centre near you
- Carry a valid Indian Passport with you (as Proof of Identity)
- Visit the centre and do the following:
- Fill the enrolment form (e-mail id is compulsory for NRIs)
- Read and sign declaration as it is slightly different for an NRI
- Ask the operator to enrol you as an NRI
- Submit required documents
- Go through fingerprint and iris scanning
- Get photograph clicked
- Check all details on screen and collect the acknowledgement/enrolment slip
- The slip has your 14 digit enrolment id and date & time stamp
- You can check status of your Aadhaar from: https://resident.uidai.gov.in/check-aadhaar
- Get pdf of e-aadhar on mail and get physical copies delivered to your registered Indian communication address
Now, this process seems a bit time taking. Well, it is. Let’s explore how much time can the entire process take.
How long does it take to get Aadhar Card for NRI
Since the process involves visiting an enrolment centre followed by uploading and updation of data on the central database. After the uploading is done, your card is processed and sent to you both on email and via mail.
The process can take 1 week to 4 weeks. There is no fee for enrolment but the physical copies are only delivered in India. So NRIs need to get it delivered in India before they leave the country. They can however get the e-aadhar on their e-mails which is treated at par with the physical copies.
Now, we know the usage and the process to obtain the Aadhar. In the next segment, we will explore the documentation requirements for the same.
Documents Required for Aadhar for NRI
The following documents are needed for NRIs to apply for an Aadhar Card. Make sure you have a set of these before you move ahead.
- Proof of Identity (POI): Documents containing Name and Photo (Any one)
- NRI PAN Card
- Voter ID
- Driving License, etc.
- Proof of Date of Birth (DOB): Documents containing Name and DOB (Any one)
- Birth Certificate
- Marksheet issued by government board or university, etc
- Proof of Address (POA): Documents containing Name and Address (Any one)
- Bank Statement/Passbook
- Voter ID, Ration Card
- Driving License, etc.
Just to quickly revise: Both Resident Indians and NRIs can apply for aadhar without any waiting period. But what about the Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs)? Well, let’s understand what do they need to do in order to apply for an Aadhar Card.
Can OCI Card Holders obtain the Aadhar Card?
A simple answer: YES! But there are layers. Let’s explore!
Aadhar is not a proof of citizenship so YES people with foreign citizenships can apply for Aadhar but then again Aadhar is a proof of residence, therefore the OCIs must stay in India for 182 days or more in an year before applying for the Aadhar Card as according to the Income Tax Act (1961) definition, an individual must stay in India for 182 days or more in one financial year in order to become a resident of India.
This was a basic outline of the Aadhar Structure in India where we covered its need, process of obtainment and the documents required basing it on the resident, NRI and OCI perspectives. Up next, let’s cover some basic FAQs that revolve around Aadhar Card for NRI.
A- No, it is not illegal. In fact it has been made easier for NRIs to get the Aadhar Card
A- NRIs can update their mobile number by visiting the nearest Aadhar Enrolment Centre and providing the new mobile number in the correction/updation form
A- No. Applying for Aadhar requires a physical visit to any of the Aadhar Enrolment Centres in India
A- No. The Aadhar Card has been made a mandatory document to file returns only for the residents of India. NRIs have been exempted from this rule as many NRIs stay in places where they don’t pay any taxes (GCC Countries) but have to file their returns in India. Since, most of these NRIs don’t have an Aadhar Card, the government of India gave an exemption to NRIs in this context
A- Yes. As per rule 114C, It is not mandatory for an NRI/PIO to have an Aadhar Card while buying property in India
A- No. An Aadhar card isn’t mandatory for opening an NRI Account.
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