UID, or Unique Identification Card as it is also called, an Aadhaar Card can be availed by residents as well as non-residents of India. The initiative was facilitated by the Planning Commission in order to ensure that each resident of India had a unique identification in addition to ensuring that welfare services are delivered efficiently and effectively. The card comes with a distinctive 16-digit number that is unique to each individual, and while the card was initially granted only to Indian residents, the Central Government has now made a provision to issue the same to NRIs as well.
An Aadhaar Card is linked with the centralised data base and includes demographic, biometric and other relevant data of an individual, which is instrumental in identifying an individual. The details gathered from NRIs will make UIDAI’s database more rich and accurate since the project is well-received and accepted in India, and the government now wants to make it a success the world over.
Procedure for NRIs to Avail an Aadhaar Card
The requirements and procedure to avail an Aadhaar card for an NRI is similar to the process that an Indian resident has to go through. You will need to visit the official website of UIDAI or the enrolment centres approved by it to apply for the Aadhar Card online or offline. Following are the steps through which an NRI can avail an Aadhaar card:
Submission of Documents
The first step to availing an Aadhaar card is to submit all the relevant documents that establish your identity as a non-resident Indian. The documents you will have to furnish will include your birth certificate, photo ID card and school certificate. NRIs will also be requested to produce the connection they have with another country where they hold a Green card. The documents will then be verified by the officials to determine whether or not you are eligible for an Aadhaar card.
After you have submitted you documents, you will be called for a biometric scanning where all ten of your fingers will be scanned to establish your unique identity. The biometric scan is necessary to ensure that your identification is unique and accurate, so you will personally have to visit the Aadhaar card enrolment centre to complete the process.
Your finger-tips will not be the only thing being scanned to establish your perfect identity. The authorities will also scan your iris to ensure that your identity will never have the risk of being confused with someone else’s. The iris scanning will also be held in the Aadhaar enrolment centre after your fingertips have been scanned.
Once you have completed the scanning procedures, you will have to have your photograph taken by the web-camera at the enrolment centre. The photograph will then be added to your Aadhaar documents and you will receive your Aadhaar Card from the UIDAI.
It takes around three months for the authorities to dispatch your Aadhaar card, but you can track the status of your Aadhaar card online by visiting the UIDAI website. The amount of time taken for UIDAI card to dispatch an NRI’s Aadhaar card is the same as the amount of time taken to grant a resident’s Aadhaar card. By following the simple aforementioned steps, you can avail your Aadhaar card with relative ease.
Aadhar Card Rules for NRIs
There is a cloud of confusion regarding Aadhaar cards and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Aadhaar card rules and regulations for NRIs. This has been so since the time changes were made in the Finance Act 2017, which came into being from July 1 this year. According to the act, Aadhaar is mandatory for filing income tax returns and also for applying for and retaining PAN card. However, when it comes to NRIs this rule may not be applicable since only those who are eligible to obtain an Aadhaar card will have to link their Aadhaar card with their PAN card.
Should An NRI Hold An Aadhaar Card?
- As per rules, only those who have resided in India for a period of 182 can apply for an Aadhaar card.
- Aadhaar card cannot be applied online. The NRI applying for the card needs to be present in India to do so.
NRIS, Aadhar and Income Tax Returns
It is not mandatory for NRIs to give Aadhaar card details while filing income tax returns for income earned in India. NRIs have to mandatorily file returns for any income that is earned in India. For example, there are many Indians in foreign countries such as the US, UK or the Gulf, and these NRIs regularly file income tax returns but do not hold an Aadhaar card. This created panic about NRIs when the Indian government made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns.
In fact, Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has said that exemptions need to be given to NRIs in this aspect. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) also made an announcement stating that NRIs will be exempted from the PAN-Aadhaar linking rule. The rule of providing Aadhaar data for filing income tax returns or for applying for a PAN, will not apply for NRIs, the CBDT announced in a report.
Can an NRI hold an Aadhaar card?
It is further clarified that only those who have resided in India for 182 days are considered Indian residents. This is immediately preceding the application date for government documents such as the Aadhaar. And only a resident individual is allowed to obtain an Aadhaar card.
Will an NRIs PAN card be blocked if it is not linked with Aadhaar?
Only a resident of India is permitted to obtain an Aadhaar card. The rule will not apply to residents of other countries and hence it is not a must for an NRI to link his/her Aadhaar card with PAN.
In case an NRI hold an Aadhaar card? How can they link it?
- Visit the e-filing Income Tax portal and log in by proving username and password
- Click on the pop-up window that allows you to link PAN with Aadhaar
- Provide details such as gender, date of birth, name. These details should match the details submitted at the time of registration
- Confirm details and initiate the linking process
- A confirmation message will be sent to the respective user upon linking of the PAN with the Aadhaar card