How to Avail an Aadhaar Card if You Are a Non-Resident Indian

Aadhaar Card is a document for which any Indian can apply. As per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, resident means an individual who has resided in India for a period or periods of 182 days or more, in the 12 months immediately before the date of application for the Aadhaar number. Therefore, if a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) has stayed in India for 182 days or more, in the 12 months right before the date of application, then that NRI is eligible to apply for a Aadhaar card.

An Aadhaar Card is linked with the centralized database and includes demographic, biometric and other relevant data of an individual which is instrumental in identifying an individual.

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.

The non-resident Indian applying for Aadhar card can visit the UIDAI website and find an UIDAI authorised enrolment centre near to him/her. Once the enrolment centre is selected, the person can go to the authorised Aadhaar enrolment centre with the proof of identity and other supporting documents. Following are the steps which an NRI can observe to avail an Aadhaar card at the Aadhar enrolment centre:

Step 1. Submission of Documents

The first step to availing an Aadhaar card is to submit all the relevant documents that establish the identity  of the non-resident Indian. The documents he/she will have to furnish will include birth certificate, photo ID card and school certificate. The submitted documents will then be verified by the officials to determine whether or not the individual is eligible for an Aadhaar card.

Step 2. Finger-Tip Scanning

After an NRI has submitted his/her documents, he/she will be called for a biometric scanning where all ten of his/her fingers will be scanned to establish the unique identity. The biometric scan is necessary to ensure that identification of the individual is unique and accurate, so the person will have to visit the Aadhaar card enrolment centre to complete the process.

Step 2. Iris Scanning

The fingertips will not be the only thing being scanned to establish a person’s perfect identity. The authorities will also scan his/her iris to ensure that the 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 the fingertips have been scanned.

Step 3. Photograph

Once the scanning procedures are complete, the Aadhaar applicants will have to have their photograph taken by the web-camera at the enrolment centre. The photograph will then be added to the Aadhaar documents and they will receive the physical copy of Aadhaar Card from the UIDAI.

It takes around 60-90 days for the authorities to dispatch the Aadhaar card, but one can track the status of his/her Aadhaar card online by visiting the UIDAI website with the enrolment number (EID) mentioned in the acknowledgement slip.

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, one can avail the Aadhaar card with relative ease.   

The UIDAI also provides facilities for both residents and non-resident Indians to download e-Aadhaar card from its website. The digital copy of Aadhar is equally accepted for all kinds of services.

NRIS, Aadhar and Income Tax Returns

As per the Section 139AA of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017, it is mandatory to quote Aadhaar Number/Aadhaar Enrolment ID, in order to file income tax returns, and for submitting an application for Permanent Account Number, with effect from July 1, 2017.

This mandatory quoting of Aadhaar number/Enrolment ID is applicable to those individuals who are eligible to obtain Aadhaar number. As per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, only a resident individual is eligible to get Aadhaar number and according to the act, a resident is an individual who has resided in India for a period or periods of 182 days or more, in the 12 months immediately before the date of application for Aadhaar.

Therefore, the Section 139AA of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 shall not apply to those individuals who are not residents, as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

Furthermore, the rule of submitting the Aadhaar number while filing Income Tax Returns is not applicable to NRIs, from July 2017.

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