Aadhar is a 12-digit unique identification number given to an individual by the government agency Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). It stores all details of an individual, such as demographic and biometrics, in the government database. While having an Aadhar is not mandatory, it is one of the most preferred documents asked for for a majority of purposes such as Passport application, bank account opening, and getting an LPG subsidy. All residents and non-resident Indians (NRIs) can apply for Aadhar. Read to find out why an Aadhar Card is important for NRIs and how to apply for one.
Why is an Aadhar Card Important for NRIs?
As an NRI, when staying outside India, an Aadhar Card might not be needed at all. However, if you plan to return to India or stay in the country for some time, having an Aadhar Card can come in handy. Following are some reasons why NRIs must have an Aadhar Card.
- It is the most widely used identity proof in the country. Having proof of identity in the country other than a passport makes things easy and simple.
- An Aadhar or e-Aadhar can speed up the KYC procedures in the country.
- All transactions, such as paperwork for buying or selling a property or opening a bank account, become easy with an Aadhar.
- The income tax department makes filing tax simple and easy by linking Aadhaar with PAN. If you are filing income tax returns in India, having an Aadhar Card can make the filing process convenient.
- If you plan to return to the country and apply for a government job, then Aadhar is a mandatory document you need to have.
Eligibility Criteria to Apply for NRI Aadhar Card
Before you learn about the procedure to apply for an Aadhar Card, check whether you can apply for one. Following are the eligibility criteria for applying for an Aadhar card for NRIs.
- The applicant must be of age three years or above at the time of application.
- You must have a valid Indian passport when you apply for the Aadhar card. If you hold an expired Indian passport, you must first renew your passport and then apply for an Aadhar card.
How can NRIs Apply for Aadhar Cards?
If you want to apply for an Aadhar Card, you will need to be physically present at the Aadhar enrolment centre. You cannot apply for an Aadhar card online. Following are the steps you need to follow to get an Aadhar card. The procedure is the same for residents and non-residents (NRIs).
Step 1: Book your appointment
Before you visit the Aadhar enrolment centre, you will have to book an appointment. You can book the appointment online by visiting the official portal of UIDAI. Alternatively, you can personally visit an enrolment centre to book an appointment.
Step 2: Provide all necessary documents
On the day of your appointment, you need to provide all the documents needed to apply for an Aadhar Card. The list of documents you will need is discussed right after this section. You need to carry the originals and copies of all the documents for verification.
Step 3: Give Biometrics
Right after submitting the documents, the UIDAI officials will verify them and collect your biometrics. They will scan all ten fingers and store your fingerprint data. The officials will also scan the irises of both your eyes and click a picture which will go on the Aadhar Card.
The data collected by the officials is entered into the system, and a unique 12-digit number is generated. Hence no two Aadhaar numbers can be the same. The Aadhar card will be dispatched to your address after 90 days.
Documents Required for Applying for Aadhar Card for NRIs
As an NRI, you will require the following documents to apply for an Aadhar Card.
- Valid Indian Passport
- Photo ID proof: Passport, Voter Card, PAN Card, driving license
- Address proof: Passport or recent utility bill
- Date of birth proof: Birth certificate or 10th class mark sheet
- Documents proving your non-resident status
- If your child is below eighteen years old, you will need to authenticate on behalf of the child by signing the enrolment form and providing a valid passport as proof of identity.
Things to Keep in Mind While Applying for NRI Aadhar Card
- Aadhar is not mandatory for NRIs. However, having it can help simplify certain processes in India.
- Aadhar is just proof of identity and not citizenship. Having an Aadhar number doesn't mean one can overstay in the country without a valid visa.
- NRIs need not link their bank account with Aadhar.
- If NRIs don't have an original Aadhar Card during a transaction, e-Aadhar, or mAadhar can be used as all are equally valid.
- Despite Aadhar being a comprehensive document, additional verification by officials can be carried out anytime during a transaction.
How to get e-Aadhar for NRIs?
After applying for the Aadhar card, you can get an e-Aadhar card that will serve as valid identity proof. By following the steps below, you can get an e-Aadhar instantly.
- First, visit the UIDAI website.
- Then, enter your 12-digit Aadhar number. If you haven't received your Aadhar yet, enter your Aadhaar enrolment number and the date and time of application as mentioned on the acknowledgement slip.
- Next, click on get the OTP (One Time Password) to get the OTP on your registered mobile number.
- Finally, a PDF is generated, which can be downloaded. To open the PDF, you will have to enter a password, the first four letters of your name, along with the year of birth in YYYY format.
You can use the e-Aadhar card anywhere in India as proof of identity.
What is the procedure for NRIs to link their Aadhaar Card?
You can follow one of the three procedures to link your Aadhar Card with your mobile number.
- Link Aadhaar with mobile through SMS: You can visit your telecom provider and submit proof of your Aadhar to them along with your mobile number. They will collect the biometrics and use verification software to send an OTP to your mobile. After verifying the OTP, within 24 hours, you will get an SMS asking you to verify, to which you can respond with a 'Y' which will complete your KYC process, and your Aadhar will be linked to your mobile.
- Link Aadhaar with mobile through IVR: You can link your Aadhaar with your mobile number by sitting at home through IVR. Dial the toll-free number 14546 from your mobile number and follow the instructions. It will ask you to enter your Aadhar number, following which an OTP will be sent. Enter the OTP and verify the mobile number to link your Aadhaar with your mobile.
- Link Aadhaar with mobile by visiting a seva Kendra: You can visit an Aadhar seva kendra to link your mobile number with Aadhar. Fill out the application form, pay Rs 50, and they will do the process for you. They will give a Unique Request Number (URN) which you can use to track the status of your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Aadhar mandatory for NRIs?
No, Aadhar is not mandatory for NRIs. However, it comes in handy for various transactions you might have to do when you come to India.
Can I give an international mobile number for Aadhar?
For now, Aadhar only accepts Indian mobile numbers. So, you cannot give an international mobile number for applying for Aadhar.
Can I apply for an NRI Aadhaar card without an Indian address?
No, you cannot apply for an Aadhar card without an Indian address. If you don't have an Indian address, you can use your spouse's or parent's passport (in case of a minor) as proof.
How to check my Aadhar status?
To check your Aadhaar status, you can visit the UIDAI website and click on check Aadhar status.
How long does it take to apply for NRIs to get an Aadhar Card?
After applying, if the application is successful, it takes around 90 days for the Aadhar to be generated and dispatched.
Do I have to be physically present to apply for an Aadhar Card for NRIs?
You must be physically present to apply for an Aadhar card.
Can OCI card holders apply for an Aadhar card?
Yes, Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders can apply for an Aadhar Card if they reside in India for 182 days prior to the date of application and have an Indian address.
Can a foreign citizen get an Aadhar card?
Yes, a foreign citizen can apply for an Aadhar card provided they stay in India for 182 days and have an Indian address.
Will an NRI's PAN card be blocked if it is not linked with Aadhaar?
As per the guidelines issued by the income tax department, if PAN Card is not linked with Aadhar before March 2023, the PAN Card can be flagged as inoperative.
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