What Is Aadhaar Card?
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by taking a person’s biometric details such as iris scan and fingerprints, and demographic information like date of birth and address.
LINK AADHAAR CARD – Indian Citizens Residing in India
India is making linking Aadhaar card with the bank accounts mandatory for all Indian citizens residing in India and 31st March 2018 was the set deadline to link all Bank accounts to Aadhaar, until the Supreme Court of India ‘indefinitely’ extended the deadline on the 7th March 2018. Therefore linking of Aadhaar card at least for the PAN card, Bank accounts, Sim Card, Tatkaal Passport is not longer mandatory until the Supreme Court gives its final verdict.
However Aadhaar remains mandatory for all resident Indians for availing social security benefits, services and subsidies such as LPG Gas cylinders, Kerosene Oil, Scholarships etc, Pensions.
NRI’s and OCI’s Exempt From Aadhaar Card
A lot of NRI’s (Indian citizens living abroad) have been left in a limbo about the issues surrounding Aadhaar Card. Many NRI’s have their NRE and NRO bank accounts in India. This has caused a lot of panic among the NRI community across the globe with many taking the first available flight to get an Aadhaar card in order so as to not miss the deadline.
According to a statement issued by a Govt of India official, Aadhaar card is not mandatory for NRI’s living abroad. He said:
“Aadhaar Card enrollment is presently available to residents in India. OCI cardholders who stay in India for a long time (over 182 days in 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrollment) and have an Indian address can also enroll for Aadhaar.”
“NRIs, although they are citizens of India, are not eligible for Aadhaar Card if they have not stayed for more than 182 days or more in the last 12 months.”
NRIs can apply for Aadhaar Card after they complete 182 days of their stay in India within 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrollment.
NRI’s And OCIs Don’t Need To Link Their Aadhaar Card To Their Bank Accounts Or Sim-Cards.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the issuer of the biometrics-based Aadhaar card and UID, has clarified on this. NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) and OCIs (Overseas Citizens of India) need not link their Aadhaar card with bank account, SIM or Permanent Account Number (PAN), the UIDAI has said.
“NRI/OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) are not eligible to obtain Aadhaar as per the Aadhaar Act and hence are fully exempted to produce Aadhaar for any verification… NRI/OCI need not verify their NRE/NRO bank accounts or SIM or PAN with Aadhaar. If required, they may inform the service provider(s) that they being NRI/OCI are exempted from Aadhaar verification,” the UIDAI said on Twitter.
Resident Saving bank Accounts Held By NRI’S:
Aadhaar linking of bank account does not apply to resident savings accounts help by NRI’s. All NRI’s by law are required to close their or convert them to NRE, NRO or FRSA accounts.. Only NRE, NRO and FRSA accounts are exempt from linking to Aadhaar .
To convert your resident savings account visit your bank branch and fill up the required forms. You would need to submit two photographs, a copy of your passport and copy of your visa.
If you have already moved abroad without completing this formality, you can get copies of all your documents attested by the Indian Embassy or Notary and send them to the branch.That is why it is preferable to do it before leaving India if you expect to have earnings in India.