The Indian government has approved the issuance of Aadhaar to non-resident Indians. This means that all NRIs, including Indian expats in the UAE with a valid passport, can now apply for the unique biometric identity card in India.
Here’s what NRIs should know about Aadhaar.
What are Aadhaar cards?
It is a nationwide biometric identity card issued to Indian residents. A unique 12-digit number is issued to each Aadhaar cardholder. For UAE residents, the Emirates ID is the same as the Aadhaar card.
Why was Aadhaar not given to NRIs so far?
Non-resident Indians were not previously eligible to apply for Aadhaar because they could not meet the criterion of staying at least 182 consecutive days in India. If they lived in India during this period (six months), they could lose their visas in their home country as the United Arab Emirates.
How did NRIs qualify to apply for Aadhaar?
On July 5, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed issuing Aadhaar cards to the NRI upon arrival in India without having to wait for the mandatory six-month stay in the country. The proposal was given during the announcement of the Union Budget 2019, the minister’s first budget speech to parliament.
When did NRIs qualify to apply for Aadhaar?
On September 23, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar, rolled out the system for accepting applications from NRIs with valid passports. This followed the publication of a gazette warning on September 20 that a non-resident Indian, after his arrival in India, should be entitled to an Aadhaar number.
So how can NRIs apply for Aadhaar?
NRI can apply for Aadhaar when visiting India. They can make an online appointment to submit documents and biometric data at the Aadhaar Registration Center you want in India. They can also visit the Aadhaar registration center in person, wait in line and apply for Aadhaar. Ordering an appointment online helps them save time.
The procedure and requirements for an Aadhaar card for an NRI are the same as for Indian nationals. The process includes the following steps:
1.Book an appointment
- You can order your Aadhaar agreement online or offline.
- Online: Visit the UIDAI website, select location, enter Indian mobile number and book a time slot You can book an appointment even before you arrive in India.
- Offline: You can visit an Aadhaar center near you to set up a biometric appointment.
- Although an appointment can be ordered online or offline, you must be physically present to complete the biometric authentication of the Aadhaar card.
2. Submit the documents
- you must submit all the necessary documents that establish your identity. The following are UIDAI-approved documents required for AADHAR cards for NRIs:
- A valid Indian passport is accepted as proof of identity and proof of address
- If a valid Indian Address Certificate is missing, you can submit some of the other UIDAI Approved Address Certificates (PoA).
- You may be asked for other documents to prove that you reside in another country, ie a copy of your stamped visa for the country in which you live.
- You must submit these documents in person when visiting the UIDAI Registration Center. Bring the originals for verification.
3. Be present for the collection of biometric data
After providing the necessary information as well as all the necessary documents, you need to visit the UIDAI Registration Center to register your biometric details. An official will capture the following biometric data:
- A scan of all ten fingers
- A scan of the irises in both eyes
- A photograph
That’s it. Your card will be sent to your registered address in India.
The process of generating Aadhaar after registration can take up to 90 days.
E-Aadhaar – How to get it and the benefits
After you have applied for the Aadhaar card, you can get a digital version of it, ie e-Aadhaar. E-Aadhaar is considered a valid address and proof of identity, as it contains all the same details as the physical card, including name, address, photograph and date of birth.
How to get your e-Aadhaar:
- Visit the UIDAI website
- Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number. If you have not received it yet, you can enter your Aadhaar registration number along with the time and date of the application as mentioned on the receipt.
- Click on the “Get One-Time Password” tab where you will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number (RMN). Enter OTP.
- Enter the first four letters of your name along with your year of birth in YYYY format to open the PDF file containing e-Aadhaar and download the same to your smartphone or laptop. Note that you need Adobe Reader on your laptop or mobile to open the file.
Use of Aadhaar and e-Aadhaar for NRIs
You can use the Aadhaar Card as a unique identifier and as a KYC document for all economic or regulatory transactions in India.
E-Aadhaar also comes in handy when traveling to India. For example, if you have lost or misplaced your physical Aadhaar card, you can use e-Aadhaar as a replacement for your digital ID card. You can also download and save a physical copy of e-Aadhaar and use it as an identity and address secure document at various institutions.
How can NRIs book an online appointment for Aadhaar?
To save time, NRIs can book their appointment via UIDAI’s website https://uidai.gov.in/ They can choose an Aadhaar registration center and book an appointment. This will enable NRIs to get Know Your Customer (KYC) done quickly and cut the waiting time at the registration center.
What are the documents needed for NRI to apply for Aadhaar?
The primary document required for NRIs to apply for Aadhaar is a valid passport. It will be accepted as proof of identity (PoI), proof of address (PoA) and date of birth (DoB).
What if NRI addresses in the passport are not valid?
If the NRI’s passport does not have a valid Indian address, he / she must be allowed to submit any of the other UIDAI-approved documents as proof of the address.
What other document should NRIs give for Aadhaar?
Once in India, they can visit the Aadhaar Registration Center of their choice, submit the passport copy and record their biometrics and provide other additional proof of address documents if required to register for Aadhaar.
Where will NRIs get Aadhaar delivered?
Once the applicant is registered in the register, he or she will receive the Aadhaar letter containing the 12-digit unique Aadhaar number at the Indian address provided during the application period.
What are the key benefits of using Aadhaar for NRI?
NRIs can use the Aadhar number as their paperless, digital proof of identity across India. They can use it to make cash transactions over Rs 50,000, as the government has recently allowed the exchange of PAN – permanent account number – and Aadhaar. They can use it to file income tax for taxable income in India, to book railway tickets, to apply for a driver’s license and to avail of various other services that require photo identity in India.
Is Aadhaar mandatory for NRI now?
Aadhaar is not made mandatory for NRIs now. NRIs who wish to register in the identity register and obtain their unique ID number can do so voluntarily.