NRIs based in the Middle East countries will be the biggest beneficiary of the move to allow expat Indians to obtain the Aadhar card on arrival
Non-resident Indians (NRIs) with valid Indian passport will be allowed to apply for Aadhaar – the biometric ID card in India - on arrival in the country, a move which is seen to help expat Indians to transact dealings such as purchase of land or houses much easier back home.
Under current regulations, one can apply for Aadhaar card only if he or she has stayed in India for at least 182 days in the last 12 months.
India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech in July, had proposed issuing Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports after their arrival in India without stipulating the waiting period.
According to a circular issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), NRIs with Indian passport can now apply for the biometric ID on arrival or by scheduling a prior appointment.
UIDAI circular said valid Indian passport will be accepted as proof of identity, proof of address (PoA) and date of birth document.
"In case NRI's passport does not have Indian address, he shall be allowed to submit any of the other UIDAI-approved PoA documents as proof of address," according to the circular issued on Monday.
UIDAI officials have earlier indicated that they were working to make the appropriate technological changes to provide an appointment facility for NRIs to apply for a time slot and specify the place they would like to go to get their Aadhaar made, as soon as they come to India.
An Aadhaar card carries an identification number that is linked with the centralised database, and is instrumental in identifying an individual.
Experts on NRI affairs said those based in the Middle East countries will be the biggest beneficiary of the move to allow expat Indians to obtain the Aadhar card on arrival.
“With the government of India increasingly making the Aadhar number mandatory for many transactions and validations, the move to obtain this card on arrival will be of great help to NRIs,” Dr Harilal, a leading expert on NRI affairs and a professor with the Thiruvananthapuram-based Centre for Development Studies, told Arabian Business.
“The Gulf-based NRIs do innumerable number of transactions in India – whether for acquiring various assets such as houses, land or gold or for studies of their wards in institutions in India being among them – and the ease of getting an Aadhar number will immensely benefit them,” he added.