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Aadhaar Card for NRIs and Foreigners

Updated on: 18 Jun, 2024 06:42 PM

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by UIDAI (the Unique Identification Authority of India). In simple terms, it is a government database that stores an individual's personal information. Aadhaar is issued based on an individual's biometric and demographic details.

According to the Aadhaar Act of 2016, a resident Indian is someone who has lived in India for at least 182 days in the 12 months leading up to the date of application for an Aadhaar number. So, accordingly, if there is an NRI who has spent at least 182 days in India in the 12 months before the application date, the NRI is entitled to apply for an Aadhaar card. The Aadhaar card is not a citizenship document but serves as proof of identification in India for foreign nationals. Read more in the article.

Importance of Aadhaar card for Non-Resident Indians (NRI)

  • An Aadhaar or e-Aadhaar helps speed up the KYC process for all transactions within India.
  • While filing ITR in India, it is important to enroll under Aadhaar according to Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • NRI Aadhaar serves as proof of identification in India for foreign nationals.
  • Aadhaar Card is important for opening a bank account or completing real estate paperwork. For non-resident Indians, having an Aadhaar card is crucial for employment, particularly in the government sector.

Eligibility criteria for NRIs to apply for Aadhaar

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs):

  • NRIs, whether minor or adult, with a valid Indian passport can apply for an Aadhaar card at any Aadhaar Seva Kendra in India.
  • The NRI must be physically present in India for at least 182 days in a year before applying for an Aadhaar card.

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholders:

  • OCI cardholders who have stayed in India for at least 182 days in the past one year can apply for an Aadhaar card.

LTV (Long Term Visa) Holders:

  • LTV holders from Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh, specifically belonging to the minority communities of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, are eligible to apply for an Aadhaar card.

Nationals of Nepal and Bhutan:

  • Nationals of Nepal and Bhutan with a valid passport or other relevant documents can apply for an Aadhaar card.

Resident Foreigners:

  • Other resident foreigners who have stayed in India for more than 182 days in the past one year are eligible for an Aadhaar card.
  • Resident foreigners must have a valid Registration Certificate or residential permit issued by FRRO/FRO.
  • They should not possess an OCI card or LTV document and should not be nationals of Nepal or Bhutan.

Aadhaar card Application Process for NRI

An NRIs need to follow a simple procedure to obtain an Aadhaar card, this process is more or less the same as for the rest of the residents of India. The applicant needs to provide their biometric identification. The processing will take around 90 days.

Aadhaar enrolment process for NRIs, OCI cardholders, and other resident foreigners. Here's a step-by-step guide for the process:

  1. Book an Appointment: To avoid long queues, it is recommended that you book an appointment for Aadhaar enrolment at an Aadhaar Seva Kendra online. You can do so by visiting the UIDAI website and selecting the "Book an Appointment" option. Fill in the required information to schedule a visit.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Prepare the necessary documents acceptable to UIDAI depending on your applicant type. For NRIs, OCI cardholders, and other resident foreigners, you may need to carry a valid passport, OCI card, or other relevant documents.
  3. Fill Out the Enrolment Form: Complete the enrolment form, making sure to provide your email ID (mandatory for NRIs). You can download the Aadhaar Enrollment/Update form for Resident Foreigners here. Read and sign the declaration on the form.
  4. Visit Aadhaar Seva Kendra: Visit your chosen Aadhaar Seva Kendra on the scheduled date and time with your documents and enrolment form.
  5. Enroll as an NRI/OCI/LTV Holder or Other Resident Foreigner: Inform the operator that you are an NRI, OCI cardholder, LTV holder, Nepal or Bhutan national, or another type of resident foreigner. Ask the operator to enroll you accordingly.
  6. Biometric Capture: Complete the biometric capture process, including fingerprint and iris scans.
  7. Verify Details: After completing the enrolment process, check and confirm all the details on the screen (both in English and the local language) before allowing the operator to submit your information.
  8. Collect Enrolment Slip: After submission, collect your enrolment/acknowledgment slip, which contains a 14-digit enrolment ID and date and time stamp. Keep this slip safe, as it will help you check your Aadhaar card status online.

Documents required for Aadhaar Card for NRIs

The NRIs need to produce certain basic documents to get enrolled in the Aadhaar Yojna. The documents that are accepted by UIDAI are:

  • Resident proof: It could be a document that proves your address. For resident proof, you can produce any of your bills, such as a Landline bill, electricity bill, Gas connection bill, or any other ID that has your address mentioned on it, such as a driver's license, voter ID, etc.
  • Birth certificate: Any document that proves your date of birth. It could either be a birth certificate or a class 10th marksheet.
  • Proof of Identity: This could be a PAN card or Ration card to Voter ID or a driver's license.
  • An identity that establishes non-resident Indian status: The applicant needs to have the necessary documents proving his relationship with another country. Government officials will duly check the validity of these documents.

In some cases the applicant may be asked to produce documents stating the relationship he/she holds with another country.

NRIs must file their income tax returns in India to

Children of NRIs applying for Aadhaar cards

If the child is below 5 years old, one of the parents/guardians has to authenticate on behalf of the child and also give consent for the enrolment of the minor for Aadhaar Card by signing the enrolment form. In case the child is an NRI, his or her valid Indian passport is essential as proof of identity.


Things to Keep in Mind about Aadhaar Card for NRIs & Foreigners

An Aadhaar card is not proof of Indian citizenship and does not grant any foreigner the right to stay in the country if they are non-compliant with other requirements.

NRIs are not compelled to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar unless they wish to benefit under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act.

If you do not have your original Aadhaar card with you during any transaction or procedure, you can use your Aadhaar letter, e-Aadhaar, or mAadhaar profile as ID proof.

While the Aadhaar card is a comprehensive document, one cannot solely rely on it to enjoy all services. Authorities carry out additional verifications to prevent any discrepancies.

The Aadhaar issued for resident foreigners will be valid only until the validity of their visa. For nationals of Nepal and Bhutan, the Aadhaar issued will be valid for a period of ten years. Similarly, the Aadhaar issued for OCI cardholders will be valid for ten years. For LTV document holders, the Aadhaar issued will be valid only until the validity of the LTV document.


Amendments made in Aadhaar Yojna by the Government of India for NRIs in 2019

As per the previous norms, an NRI was entitled to get enrolled in the Aadhaar Yojna only if

  • He/she has been residing in India for 180 days or more
  • During the 12 months preceding the date of enrolment application

The changes with the new amendment were first put forth by the Honorable Finance Minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman while giving her Budget 2019 speech. Wherein it was mentioned that the NRIs with valid Indian passports can now be enrolled in the Aadhaar Yojna without the mandatory wait of 180 days.

A circular released by UIDAI also mentioned that if the NRI's passport does not mention an Indian address, he can produce any other PoA (Proof of address) approved by UIDAI.

The CEO of the Aadhar-issuing body UIDAI, Mr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey while addressing a press meet said that technological changes are being made in the system. With the help of these the NRI can now fix an appointment or book a time slot for the enrollment procedure even before his arrival in India.


FAQs on Aadhaar Card for NRIs and Foreigners

Q- Is it advisable for an NRI to hold Aadhaar card?

Yes, it is advisable that NRIs should hold an Aadhaar card as in order to file income tax it is mandatory to quote Aadhaar/Enrolment ID.


Q- Do NRIs need to link PAN with Aadhaar?

As per the government norms, NRIs do not have to link their aadhar for banking, mobile, PAN or other services.


Q- How can an NRI book for an online appointment to avail Aadhaar services?

There are 4 simple steps following which one can easily get an online appointment

  • Step 1 : Visit UIDAI website. Click on the 'My Aadhaar Card'. A drop down list will pop in from where you can click on ‘Book an Appointment’.
  • Step 2 : Now select the ‘city/Location’ from the 'Book an appointment tab'. After which. You can click on ‘Proceed to book an appointment.’
  • Step 3 : Now you will be directed to a new page where you have to choose between 3 options: 'New Aadhaar', 'Aadhaar Update' and 'Manage Appointment'.
  • Step 4 : After clicking on the 'Manage Appointment' you will have to fill in a detailed form with appointment details,personal details,time slot and review the appointment details in the end.

Q- Are there any charges for online booking of time slots?

The online appointment booking is completely free of cost.


Q- Can NRIs buy property in India without Aadhaar card?

No, an NRI does not need aadhaar card; as of now to buy a property in India. Only a valid passport, an address proof and a PAN card is all what an NRI needs.


Q- Can a foreigner get Aadhaar card in India?

Yes,Foreigners residing with NRIs in the country are also eligible for Aadhaar


Q- Is Aadhaar card a citizenship card?

No, it’s not a proof of Indian citizenship. It is just a unique no. alloted to you to differentiate you from the rest of the population.


Q- Is enrolment in aadhaar possible for POI persons and OCI card holders?

Yes, it is possible for POI persons and OCI card holders to enrolment in aadhaar.


CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.