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Friday, March 14, 2014

No visa needed for PIOs coming for surrogacy

Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can fly to the country without a medical visa for commissioning surrogacy. Foreigners will, however, have to continue obtaining a visa.

A Home Ministry order says a couple with an OCI or PIO card, married for at least two years, would have to take permission only from the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) or the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO). They must, however, carry a letter from their country, issued by the Foreign Ministry or the Embassy here, saying it recognised surrogacy and that the child born thus would be permitted entry as the couple’s biological offspring.

The couple should furnish an undertaking that they would take care of the child. Treatment should be done only at registered assisted reproductive technology clinics recognised by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The couple will have to produce a notarised agreement between them and the prospective surrogate mother.

Before granting the child exit, the FRRO/FRO will confirm that the couple had taken the required permission and certificates for commissioning surrogacy, and liabilities due to the surrogate mother have been settled. The office will retain a copy of the birth certificate.

The wife of a foreign national or an OCI/PIO cardholder who is not involved in the treatment may not require a specific medical visa.

The OCI card is issued to foreign nationals who were eligible to become citizens of India on January 26, 1950, or were Indian citizens on or after that date with eligibility based on lineage. The PIO card is issued to a person of Indian origin who is a citizen of any country other than Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, China or Nepal or who has held an Indian passport at any time or is the spouse of an Indian citizen or a Person of Indian Origin.

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