Aadhar Card For Foreign Citizens And NRIs- How To Apply

There is a big confusion regarding Aadhar card for foreign citizens and NRIs in India, their use and requirement, etc. If you are a foreigner and have come to India for some purpose, or are an NRI, and have come to the country, then you may have many questions and doubts regarding the Aadhar card and its use, linking with PAN card, link with Income tax return filing and so on.

In the recent times, the Indian government has made it a mandate to link the Aadhar card of every citizen with the PAN card of the citizen, and also made it a mandate to mention the Aadhar card in many financial transactions. That’s why many NRIs and foreigners who have an NRI PAN card for some reason and have to transact in India gets confused about the requirement and link with Aadhar.

What is the link between Aadhar card, PAN card, and ITR?

A modification in the Income Tax Act, section 139AA made. As per this law one must link the Aadhar card with the PAN card irrespective of whether the person fills income tax return or not. Quoting the Aadhar card number or the Aadhar enrollment number for those who have applied but didn’t receive the card is a must while applying for a PAN card or while filing ITR.

Now, this amendment of law brings in a major question for the NRI and foreign nationals coming to India and transacting here. Do they also have to make an Aadhar card and link it to their PAN (if they have any), if they are eligible for the Aadhar card, and such things? To understand this, you must first understand the eligibility about Aadhar card.

Who is eligible for an Aadhar card?

To make an Aadhar card you must be a resident of the country as per the Aadhar Act, which defines residency in India as a stay period of 182 days minimum, which you must have completed here within a range of 12 months ending at the date of enrolling for Aadhar.

This means if you are enrolling for Aadhar, then just before the date of enrollment you will have to see that in the last 12 months, you must have been staying for at least 182 days in the country. This is the criteria for residing in the country for anyone who will apply for Aadhar card.

This point clarifies the fact that even if you are an NRI or foreigner you will still have to make an Aadhar card in India to link it to important transactions if you fulfill this particular criterion for residency.

The difference in the residency clause by Aadhar Act and Income Tax Act

There is a difference in the clause or definition or residency in the two acts. The Income Tax Act specifies residency to be a stay of 182 days minimum in one financial year, starting from 1st of April and ending on 31st May. The Aadhar Act deems it only as a stay of 182 days minimum within a period of 12 months, just prior to applying for the Aadhar card.


How to apply for an Aadhar card as an NRI or foreigner

To apply for an Aadhar card for NRI or foreign citizen, besides meeting the criteria of residency in India as per the Aadhar Act, you must also fulfill a few more criteria. They are as follows:

  • The age of the applicant must be above 3 years.
  • Whether Indian or NRI or foreign national, you can apply for the card if you meet the residency criteria.
  • If you a foreigner staying with an NRI, then also you may apply for an Aadhar card.

Documents for Aadhar card

Being an NRI, you would require the following documents to enroll for an Aadhar card:

  • Certificate of birth
  • Photo identity proof
  • School leaving certificate or a certificate issued from the school
  • Document providing relation with the native country for foreigners, and the country of permanent residence for NRIs.

On verification of the above documents, a foreigner or an NRI can get an Aadhar card issued.

Other information collected during the application

While applying for Aadhar card, the following data are taken from the applicant:

  • Fingerprint: The fingerprint scanned and digitally stored. All the digits of both hands scanned.
  • Iris: After scanning fingerprint Iris of both eyes also scanned.
  • Photo: A recent photo of the applicant is taken instantly at the Aadhar center through a webcam.

How the Aadhar card is processed

Finally, all the information taken for biometric data and the physical data of the applicant are combined together to form the Aadharcard, and then it is printed and sent to the applicant by post to the residence address. The whole process takes around 90 days’ time.