Now, NRIs can apply for Aadhaar without 182-day wait period
Non-resident Indians (NRIs), holding a valid Indian passport, can now apply for Aadhaar on arrival, according to a government notification. The move was proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her budget speech, this year. Earlier, NRIs had to necessarily wait for 182 days after their arrival, before they could apply for an Aadhaar card. Meanwhile, the procedure for application remains unchanged.
According to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), an Indian passport shall be accepted as a collective proof of birth, identity, and address, and no other documents would be required. However, if an NRI's passport does not feature an Indian address, they can instead use any of the UIDAI-listed proof of address (PoA) documents, that include Ration card, Voter ID, Driving License, among others.
To recall, the said initiative was announced by Sitharaman, as she presented the annual Union budget on July 5 this year. "I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar card for non-resident Indians (NRIs) with Indian passports after their arrival in India," she had said.
Apart from this move, Sitharaman had also announced that PAN and Aadhaar can now be used interchangeably. This implies that taxpayers are now free to quote their Aadhaar number (instead of PAN), in order to file their I-T returns. Similarly, Aadhaar can also be used for other services where quoting of PAN was earlier necessary, such as buying/selling financial instruments like MF, gold, etc.
Post the September 26, 2018 Supreme Court verdict relating to authentication of Aadhaar, there has been much confusion with respect to services where Aadhaar is mandatory and where not. Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for services such as opening bank accounts, telecom services, and school admissions/entrance tests. However, it is still necessary for availing government welfare-schemes and filing I-T returns (if PAN isn't used).