New Delhi, November 21: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) – the body that issues Aadhaar has clarified that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) are not required to link bank accounts, PAN and other services with the 12 digit UID Number.  The UIDAI instructed various implementation agencies to work out a mechanism to verify the status of such individuals. Also Read - MEA Gives Assent to Election Commission's Proposal Extending Postal Ballot Facility to Indians Abroad

A recent circular issued by the UIDAI says, “The laws regarding submitting/linking of Aadhaar for availing the services/benefits apply to the resident as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016. In view of the foregoing, most of the NRIs/ PIOs/ OCIs may not be eligible for Aadhaar enrolment as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016. However, the implementing agency may device a mechanism to ascertain the genuineness of status of such NRIs/ PIOs /OCIs”.  The Circular makes reference to Section 3(1) of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, which inter alia lays down that “every resident shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number”. Also Read - Want to Make Online Appointment at Aadhaar Seva Kendra? Follow Step-by-step Guide Here

The UIDAI said that the Prevention of Money laundering Rules 2017 and the Income Tax Act clearly stipulate that the linking of bank accounts and PAN respectively “is for those persons who are eligible to enrol for Aadhaar”.  The Aadhaar-issuing body said several representations had been received about problems faced by NRIs, PIOs and Overseas Citizens of India OCI where Aadhaar was being demanded with regard to various services and benefits. Also Read - Want to Link Aadhaar With PAN? Just Need to Send SMS From Your Phone | Here’s How

The UIDAI further noticed that some departments asked NRIs/OCIs/PIOs to submit or link their Aadhaar for availing services and benefits, despite the fact that they were not entitled for the 12-digit biometric identifier. “The laws regarding submitting/linking of Aadhaar for availing the services/benefits applies to the residents as per the Aadhaar Act 2016… Most of the NRIs/PIOs/OCIs may not be eligible for Aadhaar enrolment as per Aadhaar Act…,” the UIDAI said in a note dated November 15 to central ministries and states.