The mandatory waiting period of 180-days for NRIs applying to obtain Aadhaar card is going to end soon with the new amendment.
As announced by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget for 2019, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was preparing the infrastructure to issue Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians (NRIs) holding Indian passports on their arrival in the country. Recently the UIDAI has said that its systems will be ready within three months to offer the facility to the people without the mandatory 180 days waiting period.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that the systems are being readied for the facility and necessary legal measures will be notified soon. The systems are supposed to be tuned to offer the facility within three month’s time.
“We are working to make the appropriate technological changes and we will provide an appointment facility where people outside the country also can apply for a time slot and specify the place they would like to go to get their Aadhaar made…as soon as they come to India they can, very conveniently, go and get their Aadhaar made,” said Pandey.
During her maiden Budget speech on July 5, Sitharaman had said, “I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar card for non-resident Indians with Indian passports after their arrival in India, without waiting for 180 days.”
Under the current regulations, NRIs cannot apply for Aadhaar card if they have not stayed in the country for at least 180 days in the last 12 months. This new amendment in the Aadhaar Act 2016 will be readied by November this year. This move would also allow NRIs to avail Aadhaar-based authentication facilities such as Know Your Customer (KYC) amongst several other purposes.
According to the sources privy to the development, a notification in this regard has to be issued by the IT ministry, which is being awaited.
In order to facilitate easy application and updation of Aadhaar cards, the UIDAI is setting up Aadhaar Seva Kendra (ASKs) which are similar to the concept of Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) where an applicant can book an online appointment to avail various services. The project is to cover 53 cities across the country at an estimated cost of INR 3-4 billion.
Along with the NRIs in their respective states, the Kendras will also allow local citizens to obtain fresh as well as update or change details in existing Aadhaar cards. These ASKs have a serving capacity of about 1,000/500 enrollments or update requests each per day and an applicant can make an advance appointment online and visit the Aadhaar centre at their convenience.