Latest on India’s Aadhaar card required for certain foreign residents
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued on a card by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI) is responsible for managing Aadhaar numbers and issuing Aadhaar identification cards.
Effective from the 1st of July of 2017, the Finance Act 2017 has made it mandatory to quote an Aadhaar number to file income tax returns (ITR) or to apply for or renew a PAN (Permanent Account Number). Therefore, foreign national residents who have stayed in India for more than 182 days in the previous 12 months and are therefore required to pay income tax in India, must obtain an Aadhaar ID card in order to submit their income tax return (ITR).
An ITR acknowledgement form is required in support of visa renewal applications.
Previously, a foreign national only required a PAN (Permanent Account Number) to submit their income tax return.
The change affects foreign nationals resident in India for more than 182 days in the previous 12 months and therefore required to pay income tax in India, who need to submit a tax return on or after the 1st of July of 2017.
From that date, foreign nationals who have already left India but need to submit a tax return may need to travel back to India to apply for an Aadhaar card.
The Aadhaar enrolment process requires the applicant to visit an enrollment center in India in person, and biometric information is collected.
Although there is some discussion that it might be possible to apply for the Aadhaar Card at Indian Missions abroad, the government has not yet made any specific announcement. Applicants who have left India may need to return to India to visit an enrollment center.
Foreign nationals who have who been resident in India for more than 182 days in the previous 12 months are advised to submit their income tax return before the 1st of July of 2017, in order to avoid having to obtain an Aadhaar card.
Foreign nationals who need to submit an income tax return on or after 1 July 2017 must obtain an Aadhaar card.