The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has clarified that most Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs) are not entitled to Aadhaar.
A recent Circular issued by the UIDAI states, "The laws regarding submitting/linking of Aadhaar for availing the services/benefits applies 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...".
It further makes reference to Section 2(v) of the Act which defines "resident" as an "individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment".
The Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2017 and Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, it says, also clearly stipulate that the linking of Bank Accounts and PAN respectively, is for those persons "who are eligible to enroll for Aadhaar" as per the Act.
It then suggested that all implementing agencies keep the following in consideration while seeking Aadhaar as a proof of identity:
"a) Aadhaar as an identity document may be sought only from those who are eligible for it as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016; and
The Ministries and Departments have been directed to issue appropriate directions in this regard to the State Government and implementing agencies.