Return to India
Return to India

Can US Citizens/NRIs get Aadhaar Card?


Can a US citizen apply for an Aadhaar card? Yes, they can, if they are residing in India. The Adhaar Card (UIDAI card) gives every Indian a 12-digit Unique Identification Number in India, just like the Social Security Number in the US. The government of India has made a provision for the of issue this card for NRIs and even foreign citizens living in India.

Over 700,000 US citizens reside in India, according to data released by the White House press team on June 26, 2017.

Eligibility for Adhaar Card

If you are a citizen of the US, and are working in India or a resident of India, you are eligible to apply for the UIDAI card. And, not just US citizens, any foreign national, OCI or PIO residing in India can enroll for the card. As mentioned in the Adhaar Card Act of 2016, every resident is eligible for the card.

According to the Adhaar card guidelines, resident is defined as “an individual who has been residing in India for 182 or more days in the last 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.”

So, if you are a US citizen living in India for more than 182 days in the last financial year, you are eligible for the Adhaar card. If your status has changed during the previous financial year from NRI to a resident of India, you will immediately require the Adhaar number for  various purposes.

According to the amendments in the Aadhar Card Act, related to section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, introduced by the Finance Act of 2017, it is compulsory to mention your Adhaar number or enrolment ID number while filing your tax returns or applying for a PAN card. In fact, now you need to link your Aadhar number with your bank accounts, PAN card and more.

Can US citizens/NRIs Apply for Aadhaar

The procedure for enrolling for Adhaar is the just same as that for any citizen of India. And, you can apply anywhere in the country, so check out the Aadhar center closest to you. These days, various bank branches are also helping with Adhaar enrollment. The process is simple and convenient, and you can choose to apply online or offline. Here are the steps:

  1. If you apply offline, you will need to visit a UIDAI-authorized enrollment center or visit the official UIDAI website to fix an appointment.
  2. There is no fee required for enrollment. Simply fill in the form and provide photocopies of your proof of identity and address.
  3. Visit the enrollment center to get your biometric readings and photograph taken.

That is all. You will be informed when your card is ready to be picked up. To know more, you can also call their toll free helpline at 1800-300-1947.

Documents Required for Enrolling

Along with the filled in application form, you will need to provide photocopies of certain documents, such as:

  • Residence proof
  • PAN card
  • You may be asked to present proof of relationship with the US.

Make sure to bring the originals for the officials to verify the authenticity of the documents.

Biometrics & Photograph

The final step of the application process is to visit the enrollment center for them to take readings of your iris and fingerprints of both hands for your unique identification. They will also take a photograph at this time, which will appear on the Adhaar card.

Once all this is complete, you will be given an acknowledgement slip with your enrollment ID number, which can be used till the card is issued.

Note: The Adhaar card is not proof of citizenship of India and does not grant any rights to domicile in the country.


I'm an Entrepreneur, Blogger & Mentor. Having lived in the USA for almost 7 years, I got bored and returned back to India. While doing so, created this website as a way to curate and journal my experiences. Today, it's a movement with a large community behind it. I hope this website helps NRIs planning to move back to India, make their transition smooth and easy. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. Happy to help!

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