There have been many recent regulation changes related to getting a mobile SIM in India. It is now mandatory for all Indian residents to link their mobile numbers to their Aadhaar card. However NRIs, OCIs and PIOs are currently not affiliated with or eligible for an Aadhaar card, so, how will it affect your mobile SIM purchase in India? Let’s see here...
Purchasing a mobile SIM card in India:
You can purchase a new SIM card either from a general retailer or directly from a Telecom Service Provider (TSP) like Jio Airtel, Vodafone, etc. While buying a SIM, you will need to submit self-attested copies of the following documents:
• A valid Passport
• A valid Visa/OCI card/PIO card
• Overseas address proof
• Two self-attested photographs
After buying your SIM card, you need to then call your TSP to activate it. The process for verifying a SIM differs if you are an NRI or OCI/PIO.
Verifying a mobile SIM in India as an OCI or PIO:
You will need to visit a TSP terminal, or a TSP representative could come to you. The TSP representative will authenticate themselves through an Aadhaar based e-KYC process. You will then receive a TSP initiated 4-digit authentication code on your new mobile phone to confirm that it is physically with you. After that, the TSP agent will...
• Validate the authentication code you just received.
• Fill out the appropriate information in the TSP’s online Customer Application Form (e-CAF).
• Submit a scanned copy of your passport and visa/OCI card/PIO card.
• Take your picture
After the successful submission of the e-CAF with details, you will receive another One Time Password (OTP) code from the TSP, which you need to share with the TSP representative along with the following declaration:
• The information provided by you is correct.
• This OTP authentication can be treated as your signature.
• You’re the existing user of this mobile number, and its SIM card is in your possession.
The TSP agent will once again authenticate themselves along with the declaration that, “I hereby confirm having seen the subscriber and the details provided by subscriber have been entered in the CAF by me. I have captured the photograph of the subscriber.” On authentication, your mobile number will be successfully verified.
Verifying a mobile SIM in India as an NRI:
The mobile number verification process for an NRI is relatively complicated as compared to an OCI or PIO. As an NRI, you will need to enter the mobile number on the TSP’s website which is applicable for NRIs only and fill out the declaration saying:
1. I am an Indian National, however currently an NRI.
2. I neither have an Aadhaar card nor my mobile number registered with UIDAI.
3. The documents uploaded by me are authentic and if found forged, actions as per the law of the land will be applicable to me.
You will then receive a 4-digit code on your mobile which you will need to enter on the website. If the code matches, an e-CAF will be displayed. On this form, you are required to fill out your personal details, upload a scanned copy of your Passport, foreign visa and a latest colour photograph.
After submitting the e-CAF, you will receive an 8-digit alphanumeric transaction ID which will be valid for 48 hours. You will need to share this ID with a trusted person whose mobile number is registered with Aadhaar. The trusted person can be an Indian citizen. This trusted person uses this ID to initiate an OTP based authentication Aadhaar eKYC process which involves submission of the transaction ID and your phone number on the TSP’s portal. After authenticating the mobile number and the transaction ID, the trusted person needs to enter their Aadhaar number (Note: The trusted person can give approval for a maximum of five subscribers).
The TSP then sends the Aadhaar OTP request to UIDAI. On receipt of e-KYC details from UIDAI, the TSP stores the details in the same e-CAF and a send authorization SMS to you as well as the trusted person declaring “The process has been completed, and we will take 96 hours to verify if the mobile number has been re-verified after checking the all the details and uploaded documents.” In case of discrepancies, you will be informed accordingly via SMS. If the verification is rejected, the entire process has to be repeated.
As an NRI you should note that the whole re-verification process should be done within 96 hours of getting a new SIM.
If you feel like you don’t have a trusted person in India to carry out the verification process, your local retailer from whom you have purchased your SIM could act as the person to execute your OTP-based authentication.
We hope you found this information useful. Please do share it with your friends and family if you think they will too.