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How do I get a PAN card?

Given that PAN is an essential piece of identification for so many financial transactions, you’re going to struggle with the practicalities of living in India until you get one issued. The easiest way to apply is online, and you can do this before you arrive in India. Use form 49A if you’re an Indian citizen, but if you’re a national of another country, you’ll need form 49AA. You’ll also need your passport details, and something like a utility bill or bank statement which shows your address.

You can also apply in person for your PAN card. There are hundreds of centres all over the country – see the full list here.

However you apply, you’ll also be asked for a fee. This is 110 rupees (£1.20 or $1.70) if you want your card sent to an Indian address, or 1020 rupees ( £11.20 or $16) if it’s to be sent overseas. Check the Indian government website for details of any changes to fees and charges.