SIM replacement for customer outside India.

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I am in a predicament for which I am requesting your advice.

TL;DR version is this - My Jio SIM card is damaged while I’m out of India and Jio is asking me to come to India for a SIM replacement. All my bank accounts, investments and Aadhar Card are linked to this number. Is there anything I can do to get a replacement SIM card without coming to India?
This is the full version.

My original Jio SIM card abruptly stopped working in October, 2023 while I was in UK. After almost 3 weeks of emails and chasing Jio support, I got a replacement SIM card which was brought to the UK in December by a friend of mine who happened to be in India. This SIM card also stopped working abruptly about 5 days ago, in 2024.

I had an iPhone 11 in 2023, in which the original SIM stopped working, and have an iPhone 15 in 2024, in which the replacement SIM also stopped working.

Strangely enough, my wife is now using my older iPhone 11, and her ancient Jio SIM works fine! Both my phones were taken care of, so not sure WHY the SIM got damaged. Both the SIMs, mine and my wife are under my name and have been for almost 8 years. I’ve always refilled on time, paid for an IR pack from time to time.

I’ve checked my damaged SIM in my two iPhones, in a Mi Max 2, and in a Redmi Note 5 Pro. No cookie!

My case with Jio was escalated at the highest levels, i.e., the priority care team, which I’m told takes care of emails addressed to the chairman’s office, and they have told me that they cannot help me unless I come back to India. I cannot come to India for a few years at least. My mother is in India, but they cannot give the SIM replacement to her. Back in October, 2023, they agreed to give a replacement to my brother in law. Now, it’s a straight out NO.

Checking with another friend in Mumbai with an Airtel gallery, I came to know that Airtel is more supportive in this matter, but the approval comes from above. Not sure what that means.

But, one common factor is that there seems to be a DoT regulation in place which the telecoms state while refusing these requests. I am unable to find that regulation anywhere online.

I’ve paused chasing Jio for the time being, and am trying to get an answer from DoT on twitter and on email, but they have not responded to my emails or my tweets. I've been emailing them and tagging their twitter handles for almost 2-3 days now.

I cannot come back to India. Surely, there are systems in place to help customers like me? My entire LIFE in India is linked to this number. I had requested Jio for an eSim as early as June last year, but that request was shot down without any explanation. Had that request been granted, I would not be in this situation. What do you folks advise?
Esim process is all automated, no visit required.

You can try porting the sim to another network using a different persons id who is in India. Don't remember exactly how that works but you can try once.

For getting replies from DOT. Complain on or file an online RTI. Govt departments very rarely respond to emails or other semi-official ways of communication.

For replacement sim aadhaar biometric is required so you to be present at the store. To avoid issues in future try to use esim and transfer sim to someone who is present in India.

Recently I had to replace two airtel sim which stopped working on iPhone suddenly but were working on android. Both sim were 4g type, not too old. I thought it was some iphone issue.
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You MUST be physically present for a SIM swap/replacement. No exceptions brother. They won't give a replacement. Period.

The Govt brought in this directive some years ago and it's nothing new. Done mainly to prevent frauds in the banking system etc given how a mobile # is tied to literally every aspect of our lives today. I've had to go a few times to Jio and AIrtel to get a new SIM or even convert an e-sim to a physical one. But then that's how it is now. Very inconvenient for users I agree but I for one am thankful as the chances of sim swaps and related frauds are dramatically reduced.

If a physical SIM is getting inadvertently damaged start using an e-sim. Physical SIMs are delicate and they don't take kindly to rough handling or being inserted into or removed from handsets too many times. BTW even getting an ESIM requires a working physical SIM for initiating the process, receipt of OTP etc. Or you have to go in person to the Jio store.

PS - that replacement in Oct 23 meant someone bent the rules and probably got a hard rap on the knuckles for it from their boss(es). Hence they declined the 2nd time around. Bending Govt rules or mandates could put the them in trouble.
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Converting to esim requires OTP. I dont how OP couldn't get one when his sim was working.

They directly send the esim qrcode and other instructions via email. All DIY process.
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@Smh the OP is in a jam unfortunately. No way out of it unless he's physically present in India.

@devparam02 might I suggest changing the mobile number for your critical accounts/services for e.g. banks to one that is working ie a UK SIM or India one. That can be done as a temp workaround till you travel back to India and can regularise your Jio connection.
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Contacting higher authorities won’t do you any good. You may get a solution at a local level. An acquaintance of mine got his iPhone stolen in Romania. He pulled a few strings and got the sim (Jio) somehow. IYKYK

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