Permanent  account  number


A permanent account number (PAN) is a ten character alphanumeric identifier, issued in the form of a laminated "PAN card", by the Indian Income Tax Department,

the Indian Income Tax Department, to any "person" who applies for it or to whom the department allots the number without an application.

A PAN is a unique identifier issued to all judicial entities identifiable under the Indian Income Tax Act 1961

It is also issued to foreign nationals (such as investors) subject to a  valid visa, and hence a PAN card is not acceptable as proof of Indian  citizenship