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Overseas Citizen of India

OCI - Information

I. Eligibility Criteria for applying Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card.

As per the Article 7A (1) of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2015, the Central Government may, subject to such conditions, restrictions and manner as may be prescribed, on an application made in this behalf, register as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder following categories of persons:

(a) Any person of full age and capacity,

(i) Who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the commencement of the constitution; or

(ii) Who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the constitution; or

(iii) Who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or

(iv) Who is a child or a grand-child or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or

(b) A person, who is minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a); or

(c) A person, who is a minor child, and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or

(d) Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A, Citizenship Act 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application under this section: Provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for the registration as Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.

II. Guidelines regarding Re-issuance of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card:

(i) Mandatory requirement of re-issuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued to a foreigner upto 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age is dispensed with.

(ii) OCI cardholder is required to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after completing 20 years of age. For this purpose, the OCI card holder should submit an online application under OCI Miscellaneous Services.

(iii) OCI cardholder is required to upload ONLINE a copy of the new passport and a latest photo each time a new passport is issued upto 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age. The OCI card holder can upload these documents online under OCI Miscellaneous Services. The uploading of these documents may be done within three months of receipt of the new passport. The service will be provided on Gratis basis.

(iv) Foreign Spouse of an Indian Citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder are required to upload a copy of the new passport and also a latest photo ONLINE each time a new passport is issued along with a declaration on subsisting of marriage, copy of the Indian passport of the Indian spouse/passport & OCI card of the OCI cardholder spouse. Necessary changes/inclusion in the OCI portal to facilitate above services to OCI cardholders will made shortly.

(v) If there is any change in personal particulars of the individual, OCI card may be renewed under OCI Misc. Services.

(vi) Requirement of carrying old and new passports along with the OCI card has been done away. Henceforth, the OCI card holders traveling on the strength of their existing OCI card bearing old passport numbers are not required to carry their old passport. However, carrying a new passport is mandatory.

(vii) The time line for re-issuance of OCI cards in respect of OCI card holders who may require to get their OCI Cards re-issued has been extended until 31 December 2021.

III. Merger of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card Scheme with Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) Card Scheme.

(i) As per the Gazette of India (Part-I, Section-I) published on 09.01.2015, all the existing Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders registered as such under new PIO Card scheme 2002, shall be deemed to be Overseas Citizens of India Cardholder.

(ii) All PIO card holders with valid PIO cards as on 09.01.2015 are advised to apply for conversion of their PIO card to OCI card.

(iii) Since 2015 onwards, the Government of India has time and again advised conversion of all Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards. In order to ensure that all PIO cards have been converted to OCI Cards, the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) has been extending the last date for conversion. According to the latest such extension, BoI will now accept PIO cards as valid travel documents till March 31, 2019. In the meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has mandated Machine-readable electronic travel documents long back. The extension is subject to the condition that if any deadline is notified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) thereby making hand written PIO cards invalid, then PIO cardholders will have to obtain an appropriate visa and as they will no longer be able to travel on PIO Cards. For detailed information please visit:

https://boi.gov.in/content/person-indian-origin-pio

IV. Benefits of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder

(i) Multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India;

(ii) Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and

(iii) Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

(iv) Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.

(v) Parity with resident Indian nationals in matters of tariff in domestic air fares.

(vi) Parity with domestic Indian visitors in respect of entry fee for visiting national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.

(vii) Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of entry fees for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India.

(viii) Practicing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely: Doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists, Advocates, Architects and Chartered Accountants

(ix) Entitlement to appear for the All-India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts.

V. Restrictions on OCI Card holders

OCI does not confer political rights. An overseas citizen of India is not entitled:

(i) to vote;

(ii) to be a member of a Legislative Assembly or of a Legislative Council or of the Parliament of India:

(iii) to hold Indian constitutional posts such as that of the President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court etc;

(iv) He/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.

VI. Application procedure

(i) The applicants shall submit the application form online and upload all the requisite documents (self-attested), photograph and signature (in the case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression) along with the application.

(ii) After submission of online application, the originals documents along with the reference number of the online registered application have to be submitted by the applicant to the Indian Mission/ Post concerned for verification.

(iii) If there is any deficiency found in the uploaded documents, photograph, the Indian Mission/ Post concerned shall inform the applicant telephonically of the same.

(iv) It is mandatory for the applicants to upload the photo, signature and the documents as part of the OCI application process. Online applications without upload of photo, signature and documents are considered incomplete and will not be accepted.

(v) For detailed information and application process, please visit: https://ociservices.gov.in/

VII. Surrender of Indian Passport

(i) The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship. Holding / acquiring Indian Passport / travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Indian Citizenship Act 1955 and Indian Passport Act, 1967, and attracts penalties. Persons of Indian Origin who have acquired foreign nationality are therefore required to surrender their Indian passports to the nearest Indian Mission/Post immediately after acquisition of foreign citizenship.

(ii) Foreigners of Indian origin who wish to apply for OCI card are therefore required to surrender their Indian passport at the Consular Wing of the Indian Mission and obtain the Surrender Certificate. Copy of the Surrender Certificate will be required at the time of submitting application for OCI Card.

(iii) Those applicants who have ever held Indian passports and are unable to produce the same for surrender for any reason such as loss/misplacement are required to furnish a notarised affidavit if the passport is already expired or a police report in case Passport is still valid. Please click here to download Form XXII for declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship.

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The information given here is limated and general in nature. Endeavors have been made to keep the information accurate and updated. Consulate reserves the right to change or withdraw the information at any time without notice. Besides, while Consulate advises the general public to visit the relevant/linked website for more information, it accepts no responsibility or liability for the contents of any other wesite linked to this site.