OCI Card

Overseas Citizenship of India  (OCI)

The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. However, based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to accord Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status (commonly termed Dual Citizenship).

OCI card provides for a multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India, with exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India. It also gives parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

Complete information about OCI scheme is available at Ministry of Home Affairs website http//www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm. Salient features have been included in this page.

Procedure

Once you have understood the instructions properly and are ready to apply for OCI, complete the application on line at

https//passport.gov.in/oci/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp

Complete Part-B, - handwritten in block capitals or printed.

  • Completed application
  • Current  foreign Passport in original
  • Two photographs as per specification given below
  • Two attested photocopies of the first and last pages of the current  foreign passport for determining  present citizenship of applicant .
  • Copy of PIO card, if you have one (PIO Card is to be surrendered while collecting the OCI Card)
  • Indian Passport last held in original & photocopies of the first two and last two pages of this passport.

In the event the Indian passport is not available; the following additional documents may be submitted to claim the status.

  • Copy of domicile certificate, or any photo ID issued by the Government of India or of a State of India such as registration certificate from India , and
  • Copy of Indian Birth Certificate, and
  • Copy of Indian Educational certificates, and
  • Copy of Naturalization certificate issued by the country of current nationality of the applicant, and
  • Affidavit (signed notarized statement by the applicant about his claim for OCI card, how he is supporting his OCI status with the documents presented)

 Photographs  important instructions

  • Photograph should be of sufficiently bright color photo with frontal view of full face against a light background
  • Close-up of head and top of shoulders with the face filling up 70% to 80% of the photo
  • Sharp focus, clear, and of high quality
  • Photograph should be recent and in no case more than six months old
  • Paste the photographs on the space provided.

Following kinds of photographs are not accepted

    • Black and white photographs
    • Photographs with colored or dark glasses
    • With dark background or in uniform
    • Polaroid, home-shot or home-scanned, or unduly large/small photographs are not accepted

As your photograph is scanned and printed on the OCI card and lifelong visa, it should be of a high quality for reproduction and conform to International Civil Aviation Organization specifications
      At the end of Part-B, a list of Documents that are required is mentioned. These are -

  • Current US/ foreign passport in Original and copy of first and last page of US/ foreign passport
  • Indian passport in Original and self attested copy of first two and last two pages of Indian Passport. In case, the Indian passport is not available, kindly instructions for additional documents above.
  • Copy of the birth certificate for foreign born children as a proof of relationship with the child.
  • PIO card in Original and copy of PIO card, if applicable.

Signature    The signature of the applicant should b affixed without touching the borders of the box of Part A of the OCI Application form. For children who cannot sign or write their name, left   hand thump impression must be put within the signature box. Make sure it is a legible dark print.  Parents should not sign for children in the signature box.
Note

  • Save a copy of the OCI Applications for your records.
  • The entire process of OCI applications is processed in India and may take some time to complete.
  • In certain cases references are also required to be made which may take some time.

All documents should be submitted in two sets each applicants and should comprise of Part A, Part B and supportingdocuments

The Scheme

Complete information about OCI scheme is available at Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website http//www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm. Extracts of the scheme are given below

  • The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously.
  • Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to accord Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status (commonly termed Dual Citizenship).

Who is Eligible

A foreign national

  • who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or
  • who was a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.01.1950; or
  • who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947;
  • and his/her children and grand children Including minors),
  • whose country concerned allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws.  

Who is not Eligible

  • Any foreign national who has earlier been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
  • Any foreign national who has an adverse record;
  • If during post verification, any adverse report is discovered against the foreign national, registration as OCI already granted by the Indian Mission/Post shall be cancelled by an order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • If it is subsequently discovered that a foreign national has obtained OCI by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or he/she has demonstrated disaffection towards the Constitution of India or is covered under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such foreign national shall   be cancelled immediately.  In addition, he/she shall   be debarred from visiting India in the future.
  • Foreign born minor children are not eligible for OCI if both the parents are Indian citizens holding Indian Passports.

Privileges

  • Persons registered as OCI enjoy
  • A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India.
  • Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.
  • Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
  • Any other benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Persons registered as overseas citizen of India under Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955, shall be entitled to

(a)      parity with non-resident Indian in respect of

  • Entry fees to be charged for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;
  • Pursuing 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.

(b)     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.

Reservations

  • Persons registered as OCI
  • cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India;
  • do not enjoy any voting rights;
  • cannot contest selections to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council,
  • cannot hold Constitutional posts such as that of President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc.

Penal Provision

  • If during post verification, any adverse report is discovered against the foreign national, registration as OCI already granted by the Indian Mission/Post shall stand cancelled by an order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • If during post verification, it is discovered that a foreign national has obtained OCI by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or he/she has demonstrated disaffection towards the Constitution of India or is covered under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such foreign national shall   be cancelled immediately.  In addition, he/she shall   be debarred from visiting India in the future.

Extract of Citizenship Act - 1955

Overseas Citizenship

7A. Registration of overseas citizens of India The Central Government may, subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, on an application made in this behalf, register as an overseas citizen of India-

(a) any person of full age and capacity

(i) who is 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 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 citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that become part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or(iv) who is a child or a grand-child of such a citizen; or(b) a person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a) 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 registration as an overseas citizen of India.

7B. Conferment of rights on overseas citizens of India

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an overseas citizen of India shall be entitled to such rights other than the rights specified under sub-section(2) as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf.

(2) An overseas citizen of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India (a) under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment; (b) under article 58 of the Constitution for election as President;(c) under article 66 of the Constitution for election of Vice-President; (d) under article 124 of the Constitution for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court; (e) under article 217 of the Constitution for appointment as a Judge of the High Court;(f) under section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950(43 of 1950) in regard to registration as a voter;(g) under sections 3 and 4 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the House of the People or of the Council of States, as the case may be;(h) under section 5, 5A and 6 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the Legislative Assembly or a Legislative Council, as the case may be, of a State;  (i) for appointment to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State except for appointment in such services and posts as the Central Government may by special order in that behalf specify.

(3) Every notification issued under sub-section (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament.

7C. Renunciation of overseas citizenship (1) If any overseas citizen of India of full age and capacity makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his overseas citizenship of India, the declaration shall be registered by the Central Government, and; upon such registration, that person shall cease to be an overseas citizen of India.

(2) Where a person ceases to be an overseas citizen of India under subsection (1), every minor child of that person registered as an overseas citizen of India, shall thereupon cease to be an overseas citizen of India.

7D. Cancellation of registration as overseas citizen of India The Central Government may, by order, cancel the registration granted under sub-section(1) of section 7A if it is satisfied that- (a) the registration as an overseas citizen of India was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or

(b) the overseas citizen of India has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India as by law established; or

(c) the overseas citizen of India has, during any war in which India may been engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in, or associated with, any business or commercial activity that was to his knowledge carried on in such manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or (d) the overseas citizen of India has, within five years after registration under sub-section(1) of section 7A has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years; or(e) it is necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of India, friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public.

FAQ

What are the advantages of OCI when compared to PIO cardholders?

(i) OCI is entitled to a lifelong visa for visiting India, while for a PIO cardholder, it is for 15 years

(ii) PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India

OCI for PIO Card Holder

i) PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as OCI should follow the above process and apply similarly as the OCI applicant.

ii)In addition to other supporting documents, PIO card holders shall also submit a copy of their PIO card.

iii)PIO card holders will be required to surrender their PIO Card once OCI status is accorded.  A PIO card holder cannot hold the PIO and OCI cards at the same time.

A PIO card holder applying for OCI status will pay a fee of US$ 25/- at counter when filing the application

Notice

Under Indian law, Persons of Indian origin who have acquired Foreign citizenship are required to surrender their Indian Passports to the nearest Indian Mission/Post immediately after acquisition of foreign citizenship. The Indian Citizenship Act does not allow dual citizenship. Holding Indian passport/acquiring Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Passport Act and attracts penalties.

In view of this legal provision all foreign nationals of Indian origin applying for Indian visa, OCI/PIO card or other consular services are required to surrender their Indian passports (valid/Expired) to the Embassy of India, Luanda. They would be issued surrender certificate in lieu of depositing their Indian passports.

1. A fee is payable for renouncing Indian citizenship/surrender of Indian passport is chargeable. The surrender certificate will be issued in 7 working days. Penalty cases would take more time. The Government of India has fixed fee for renouncing the Indian Citizenship/surrender of Indian passport at Rs.7,000/- (payable in US$ in case application is made to Embassy of India, Luanda at the current Official Rate of Exchange).  The information regarding applicable fee could be viewed at

www.mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?ID_PK=77.

2.  The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship.  Holding Indian passport/acquiring Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967, and attracts penalties.  The Government of India has prescribed imposition of penalty on a graded scale, depending on number of trips made on Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality, for the violation of Passport Rules ranging from a minimum of Rs. 10,000/- to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- 

3.  In view of these provisions, Persons of Indian Origin, intending to apply for OCI/PIO Cards, should surrender their Indian passports and then apply for these services. In case they do not have the Indian passports in their possession for any reason (loss/misplacement/submission to authorities of his new nationality long time back, etc.), they are required to furnish duly notarized affidavit in this regard.  If the Indian passport is still valid but has been misplaced/lost, then Police report should be submitted additionally (to rule out any misuse).

4.  Persons of Indian Origin applying for Indian visa for the first time after acquiring foreign nationality are required to first renounce/surrender their Indian passports.

5.  All applications for renunciation/surrender of Indian passports are to be made at the Embassy o India Luanda

OCI card Link to online registration

Full information about OCI card  are available at http//mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553

Online registration may be done at the site https//passport.gov.in/oci/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp

completed application may be submitted at the Embassy with supporting documents and fees. (use internet explorer to go online)