OCI - Overseas Citizen of India

Registration

What is OCI

Benefits of OCI

How to apply for OCI

Get OCI in Lieu of PIO Card

Status of PIO Cards in 2019

What is OCI?

Persons of Indian origin settled abroad, had persistently demanded dual nationality for several years from the Indian government. However, as the Constitution of India, does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country at the same time. Dual citizenship under present rules could not be awarded to former Indian citizens. Following repeated demands from persons of Indian origin settled abroad, the Government of India on 2.12.2005 announced the start of the Overseas Citizen of India scheme (OCI). By virtue of the Citizenship Act 1955, section 7A, foreign citizens who met the guidelines of being deemed to be of Indian origin, where allowed to register as 'Overseas Citizens of India'. This is commonly referred to by some people as dual citizenship but it should be clarified that OCI registration should not be confused with dual citizenship of India. Registration as an OCI provides the registrant, with an Indian visa for life, and some other specified benefits.

OCI is NOT dual citizenship of

India

The Indian government has clarified, via announcements and notices on their consulate websites, that OCI should not be confused as Indian citizenship. Some people however, still seem to think of OCI as dual citizenship. An OCI card is similar to a US. "green card" in that a holder can travel to and from India indefinitely, work in India, study in India, and own property in India (except for certain agricultural and plantation properties). OCI holders, however, do not receive an Indian passport, cannot vote in Indian elections, and are not permitted to work in any capacity for the government of India.

OCI holders get life long Indian

Visa

OCI is NOT dual citizenship but allows the benefit of visa free, lifetime travel to India, along with certain benefits by which OCI holders would be treated at par, with other non- resident Indian citizens in economic, financial and educational fields.

No Indian passport for OCI holders

Persons registered as OCI are not given Indian passports are issued only to Indian citizens. OCI holders are given a passport like booklet that may look like a passport, but it is not a passport. The OCI booklet issued to OCI holders and shows that the holder is registered as an overseas citizen of India, this is not a valid travel document and is not accepted as a travel document at Indian airports. It is a requirement that those traveling to India must have their foreign passport as well as the OCI booklet to enter India. The OCI booklet is often referred as OCI card.

Importance of OCI booklet

Earlier the OCI booklet may have been seen only as a ceremonial document. The OCI visa was pasted on foreign passports. However now the government has dispensed with the pasting of OCI visa on passports. This has made the blue OCI booklet issued to OCI holders important as the OCI lifetime ‘U’ visa is pasted on this booklet. The OCI booklet is now proof of a persons OCI registration. For OCI holders to enter India, a valid foreign passport and the OCI booklet is required. Both of these documents must be carried or entry can be denied.

How long does it take to get OCI

approval

OCI Registration Certificate and Visa are normally said to be available for delivery within 42 days from the date of acknowledgment. In case you have been waiting longer than 42 days from the date of acknowledgement here is some information to consider. The 42 days mentioned are from the date of acknowledgement and NOT from the date you submit your online OCI application. While 42 days is perhaps a general guideline, a few days over can occur due to volume of applications. Further delays are mostly caused due to lack of complete documentation. If there are any objections regarding Photographs/Signature/Thumb impression etc., the process may get delayed and a communication is sent to applicant by the concerned Mission/ Office via OCI web site/ SMS/ Email/ Phone etc. If further documentation is requested by the OCI authority then applicants should submit as soon as possible to prevent further delays. In case no notification has been received and you have not received your OCI, check your email or contact info you provided in your application to ensure you have not missed any mail requesting information relating to your application. Check your OCI application status on-line and if it continues to say under process, you may have to contact the appropriate office.

More information on OCI

Benefits Available to OCI holders> How to Apply for OCI - Step by step guide > How to get OCI Card if you have valid PIO card >
OCI CARD - ‘U’ VISA

OCI REGISTRATION - LIFELONG VISA FOR INDIA

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Complete OCI Information
Dual Citizenship Passports
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Updates on OCI rules

Police officers, foreign government employees not eligible for OCI. See list of categories that may not be eligible for OCI despite being of Indian Origin More information >> To apply for OCI now you MUST have Surrender Certificate. Detailed information on Renunciation and Passport Surrender is provided here >> Transfer of OCI Visa to New Passport is not required now. More information >>

Excerpt from Citizenship Act, 1955 Section

7A (Extract from the Citizenship Act, 1955)

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.
OCI CARD - ‘U’ VISA

LIFELONG VISA FOR INDIA

Excerpts from The NRI Guide published with approval of the author - All rights reserved - Copyright THE NRI GUIDE
Complete OCI Information
Dual Citizenship Passports

OCI - Overseas Citizen of India

Registration

What is OCI

Benefits of OCI

How to apply for OCI

Get OCI in Lieu of PIO Card

Status of PIO Cards in 2019

What is OCI?

Persons of Indian origin settled abroad, had persistently demanded dual nationality for several years from the Indian government. However, as the Constitution of India, does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country at the same time. Dual citizenship under present rules could not be awarded to former Indian citizens. Following repeated demands from persons of Indian origin settled abroad, the Government of India on 2.12.2005 announced the start of the Overseas Citizen of India scheme (OCI). By virtue of the Citizenship Act 1955, section 7A, foreign citizens who met the guidelines of being deemed to be of Indian origin, where allowed to register as 'Overseas Citizens of India'. This is commonly referred to by some people as dual citizenship but it should be clarified that OCI registration should not be confused with dual citizenship of India. Registration as an OCI provides the registrant, with an Indian visa for life, and some other specified benefits.

OCI is NOT dual citizenship of

India

The Indian government has clarified, via announcements and notices on their consulate websites, that OCI should not be confused as Indian citizenship. Some people however, still seem to think of OCI as dual citizenship. An OCI card is similar to a US. "green card" in that a holder can travel to and from India indefinitely, work in India, study in India, and own property in India (except for certain agricultural and plantation properties). OCI holders, however, do not receive an Indian passport, cannot vote in Indian elections, and are not permitted to work in any capacity for the government of India.

OCI holders get life long Indian

Visa

OCI is NOT dual citizenship but allows the benefit of visa free, lifetime travel to India, along with certain benefits by which OCI holders would be treated at par, with other non-resident Indian citizens in economic, financial and educational fields.

No Indian passport for OCI holders

Persons registered as OCI are not given Indian passports are issued only to Indian citizens. OCI holders are given a passport like booklet that may look like a passport, but it is not a passport. The OCI booklet issued to OCI holders and shows that the holder is registered as an overseas citizen of India, this is not a valid travel document and is not accepted as a travel document at Indian airports. It is a requirement that those traveling to India must have their foreign passport as well as the OCI booklet to enter India. The OCI booklet is often referred as OCI card.

Importance of OCI booklet

Earlier the OCI booklet may have been seen only as a ceremonial document. The OCI visa was pasted on foreign passports. However now the government has dispensed with the pasting of OCI visa on passports. This has made the blue OCI booklet issued to OCI holders important as the OCI lifetime ‘U’ visa is pasted on this booklet. The OCI booklet is now proof of a persons OCI registration. For OCI holders to enter India, a valid foreign passport and the OCI booklet is required. Both of these documents must be carried or entry can be denied.

How long does it take to get OCI

approval

OCI Registration Certificate and Visa are normally said to be available for delivery within 42 days from the date of acknowledgment. In case you have been waiting longer than 42 days from the date of acknowledgement here is some information to consider. The 42 days mentioned are from the date of acknowledgement and NOT from the date you submit your online OCI application. While 42 days is perhaps a general guideline, a few days over can occur due to volume of applications. Further delays are mostly caused due to lack of complete documentation. If there are any objections regarding Photographs/Signature/Thumb impression etc., the process may get delayed and a communication is sent to applicant by the concerned Mission/ Office via OCI web site/ SMS/ Email/ Phone etc. If further documentation is requested by the OCI authority then applicants should submit as soon as possible to prevent further delays. In case no notification has been received and you have not received your OCI, check your email or contact info you provided in your application to ensure you have not missed any mail requesting information relating to your application. Check your OCI application status on- line and if it continues to say under process, you may have to contact the appropriate office.

More information on OCI

Benefits Available to OCI holders> How to Apply for OCI - Step by step guide > How to get OCI Card if you have valid PIO card >
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OCI REGISTRATION