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Consular Services  

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

Details on the OCI CARD SCHEME can be obtained from https://passport.gov.in/oci/ External website that opens in a new window
Foreigners of Indian origin (except Pakistan and Bangladesh) are eligible to apply under OCI scheme, if he/she possesses evidence of self or parents or grandparents:

1.    Being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of Indian Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950. OR
2.    Belonging to a territory that became a part of India after 15.01.1947. OR
3.    Being a citizen of India on or after 26.01.1950.

 

NOTE :-
The guidelines w.r.t. Foreigners holding Certificate of registration, Overseas Indian Citizen (OCI Card) are as follows:
1.    Foreigners holding OCI cards are required to carry their foreign passport bearing 'U' visa sticker for travel to India. However, due to expiry or re-issue of their foreign passports, these foreigners are issued new passports, as such they are allowed to travel to India with their new passport along with old passports/cancelled passports having 'U' visa sticker.

2.    If the OCI card holder acquires nationality of a different country after obtaining OCI card, except that of Pakistan and Bangladesh, he/she is also allowed to enter into India provided he/she is carrying his/her old passport having lifelong India 'U' visa sticker pasted on it along with the new passport of the recently acquired nationality.

3.    If OCI card holder is carrying only OCI card without carrying old/cancelled foreign passport bearing 'U' visa sticker, may be granted Temporary Landing Permit in India for a period of 30 days extendable upto 180 days by FRRO/FRO concerned without levying any charge after verification from the OCI database. Also, if they are not carrying OCI card, but carrying foreign passport bearing 'U' visa sticker, the entry is allowed.

 

INTRODUCTION

 Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

OCI Scheme is operational from 02.12.2005
 

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 grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 are eligible for registration as OCI.

2. Application for registration as OCI can be made Online. Before filling the application, Instructions may be perused so that there is no mistake in submission of application. Further, the details regarding Fee and Offices where applications have to be filed may also be perused.

3. Persons registered as OCI have not been given any voting rights, election to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council, holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc. Registered OCIs shall be entitled to following benefits:

(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)    Registered Overseas Citizen of India shall be treated at par with Non-Resident Indian in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.

(v)     Registered Overseas Citizens of India shall be treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India.

(vi)    Registered Overseas Citizens of India shall be charged the same entry fee as domestic Indian visitors to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India

(vii)     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:-

(a) Doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;

(b) Advocates;

(c) Architects;

(d) Chartered Accountants;

(viii) Parity with Non-Resident Indian 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.

(ix) “State Governments should ensure that the OCI registration booklets of OCIs are treated as their identification for any services rendered to them. In case proof of residence is required, Overseas Citizens of India may give an affidavit attested by a notary public stating that a particular/specific address may be treated as their place of residence in India and may also in their affidavit give their overseas residential address as well as e-mail address, if any”

4.     Any further benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act,1955.

5.     A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.

BROCHURE

A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and his/her children and grand children, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).

Minor children of such persons are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.

2. Application Form and Procedure:
A family consisting of spouses and up to two minor children can Apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX. This form can be filed online only and downloaded from our website http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/ForeigHome.html   External website that opens in a new window

Part B can be downloaded and filled by hand in block letters.

The following documents must be enclosed in each application:

1.     Proof of present citizenship. In case application is filled in India, a copy of valid visa/Residential permit for a minimum valid period of three months should also be enclosed.

2.     Evidence of self or parents or grandparents,

(a)     Being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution (i.e. 26th January 1950); or

(b)     Belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or

(c)     Being citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950

These could be:
(i)     Copy of the Indian passport or

(ii)     Domicile certificate issued by the Competent authority in India; or

(iii)     Any other proof substantiating the request. (Usually applicants are able to submit a certificate of residence and place of birth of self/parents/grandparents from First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place).
    
3.     Evidence of relationship as parent/grandparent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI.

4.     Application fee of US$ 275 for each applicant (US$ 25 for each PIO card holder).

5.     PIO card holder should submit a copy of his/her PIO card.

The application form, completed in all respects, along with enclosures should be submitted to the Indian Mission/Post of the country of applicant’s citizenship or where he/she is not in the country of citizenship, to the Indian Mission/Post of the country in which he/she is ordinarily a resident.

3.     Procedure for Granting Registration:
 
After preliminary scrutiny, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant, the Indian Mission/Post shall register a person as an OCI within 30 days of application after verification of the antecedents of the applicant by security agencies within 20 days from the date of acknowledgement. If during the verification, any adverse information comes to the knowledge of the MHA, the registration as an OCI already granted by the Indian Mission/Post shall be cancelled by an order under section 7 D of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

After preliminary scrutiny, if there is any adverse information against the applicant, prior approval of the MHA shall be required before grant of registration. The MHA may approve or reject the grant of registration within 120 days from the date of the receipt of the application. If the grant of registration as an OCI is approved by the MHA, the Indian Mission/Post/FRRO shall register the person as an OCI. If the application is filed in India, registration shall be granted by FRROs by following the above procedure. After grant of registration, a registration certificate in the form of a booklet will be issued and a multiple entry, multi-purpose life long OCI ‘U” visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant.

5.    Collection of OCI documents:
On preparation of OCI document, applicant is required to present in person or he/she can send a duly authorized person with an authority letter ink signed, along with his/her foreign passport & PIO card (if any) for collection of the OCI documents from the same office where he/she applied. No passport and OCI documents will be received/sent by Dak/Post or Mail.

5.     OCI for PIO Card Holders:
PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as an OCI may apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX and they will be considered for grant of registration in the same manner as other applicants. PIO card holders have to pay a fee of US $ 25 and US $ 145 in case of minor PIO card holder or equivalent in local currency instead of US $ 275 as for a normal applicant. In case of application submitted in India, fee worth Rs.15,000/- for general category and Rs.1,400/- for PIO card holders and Rs.8000/- in case of minor PIO card holder to be paid by way of DD in favor of Pay & Accounts Officer (Secretariat) MHA. PIO card holder will have to surrender his/her PIO card after acceptance of the application for grant of OCI.

6.     OCI for persons who have applied on the earlier prescribed application form:
All such applications will be considered for grant of an OCI on the same line as above, without seeking fresh application and fees.

7.     Cancellation of OCI Registration:
If it has been found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted from visiting India.

8.     Benefits to an OCI:
Following benefits will accrue to an OCI:
(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)     Registered Overseas Citizen of India shall be treated at par with Non-Resident-Indian in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.

(v)     Registered Overseas Citizens of India shall be treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India.

(vi)     Registered Overseas Citizens of India shall be charged the same entry fee as domestic Indian visitors to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India

(vii)     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:-

(a) Doctors, Dentists, Nurses and Pharmacists;
(b) Advocates;
(c) Architects;
(d) Chartered Accountants;

(viii)     Parity with Non-Resident Indian 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.

(ix) “State Governments should ensure that the OCI registration booklets of OCIs are treated as their identification for any services rendered to them. In case proof of residence is required, Overseas Citizens of India may give an affidavit attested by a notary public stating that a particular/specific address may be treated as their place of residence in India and may also in their affidavit give their overseas residential address as well as e-mail address, if any”

Any other benefits to an OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.8.

Benefits to which OCI is not entitled to:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.

9. Help Desk:
For any clarification/query on the scheme, please visit our website
http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/ForeigHome.html External website that opens in a new window  or visit the Embassy website at http://eoi.gov.in/harare External website that opens in a new window

 
 
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