Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card
A) Application for OCI cards
1. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who have migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country, other than Pakistan and Bangladesh are eligible for grant of Overseas Citizenship of India.
2. OCI status confers the following benefits:
a. Multiple-entry, multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India
b. Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India
c. Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties, and
d. 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.
3. Procedure: Application for registration as OCI is to be made online through the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs www.mha.nic.in. Alternatively, please go directly to https://ociservices.gov.in Instructions therein may be perused carefully particularly with respect to supporting documentations required so that there is no mistake in submission of application. A family consisting of spouse and up to two minor children can apply online in the same form i.e. Form XIX. Part A of the application form can be filed online. Part B can be downloaded and printed on computer or filled by hand in block letters. Printed Part A and Part B of the application form have to be submitted to the High Commission.
4. Documents required: The required documents listed below are indicative in nature and an attempt has been made to cover majority of the cases. However, the Consular Officer may ask for additional documents after examining the application. After making an online application, please report to the High Commission with a hard copy of the application along with the following documents:
5. 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. While travelling, you are expected to carry the booklet along with your passport containing OCI visa.
B) OCI Miscellaneous Services have been made available on the Ministry's website https://ociservices.gov.in and can be availed for re-issuance/issuance of duplicate OCI Registration Certificate and Visa in the following category of cases:
3. Documents to be enclosed along with the application:
a. Copy of OCI registration certificate and visa
b. In case of issuance of a new passport (Please refer to para Press release), copy of new and old passport along with copy of registration certificate (OCI card) has to be enclosed.
c. In case of loss of OCI Registration Certificate and/or Visa, copy of the complaint lodged with Police authorities and copy of visa and registration certificate to be enclosed.
d. In case of change of personal particulars e.g. wrong filling of particulars by the applicant, copy of the document (s) relevant for affecting the requisite changes viz. Nationality Certificate in case of change of nationality etc. to be enclosed.
1. PRESS RELEASE: “The mandatory requirement of re-issuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued to a foreigner up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age is dispensed with”, following procedures are required to be followed.
2. The timeline for re-issuance of OCI card in respect of OCI cardholders who may be required to get their OCI card re-issued has been extended till 31 December 2021.
3 It is, advised that OCI cardholders may take steps to comply with the existing OCI guidelines in Para 1 above and renew their OCI cards / upload new passport details as required by the rules.”
D) Collection of OCI documents: On preparation of OCI document, applicant is required to be present in person.
E) OCI card does NOT entitle the cardholder to undertake any missionary, mountaineering and research work in India, without the prior permission of the Government of India. Prior permission of the competent authority is also required for visiting restricted/protected area (for details, visit http://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf/ForeigD-FAQs-onPAPandRAP.pdf.
F) Advantages of the OCI as compared to PIO cardholders:
a. An OCI card holder is entitled to life-long visa with free travel to India whereas for a PIO card holder, it is only valid for 15 years.
b. A PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for any stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas an OCI card holder is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.
c. An OCI gets a specific right to become an Indian Citizen, whereas the PIO card holder does not have this.
G) Kindly note that the High Commission will accept an application for grant of OCI status after satisfying itself on the adequacy and authenticity of supporting documentation provided. In certain case this is likely to take time as the documents may require verification from the issuing authorities in India. In these cases the High Commission cannot prescribe the timeframe within which the OCI card will be issued. In these cases, at the stage of initial application, an acknowledgement will be provided to you by post. Applicants will be periodically informed about the processing of their application and are also advised to keep in touch with the Embassy to follow up.
H) For any more details, please contact the High Commission.