Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI)
1. The Constitution of India does not allow the holding of Indian citizenship with that of a foreign country simultaneously. However, the Government of India has decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India 9OCI). The Parliament of India approved the relevant bill in this connection in August, 2005. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or other under their relevant national laws.
2. Persons registered as Overseas Citizens of India will not have the right to vote or be elected to the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council, constitutional posts such as the President, Vice-President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc. Registered OCI shall be entitled to the following benefits:
3. A person registered as an OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian Citizenship under Section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, if he/she has been registered as an OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year , out of the five years before making the application.
4. For getting registered under the OCI Scheme, application will be have to be submitted in the Indian Mission/Post in the country of citizenship/residence of the applicant, in the form prescribed for the purpose.
5. Applications for OCI service can be made to the High Commission of India, Nicosia from 0900 hour to 1200 hours on all working days. Applicants are advised to ensure that no column of the application is left unfilled/without the information/sought/unanswered. Apart from affixing photographs and signatures at the designated places in the application form, it may also be ensured that the requisite number of spare photographs [04 (four) in all] of the prescribed size are enclosed with the application. Photographs should be 35mm x 45 mm in size with white background, front pose and both shoulders and ears visible. The applicant’s signature/thumb impression should not touch the outlines of the signature box. The existing foreign passport, together with the cancelled or expired Indian Passport if available, and their photocopies also need to be enclosed along with the application.
6. The approximate time-frame for issue of OCI cards is between 8 to 12 weeks from the date of application. Enquiries, if any, may therefore kindly be made after at least 12 weeks from the date of application.
For more details about the OCI Scheme, please visit the web site www.ociservices.gov.in
7. Guidelines which are in force since 2005 for obtaining a new OCI when OCI cardholder acquires a new Passport are as follows:
Note: Applicants can check the status/receipt of their OCI cards from the High Commission, Nicosia or by visiting the website given above and click on the link “online enquiry”. In case the enquiry shows the receipt of the card, the applicant can collected the same from the High Commission of India, Nicosia. The following documents would be required to be presented at the time of collection of the OCI card:
The documents would be accepted in the morning on any working day between from 0830 to 1130 hours and would be returned from 1500 hours to 1600 hours on the date of delivery conveyed by the Consular Officer.