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Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card

OCI Card

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cardholder 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. 

2.    Eligibility : A foreign national, - (i)  who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after 26th January, 1950; or (ii)  who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January, 1950; or (iii) who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or (iv) who is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or (v) who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or (vi) who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India – is eligible for registration as OCI cardholder.
Besides, spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application is also eligible for registration as OCI cardholder.  However, no person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents 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 Indian Cardholder.

3.     Application for registration as OCI Cardholder can be made Online. Before filling the application, Instructions may be perused so that there is no mistake in submission of application. 

4.    Fee: US $ 278 for each applicant

5.     Registered OCI Cardholders shall be entitled to the following benefits: 

  •  Multiple entry lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose (However OCI Cardholders will require a special permission to undertake research work in India for which they may submit the application to the Indian Mission/ Post/ FRRO concerned). 
  • Exemption from registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay in India. 
  • Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial, and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties. 
  •  Treated at par with Non-Resident-Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children. 
  • Treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India. 
  • Parity with Non-Resident Indians(NRI) in respect of:- (A) entry fees to be charged for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India; (B) 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; (C) 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. 


6.    Persons registered as OCI Cardholder 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.
  • to own agricultural land/plantations


7.    Validity of PIO Card :  A PIO Card shall be valid for the lifetime of the holder from the date of issue, subject to the validity of the foreign passport of the applicant.

8.     A person registered as an OCI Cardholder 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 Cardholder for five years and is ordinarily resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration. 

OCI Travel Advisory – Re-issue of OCI Card (On getting a New Passport)

  • For an applicant who is 20 years of age or younger, OCI documents must be re-issued each time a new passport is issued.
  • For an applicant who is 50 years of age or older, OCI documents must be re-issued once after the issuance of a new passport. If the OCI card is issued for the first time after the age of 50 years, then there is no need for re-issuance of OCI.
  • For an applicant who is 21 to 49 years of age, there is no need to re-issue OCI documents each time a new passport is issued. However, if the applicant desires, he/she can request that the OCI documents be re-issued so that the OCI documents reflect the correct passport number.


Please view the full requirements for OCI Re-issue for more information at the following link.  External website that opens in a new window PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site.


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