In view the Government's deep commitment towards fulfilling the aspirations and expectations of Overseas Indians, the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005.
The Scheme provides for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) of all Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 or thereafter or were eligible to become citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 except 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.
OCI is not to be misconstrued as 'dual citizenship'. OCI does not confer political rights. The registered Overseas Citizens of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under Article 16 of the Constitution, with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. Detailed instructions and procedures on the OCI Scheme are available on the website: https://ociservices.gov.in/.
Procedure for submission of application
Any eligible person can submit an application for registration as OCI Cardholder on the online system. For this purpose, they may log on to https://ociservices.gov.in/. Applicants are required to upload all the requisite documents (self-attested), photograph and signature (in the case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression) along with the application.
Documents to be submitted with the application
- Current Foreign Passport/copy (applicable in all cases), with validity of minimum 6 months at the time of submission of application.
- Copy of valid Qatar ID.
- Copy of the certificate of registration of citizenship/Naturalization (as the case may be), for the present nationality of the applicant (applicable in all cases), along with details of previous nationalities held.
- Cancelled/Surrendered Indian Passport with Surrender Certificate (for those who have surrendered Indian Passport in or after 2010).
- Present address proof of the applicant which may be the following:
- Copy of the Electricity Bill/Telephone Bill
- Lease License in case of tenants.
- Evidence of Indian Origin of self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents
- Being a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or
- Being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or
- Belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947. These could be:
- Copy of the Indian Passport; or
- Copy of the Domicile Certificate issued by the Competent Authority; or
- Copy of the Nativity Certificate from the Competent Authority; or
- PIO/OCI Card of Parents/spouse along with documents to prove Indian Origin; or
- Any other proof substantiating the request. Applicants may also submit a certificate of residence or place of birth of self/parents/grandparents from First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place.
- Evidence of relationship as parent/ grandparent/ great grandparent, if their Indian Origin is claimed as basis for registration as OCI Cardholder.
- The document of relationship could be “Birth Certificate” issued from competent authority mentioning both parents’ names.
- In case the birth certificate is issued by a foreign authority, it is to be Apostilled or endorsed by the concerned Indian Mission Abroad/concerned foreign Mission in India.
- In case of minor child whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India
- Copy of child’s birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate of Parents (if no marriage certificate is available, reasons for same to be indicated)
- Copy of Indian Passport of the parents/one of the parents or copy of the Domicile Certificate or Nativity Certificate issued by the Competent Authority in respect of the parents/one of the parents or any other proof substantiating the status of the parents/one of the parents as being Indian citizen(s)
- If the parents are divorced, court order of dissolution of marriage, which specifically mentions that the legal custody of the child is with the parent who is applying for the OCI Card. If the court order is in any foreign language, translation in English or Hindi by an authorized translator is to be enclosed.
- In case the applicant is spouse (of foreign origin) of a citizen of India or OCI card holder, the marriage should have lasted for more than two years and the following documents will be required:
- Registered Marriage Certificate; and
- In the case of spouse of an Indian citizen – copy of the Indian Passport of the spouse or copy of the Domicile Certificate or Nativity Certificate issued by the Competent Authority in respect of the Indian spouse or any other proof substantiating the status of the spouse as being an Indian Citizen
- In the case of spouse of an OCI Cardholder – Copy of the present valid Passport of the spouse and copy of the OCI Card of the spouse and copies of the documents upon which the OCI Card was issued to the spouse.
- Declaration from the Indian/OCI Cardholder spouse stating that in case of divorce/separation/death of foreign spouse, it is his/her responsibility to surrender the OCI Card to the Government of India.
- In all cases where the marriage certificate is to be submitted, the following guidelines will be applicable:
- If the marriage was solemnized in India, Marriage certificate issued by Marriage Registrar is required
- If the marriage was solemnized in a foreign country, it should be apostilled/ certified by the concerned Indian Mission/Post
- If the marriage certificate is in any foreign language other than English, it should be translated in English by an authorized translator.
Fee for OCI Services
The fee for the following OCI services with effect from 1 April, 2021 are as under: -
Fees in QR
Registration as an Overseas Citizen of India
Reissue of OCI card due to change in particulars/passport
Issue of duplicate OCI card in case of loss/damage of OCI card
Conversion of PIO Card to OCI Card
* A surcharge of QR 11/- is to be paid towards the Indian Community Welfare Fund for each OCI service per person w.e.f 01 September, 2017.
For FAQs on OCI Services, kindly visit https://www.mha.gov.in/PDF_Other/3OCIcardholder_FAQs_15112019.pdf
For FAQs on OCI Miscellaneous Services, kindly visit https://www.mha.gov.in/PDF_Other/9OCIcardholder_Miscservices_FAQs_15112019.pdf
Revised guidelines for re-issuance of OCI cards due to issuance of new foreign passport
Following are the revised guidelines for Re-issuance of OCI cards due to issuance of new foreign passport to OCI cardholders.
- Mandatory requirement of re-issuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued to a foreigner upto 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age is dispensed with.
- OCI cardholder is required to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after completing 20 years of age.
- OCI cardholder is required to upload ONLINE a copy of the new passport and a latest photo each time a new passport is issued upto 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age. The uploading of these documents may be done within three months of receipt of the new passport. The service will be provided on Gratis basis (free of charge).
- Foreign Spouse of an Indian Citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder are required to upload a copy of the new passport and also a latest photo ONLINE each time a new passport is issued along with a declaration on subsisting of marriage, copy of the Indian passport of the Indian spouse/passport & OCI card of the OCI cardholder spouse. Necessary changes to upload documents in the OCI portal to facilitate above services to OCI cardholders will be done soon.
- Till necessary changes are updated in the OCI portal, 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. OCI card holders travelling on the strength of their existing OCI card bearing old passport number are not required to carry their old passport. However, they are mandatorily required to carry their new passport.
PIO Cards/Conversion of PIO card to OCI Card
Bureau of Immigration (BOI), Government of India, will accept handwritten PIO cards as a valid document till 31 December, 2024 along with a valid foreign passport. The Indian Immigration Check Post(s) will continue to consider all PIO cards valid for exit from/entry into India till 31 December, 2024. This extension of timeline is subject to condition that if any deadline is notified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), thereby making handwritten PIO cards invalid, then PIO cardholders may have to obtain an appropriate visa from our Missions/Posts.
Machine-readable electronic travel documents are mandated by ICAO guidelines. It is not a precondition prescribed by MHA/BOI for entry into India. However, for smooth travel, it is important to ensure that your travel documents are converted to a machine-readable format.
All PIO cardholders with valid PIO cards are advised to apply for conversion of PIO card to OCI card at the earliest opportunity to minimize difficulties during travel.