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OCI FAQs

Q: I am a person of Indian origin as my parents were born in undivided India before partition. After partition, they briefly held Pakistani citizenship before moving to the United States. Am I eligible for an OCI card?
A:

    No. If the applicant, or his/her parents or grand-parents have ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for an OCI card.

Q: I am a Person of Indian Origin currently living in a foreign country. Where should I apply for an OCI Card? How long does it take for issue of the Card?
A:

    Applicants residing abroad can file applications to the Embassy/Consulate having jurisdiction over the country of which applicant is a citizen; or If he/she is not living in the country of his/her citizenship, to the Embassy/Consulate having jurisdiction over the country of which the applicant is ordinarily resident irrespective of the fact that the same Embassy/Consulate issued the original OCI documents or not. It normally takes about 6-7 weeks for issue of an OCI Card.

Q: What is the procedure to convert a PIO Card to an OCI Card?
A:

    Please apply through the following link http://www.passport.gov.in/oci/welcome directly and then submit a hard copy of the application with the prescribed documents in the Embassy. It should be noted that this service will be considered as Fresh Application for OCI Card and the corresponding fees (QR: 365) will be charged w.e.f. 01/01/2018.

Q: Is a Renunciation Certificate compulsory before I apply for an OCI Card? What is the procedure to apply for a Renunciation Certificate? How long does it take to issue it?
A:

    Yes, a Renunciation Certificate (renouncing your Indian nationality and surrendering your Indian passport) is compulsory before applying for an OCI card. It takes 3-4 working days for a Renunciation Certificate to be issued, subject to documents being in order.

Q: Can I travel to India with just my OCI Card, or should I also carry the passport which contains the ‘U’ Visa (OCI Visa)?
A:

    The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Vide circular No. 26011/06/2015-OCI dated 29th January, 2015 has directed all immigration authorities in India not to insist on production of the foreign passport containing the 'U' Visa Sticker in case of OCI Cardholders while they enter/exit India and immigration clearance will be granted based on production of just the OCI card, accompanied by a valid passport (which may not have the U visa sticker).

Q: My spouse is a foreign national of non-Indian origin. I hold an OCI Card. Is my spouse entitled to an OCI Card? What about my children?
A:

  • Yes, the spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder registered under section 7A 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, can apply for an OCI card.
  • Minor children whose both parents are citizens of India or one of whose parents is a citizen of India are eligible to apply for an OCI Card.
Q: Are foreign military personnel of Indian origin eligible for OCI cards?
A:

    No, foreign military personnel either in service or retired are not entitled for grant of OCI. No person who has earlier served in a foreign military organization is eligible for an OCI card.

Q: What are the situations for which re-issue of an existing OCI card is necessary?
A:

  • 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.
  • In case there is a change in personal particulars
  • In case of loss/damage of passport and/or OCI booklet
  • For correcting personal particulars entered wrongly while submitting online applications e.g. name, father’s name, date of birth, etc.
  • In case of change of address/occupation.
  • Please view the full requirements for OCI Re-issue at the following link: http://mha1.nic.in/pdfs/GuidelinesOCI.pdf
Q: What are the benefits available to an OCI Card holder?
A:

An OCI card holder gets the following benefits:

  • A multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India.
  • Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
  • Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields as per the relevant Acts, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
  • OCI can be used as identity proof for application of PAN Card and driving licence as well as for opening a bank account if the OCI card holder is residing in India.
Q: What are the benefits to which an OCI card holder is NOT entitled to?
A:

The OCI Card holder is not entitled:

  • to vote;
  • to be a member of a Legislative Assembly or of a Legislative Council or of the Parliament of India;
  • to hold Indian constitutional posts such as that of the President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court etc.;
  • He/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government
Q: I have a valid OCI Card and a valid foreign passport. Is there any minimum validity specified for my foreign passport?
A:

    You will be allowed entry into India if you have a valid OCI Card and a valid foreign passport, with a minimum remaining validity of six months. You do not need to carry the old passport on which your "U” (OCI) Visa was stamped, if that happens to be different from your current passport.

Q: In what form should a person apply for an OCI and where are the forms available?
A:

Q: Can application form be filled and submitted on line?
A:

    Yes. Part A of the application form should be filed online. Part B should be downloaded and printed on computer or by hand in Block letters. Printed Part A and Part B of the application form has to be submitted to the Embassy along with all requisite documents.

Q: What documents would qualify for “Any other proof” for evidence of Indian Origin of self or parents or grandparents being eligible for grant of an OCI?
A:

    Any documentary evidence like a school certificate, Agricultural land ownership certificate, birth certificate etc. by which eligibility may be reasonably ascertained.

Q: What are the consequences of furnishing wrong information or suppressing material information?
A:

    If the registration as an OCI Cardholder was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact, the registration as OCI Cardholder shall be cancelled under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The person will also be blacklisted thereby banning his/her future entry into India.

Q: What is the fee for application for registration as an OCI?
A:

    In case of applications submitted to the Embassy/Consulate – US $ 275 or equivalent in local currency for each applicant.

Q: What is the time taken for registration as OCI?
A:

  • In all cases, other than the application submitted as a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI Cardholder, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant, the Embassy/Consulate shall register a person as an OCI Cardholder within 45 days of the date of acknowledgement. If there is any adverse information against the applicant, final decision to grant registration as OCI cardholder or otherwise will be taken within 120 days.
  • In the case of application submitted as a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI Cardholder, the person shall be registered as an OCI Cardholder only after prior clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) in terms of the proviso to clause (d) of subsection (1) of section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 as incorporated by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015 notified on 10th March, 2015.
Q: If the registration as an OCI Cardholder is not granted, what amount will be refunded?
A:

    If registration is refused, an amount of US $ 250 or equivalent in local currency shall be refunded. US $ 25 is the processing fees, which is non-refundable.

Q: What will be issued after registration as an OCI?
A:

    After grant of registration, a registration certificate in the form of a booklet will be issued. This will serve as a life-long multiple entry visa to visit India. For collection of the OCI Cardholder registration booklet, the applicant is required to be present at the Embassy in person or he/she can send a duly authorized person, along with his/her passport and the original documents for which self-attested copies were attached at the time of submitting application, for verification purposes. No passport and OCI Cardholder registration booklet will be received/sent by Post or e-mail.

Q: Will a duplicate certificate of registration as an OCI Cardholder will be issued?
A:

    Yes. For this purpose, an application has to be made to the Embassy with evidence for loss of certificate of registration. In the case of mutilated/damaged certificate of registration, an application has to be made enclosing the same. The applications in both the cases are to be submitted to the Embassy along with payment of a fee of US $ 100 or equivalent in local currency.

Q: Can a person registered as an OCI Cardholder travel to protected area/restricted area without permission?
A:

    No. He/she will be required to obtain Protected Area Permit/ Restricted Area Permit for such visits.

Q: Would the Indian civil/criminal laws be applicable to persons registered as OCI Cardholder?
A:

    Yes, for the period the OCI Cardholder is living in India.

Q: Will the applicant lose his citizenship after registering as an OCI Cardholder?
A:

    No.

Q: Can a person registered as an OCI Cardholder be granted Indian citizenship?
A:

    Yes. As per section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act,1955, a person registered as an OCI cardholder for 5 years and who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration is eligible for grant of Indian citizenship, and can apply for naturalization under this category.

Q: Whether an OCI Cardholder be entitled to apply for and obtain normal Indian passport which is given to a citizen of India?
A:

    No. Indian Passport is given only to an Indian citizen.

Q: Can a person renounce his/her registration as OCI Cardholder?
A:

    Yes. He/she has to make a declaration renouncing the Card registering him/her as an OCI Cardholder to the Embassy/Consulate from where the registration as OCI Cardholder was granted. After receipt of the declaration, the Embassy shall issue an acknowledgement in the prescribed form. Upon such registration of the declaration, the person shall cease to be an OCI Cardholder. Where a person ceases to be an OCI Cardholder, the spouse of foreign origin of that person who has obtained OCI Card under clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 7A and every minor child of that person registered as an OCI Cardholder shall thereupon cease to be an OCI Cardholder.

Q: Can an OCI holder undertake Research work in India?
A:

    Yes, after getting prior approval/special permission from the Embassy.

Q: If a person is already holding more than one nationality, can he/she apply for OCI?
A:

    Yes, subject to eligibility conditions being satisfied otherwise.

Q: Whether civil Govt. servant working in Ministry of Defence as IT engineers/civil contractors entitled for OCI?
A:

    NO.

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