Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is an immigration status authorized for a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely. It brings several privileges available to an Non-Resident Indian (NRI), but does not offer actual citizenship, meaning that an OCI Card holder cannot vote or hold a government office.
An OCI card is simply a multiple entry life-long visa which enables the holder to have unlimited travel and stay in India. A foreign national who is eligible to become citizen of India as on 26th January 1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th of August 1947 and his/her children and grandchildren, can get an OCI Card. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
A person who may have been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, and is married to a person eligible for registration as OCI is also not eligible for grant of OCI. However, their children are eligible as OCI. An OCI Registration Card will be issued by the Indian Missions/Posts abroad after scrutinizing the application and deciding eligibility.
Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 are eligible for registration as OCI.
For step by step guide to submitting an OCI application, visit Ohm Consultant.
Benefits of OCI
Multi-purpose, multi-entry lifelong visa to visit India. Exemption from reporting to police for any length of stay in India. Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields, except in acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties
Application form and fee, Photographs (51x51mm Approx), Copy of current passport (Present Citizenship Proof), Copy of valid Indian visa, Evidence of Indian origin, Present residence proofs like light bill/telephone bill.
OCI card holders traveling to India are advised to carry the passport containing U Visa sticker and OCI Card to avoid problems at immigration check points in India. In case registered OCI has obtained a new passport, kindly ensure to carry the passport containing U Visa sticker, new passport and OCI documents during all visits to India.