Simplified procedure for submission of applications for OCI cards
Following categories of foreign nationals are eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder:-
(1) who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or
(2) who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or
(3) who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947; or
(4) who is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or
(5) who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or
(6) who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or
(7) 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 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 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.
Note : 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 India Cardholder.
Application fee US $ 275 for each applicant or equivalent in local currency.
APPLICATION FORM AND PROCEDURE:
The application for issue of OCI Card can be filled up online at https://passport.gov.in/oci/
The application form, completed in all respects, along with enclosures should be submitted to the Indian Mission/Post of the country of applicant’s citizenship or where he/she is not in the country of citizenship, to the Indian Mission/Post of the country in which he/she is ordinarily a resident.
COLLECTION OF OCI DOCUMENTS
On preparation of OCI card, applicant is required to be present in person or he/she can send a duly authorized person, along with his/her foreign passport & PIO card (if any) for collection of the OCI card from the same office where he/she applied. No passport and OCI documents will be received/sent by post or mail.
CANCELLATION OF OCI REGISTRATION
If it has been found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955, the registration of such person will be cancelled forthwith.
BENEFITS TO AN OCI CARD HOLDER
(i) Multiple entry life-long 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).
(ii) Exemption from registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay in India.
(iii) 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.
(iv) Registered Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder shall be treated at par with Non-Resident-Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.
(v) Registered Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder shall be treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India.
(vi) Registered Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder shall be charged the same entry fee as domestic Indian visitors to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
(vii) 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.
(viii) State Governments should ensure that the OCI Cardholder registration booklets of OCI Cardholders are treated as their identification for any services rendered to them. In case proof of residence is required, Overseas Citizens of India Cardholder may give an affidavit attested by a notary public stating that a particular/specific address may be treated as their place of residence in India and may also in their affidavit give their overseas residential address as well as e-mail address, if any. Any other benefits to an OCI Cardholder will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
BENEFITS TO WHICH AN OCI CARD HOLDER IS NOT ENTITLED TO
The OCI Cardholder is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. The OCI Cardholder shall not be entitled for appointment to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State except for appointment in such services and posts as the Central Government may, by special order, in that behalf, specify. Further, the OCI Cardholder cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India.
CONVERSION OF PIO CARDS INTO OCI CARDS
All the existing PIO cardholders are deemed to be OCI cardholders with effect from 9.1.2015. The PIO cardholders can apply for OCI cards in lieu of their PIO cards at https://passport.gov.in/oci/
The OCI cards are issued in lieu of PIO cards on gratis basis. However, the applicants have to pay service charges and postage charges where applicable. The last date for submission of the application for registration as OCI cardholders by the PIO cardholders has been extended to 31.3.2016.