Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cardholder

OCI Scheme is operational from 02.12.2005

  1. The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and Citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to register Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 as Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cardholder.
  2. Application for registration as OCI Cardholder can be made Online. For this purpose, please visit https://ociservices.gov.in Before filling the application, Instructions may be perused so that there is no mistake in submission of application. Further, the details regarding Fee and Offices where original supporting documents have to be submitted for prior verification may also be perused.
  3. 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. Registered OCI Cardholders shall be entitled to the following benefits:
    1. 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).
    2. Exemption from registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay in India.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Parity with Non-Resident Indians(NRI) in respect of:-
      • entry fees to be charged for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;
      • pursuing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely:-
        1. doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;
        2. advocates;
        3. architects;
        4. chartered accountants;
      • 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.
    8. 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 External Affairs (MEA) under section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

  4. 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. Central Government, if it is satisfied that special circumstances exist, may after recording the circumstances in writing, relax the period of twelve months, up to a maximum of thirty days which may be in different breaks.

Application Fee:

Till the online payment system is introduced, the following guidelines may be followed:-
  1. In case of application to be submitted outside India, by way of Demand Draft for US $ 275 for each applicant or equivalent in local currency. For the amount of fee to be paid in local currency, please visit the web site of the respective Indian Mission/Post.
  2. In case application is submitted in India, a fee of Rs.15,000/- by way of Demand Draft drawn in favour of “Pay and Accounts Officer (Secretariat), Ministry of Home Affairs” payable at New Delhi.

Documents Required

List of supporting documents to be uploaded along with the application are :-
  1. Proof of present citizenship – Copy of present valid passport (applicable in all cases), with validity of minimum 6 months at the time of submission of application.
  2. In case application is submitted in India, copy of any type of Visa (other than Missionary Visa and Mountaineering Visa)/ Residential Permit with 3 months validity as on the date of application.
  3. Evidence of self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents-
    1. 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
    2. Being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or
    3. Belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947.
      These could be:
      1. Copy of the Indian Passport; or
      2. Copy of the Domicile Certificate issued by the Competent Authority; or
      3. Copy of Nativity Certificate from the competent authority; or
      4. OCI Card/ PIO card of parents/ spouse along with the base papers/ documents upon which the OCI/ PIO card was issued; or
      5. Any other proof substantiating the request. Usually applicants are able to submit a certificate of residence or place of birth of self/parents/grandparents from First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place.
  4. 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‟ name. In case the birth certificate is issued by a foreign authority, it is to be Apostled or endorsed by the concerned Indian Mission abroad.
  5. In case of minor child whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India –
    1. Copy of child‟s birth certificate
    2. 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).
    3. 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.
  6. Evidence as spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI Cardholder –
    1. Registered marriage certificate; and
    2. 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.      (iii) 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.
  7. In case of applications of Canadian nationals for registration as OCI cardholder, following documents should also be submitted:-
    1. Landing paper/ Work Permit of applicant/ sponsor
    2. If landing paper at Column 19 shows FC (Family Class), then-
      1. Letter from Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board
      2. A notarized affidavit pleading that neither the applicant nor the sponsor has sought Refugee status in Canada
    3. Last Canadian address
    4. Last Canadian Visa copy
  8. Application Fee - till such time, the online payment facility is introduced –
    1. in case of application submitted in Indian Mission/ Post abroad - By way of Demand Draft for US $ 275 for each applicant or equivalent in local currency.
    2. in case application is submitted in India - a fee of Rs.15,000/- by way of Demand Draft drawn in favour of “Pay and Accounts Officer (Secretariat), Ministry of Home Affairs” payable at New Delhi.

FAQs

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.

A spouse of eligible person can apply if he/she is eligible in his/ her own capacity.

Further, 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 can apply.

Yes. However, if either of the child‟s 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, the child will not be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.

 Photograph to be affixed on the application should be of square shape of size not less than 51x 51 mm (with 80% coverage of face). It should have plain light color background (not white) without the border with front view of person‟s head and shoulders showing the full face in middle of the photograph. It should not be stapled and should not have any signature.

Photographs that do not conform to the above standards will be rejected and may cause delay in processing the applications.

Only one set of Application has to be submitted for each applicant

Details of offices where the applicants have to submit the original supporting documents for prior verification are as follows:-

Applicants outside India

(1) The Indian Mission /Post having jurisdiction over the country of which applicant is a citizen; or

(2) If he/she is not living in the country of his/her citizenship, to the Indian Mission /Post having jurisdiction over the country of which the applicant is ordinarily resident.

Applicants in India

If the applicant is residing in India, to the Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) according to their jurisdictional control. To know the jurisdiction of FRROs, please see “Addresses of offices to submit OCI applications” in the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs – www.mha.gov.in.

Yes.

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 Indian Mission/Post/ FRRO concerned shall register a person as an OCI Cardholder within 30 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. In all such cases, it is expected that the final comments/ clearance of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) shall be uploaded on the online system within 30 days of acknowledgement of the application.

No.

(i) 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).

(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 email address, if any.

Any other benefits to an OCI Cardholder will be notified by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) under section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Yes

 No, foreign military personnel either in service or retired are not entitled for grant of OCI.

 

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