About Us FAQs

OCI FAQs

 

Q) Who is eligible to apply?

A) A foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and his/her children and grand children, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.

 

Q) Who was eligible to become Citizen of India on 26.01.1950?

A) Any person who, or whose parents or grand-parents were born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who was ordinarily residing in any country outside India was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950.

 

Q) Which territories became part of India after 15.08.1947 and from what date?

A) The territories which became part of India after 15.08.1947 are:

(i) Sikkim 26.04.1975

(ii) Pondicherry 16.08.1962

(iii) Dadra & Nagar Haveli 11.08.1961

(iv) Goa, Daman and Diu 20.12.1961

 

Q) How to apply for OCI if I do not have a surrender/renunciation certificate and my old Indian passport is lost and I do not have a copy of the lost Indian passport?

If the applicant does not possess a copy of the lost passport and do not posess a Surrender/Renunciation certificate, then they will be required to apply for Nativity/Domicile Certificate (link), from India. For this they will need to approach the local Government authorities in India and then get this certificate attested/apostilled from Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. Once they have a valid Nativity/Domicile certificate, they can apply for an OCI Card.

 

Q) Can the spouse of the eligible person apply for OCI?

A) Yes, if he/she is eligible in his/her own capacity.

 

Q) The applicant is separate but not divorced. What are the requirements for applying for an OCI Card?

A) The applicant will have to choose the option ‘separated but not divorced’ and provide a copy of a separation order from a court. Please note that the court order must be from the country where the marriage was solemnized. eg. for a marriage solemnized in India, and Indian court order of separation is required.

The applicant will be required to enter the name of their separated spouse in the application form and also provide a copy of their separated spouse’s passport.

 

Q) Can Minor children apply for OCI?

A) Yes, if either of the parents is eligible for OCI.

 

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

A) All the applications will be subject to pre or post enquiry depending on whether any adverse information is voluntarily reported in the application or not. If the Government comes to the know that any false information was furnished or material information was suppressed, the registration as OCI already granted shall be cancelled by an order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The persons will also be blacklisted thereby banning his/her entry into India.

 

Q) Can a PIO Cardholder apply for OCI card?

A) Yes, provided he/she is otherwise eligible for grant of OCI like any other applicant.

 

Q) Will the PIO card be honored till the time it is valid even after acquisition of an OCI?

A) No. PIO card will have to be surrendered to the Consulate before collection of OCI registration certificate and an OCI ‘U’ visa sticker.

 

Q) I am an OCI card holder. How do I modify details related to changes in my personal details in my OCI card?

A) A new OCI card is issued only when the holder crosses the age of 20 years and obtains a new foreign passport. In all other cases, if the OCI holder wants to change any details in the OCI, they may follow the procedure given below:

  1. Visit OCI portal at https://ociservices.gov.in/welcome 
  2. Go to the option "OCI Miscellaneous Services"
  3. Follow the prompts and upload details and scanned copies of documents required as by the portal

Once this has been done, the applicant will receive an email confirming submission of changes. They can then travel using this confirmation and the existing OCI card. No new card is issued.

 

Q) I have lost my OCI card. How do I apply for renewal of OCI?

A) Applicant is required to submit a copy of the police report carrying the details of the OCI card lost along with the OCI renewal application. Please bear in mind that the fee for renewal of OCI Card in lieu of a lost one is different than regular renewal fee.

 

Q) My OCI card is damaged. Can I apply for a new OCI card?

A) Yes. Please apply under the OCI renewal procedure with fee applicable for damaged OCI renewal.

Please bear in mind that the fee for renewal of damaged OCI Card renewal is different than regular renewal fee (link).

 

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

A) No. He/she will be required to seek PAP/RAP for such visits.

 

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

A) Yes, for the period OCI is living in India.

 

Q) Can a person registered as an OCI be granted Indian citizenship?

A) Yes. As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, a person who is registered as an OCI for 5 years and is residing in India for 1 year out of the above 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship.

 

Q) Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals who are not eligible for OCI, but married to persons who are eligible for OCI?

A) No.

 

Q) Will foreign-born children of PIOs be eligible to become an OCI?

A) Yes, provided one of the parents is eligible to become an OCI.

 

Q) What are the benefits of an OCI?

A) Following benefits will be allowed to an OCI:

(i) Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India;

(ii) Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and

(iii) Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

(iv) Registered Overseas Citizen of India shall be treated at par with Non- Resident-Indian in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.

(v) Registered Overseas Citizens of India 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 Citizens of India 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 Indian 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:-

(a) doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;

(b) advocates;

(c) architects;

(d) chartered accountants;

(viii) Parity with Non-Resident Indian 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.

(ix) “State Governments should ensure that the OCI registration booklets of OCIs are treated as their identification for any services rendered to them. In case proof of residence is required, Overseas Citizens of India 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”

 

Q) Will any other benefit be granted to an OCI?

A) Any other benefits to an OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

 

Q) Is the OCI entitled to voting rights?

A) No.

 

Q) Is the OCI entitled to hold constitutional post in India?

A) No.

 

Q) Is the OCI entitled to hold Government posts in India?

A) No, except for the posts specified by an order by the Central Government.

 

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

A) Yes.

 

Q) What are the advantages of the OCI when compared to PIO cardholders?

A)

  • An OCI is entitled to lifelong visa with free travel to India whereas for a PIO card holder, it is only valid for 15 years.
  • A PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for any stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas an OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.
  • An OCI gets a specific right to become an Indian Citizen as per Section 5(i) and (ii) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, whereas the PIO card holder does not have this.

 

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

A) No. Indian Passports are given only to Indian citizen.

 

Q) Whether nationals of Commonwealth countries are eligible for the OCI?

A) Yes, if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

 

Q) Can a person renounce OCI?

A) Yes. He/she has to declare intention of renunciation in Form XXII to the Indian Mission/Post where OCI registration was granted. After receipt of the declaration, the Indian Mission/Post/FRROs shall issue an acknowledgement in Form XXII A.

 

Q) Do the applicants who have applied on the earlier prescribed application form have to apply again in the new form?

A) No. All such applications will be considered for registration as an OCI without seeking fresh applications and fees.

 

Q) Can an OCI holder undertake Research work in India?

A) Yes, after getting prior approval/special permission from MHA.

 

Q) Whether foreign military personnel are eligible for grant of OCI?

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

 

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

A) NO.

 

For more FAQs please refer to the MHA FAQs link.

*If your query is not answered above, please click here to submit your query. (Please note that inquiries related to status for an application will not be accepted)

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