Who is OCI?
OCI refers to Overseas Citizen of India which can be simply understood as the status given to people with a foreign citizenship who are granted with certain rights and freedoms that the citizens of India and NRIs enjoy except the following rights: voting rights, candidature in various houses of government, constitutional posts such as President, Supreme Court Judge etc. government employment, acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
Overseas Citizens of India are entitled to multiple benefits under the OCI Card Scheme (Mandatory scheme for OCIs to enroll for an OCI card to enable entry in the country with or without their foreign passports); the eligibility criteria are as follows:
- A former Indian citizen (on or after January 16, 1950)
- A person belonging to any part merged to India after August 15, 1947
- A person whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents are/were Indian citizens
- A person married to an Indian Citizen or an existing OCI for at least 2 years
OCIs have the permission to work indefinitely in India. The increased demand for dual citizenship (holding passports of two different countries) in India resulted in the introduction of the OCI Card. Citizens of countries allowing dual citizenship can apply for an OCI card in India.
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Some Prominent Benefits of the Overseas Citizen of India Card:
- Multiple entry; Lifelong visa to visit India
- Similar benefits to NRIs in educational, financial and economic fields
- The OCIs will be treated in the same way as Indian nationals considering the domestic air fare tariffs
OCI Card Application Fees:
- Applications submitted from outside India: $275 or equivalent local currency
- Applications submitted in India: Rs.15,000/-