There is a very large Indian diaspora worldwide which includes OCIs, NRIs and PIOs. Many of these are foreign nationals. The need for dual citizenship in order to visit and maintain ties with India has been in discussion for a long time. The OCI card was designed to address this need. The OCI full form is ‘Overseas Citizen of India’. OCI card holders are entitled to a multi-purpose, multiple entry, lifelong visa allowing them to visit India at any time, for any length of time and for any purpose. The OCI card gives many of the privileges citizens of India enjoy. There are, however, a few restrictions as well. Here are the new rules for OCI card holders in 2022. OCI card registration is a crucial process, that we will be explaining in this article.
To apply for an OCI card, the applicant:
- Must be a citizen of another country and hold its passport.
- The OCI document is not issued to citizens who reside in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Eligibility in order to register for OCI card
To apply for an OCI card, the applicant must fulfill the following criteria:
- The person was a citizen of India at the time of or any time after 26 January 1950.
- The person was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950.
- The person belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947.
- The person is a minor or a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of such a person mentioned in the first three points.
- The person is a minor child and whose parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India.
- The person is the spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an overseas citizen of India cardholder 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.
The Applicant’s image and Applicant’s signature image (Max size 500kb):
- The height and width of the Applicant Photo must be equal.
- The minimum dimensions are 200 pixels (width) x 200 pixels (height).
- The maximum dimensions are 1500 pixels (width) x 1500 pixels (height).
- The height and width of the Signature Photo must have aspect ratio 1:3
- The minimum dimensions are 200 pixels (width) x 67 pixels (height).
- The maximum dimensions are 1500 pixels (width) x 500 pixels (height).
- Kindly be ready with supporting documents in PDF format (Max size 1000kb).
Documents Required for OCI Card Application
Applicants are required to submit the original documents along with a set of photocopies. Both sets of documents need to be submitted together at the counter. The original documents will be returned by the Embassy of India, once they have checked and are satisfied. All photocopies need to be self-attested.
Mandatory documents for an OCI Application:
- Printed Application form: All applicants need to fill the online application form on the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/
- Two photographs as per the photo specifications
- Copy of Foreign Passport
- Applicants, who have obtained foreign nationality by naturalisation, are required to submit a naturalisation certificate (original) along with a copy.
- All applicants are required to submit the originals along with the copy of the proof of Indian origin documents..
Please click here for the following required documents:
- Documents required for Applicants born In India
- Other necessary documents of Indian origin.
- Documents required for Applicants born in India/Abroad and applying on the basis of Parents/Grand Parents/Spouse:
- Applications for minor children
OCI Card Registration
- The applicant must check their eligibility before they start your registration.
- If they are already an OCI card holder, they must use OCI Miscellaneous Services.
- If they are a PIO Card Holder, they must register through OCI registration (In lieu of valid PIO card).
- If they are a PIO card holder and the card is lost, they must register through OCI Registration (In lieu of lost PIO card).
- To reprint the already registered application, use ‘Re-Print Submitted Application’ service.
- In case of urgent travel, applicants may apply for an appropriate visa.
In order to register as an OCI, eligible applicants must follow these steps:
1. The applicant must first visit www.ociservices.gov.in
2. Next, they need to click on ‘OCI Registration’
3. In doing so, the applicant is redirected to a new page where he/she needs to click on the link that reads ‘Click Here to Proceed’.
4. On the next page, the applicant is required to click on ‘Proceed’.
5. On the corresponding page, the applicant needs to key in the captcha code and click on ‘Enter’.
6. Next, the appropriate option from among ‘Fresh Application’ and ‘Complete Partially-Filled Application’ needs to be selected.
7. On selecting ‘Fresh Application’, a new page is opened where the applicant’s information, passport details, and family details need to be provided.
8. In the next page, the applicant’s photo and signature needs to be uploaded
9. Once the photo and signature are successfully uploaded, the supporting documents need to be uploaded and the application is needed to be submitted.
10. After the submission of the online application, a copy of the application form which contains the OCI online registration number needs to be printed.
11. The printout along with all the relevant enclosures and requisite OCI card fees needs to be submitted to the Indian Mission/Post/Office under whose jurisdiction the applicant is ordinarily residing.
OCI Registration Fees
Fees required for the applicant registering as OCI depend on where the application is being submitted:
- If the application is submitted outside India, US $275 or its equivalent in local currency for each applicant needs to be paid through demand draft.
- If the application is submitted in India itself, an amount of Rs.15,000 needs to be paid through Demand Draft.
- The Demand Draft needs to be in favor of ‘Pay and Accounts Officer (Secretariat), Ministry of Home Affairs’ payable at New Delhi.
OCI Registration Status
After the OCI application is filed, the status of the application can be checked by the applicants.
In order to check the OCI application status:
1. Visit www.ociservices.gov.in
2. Next, click on ‘OCI-Enquiry’
3. Thereafter click on ‘Click Here to Proceed’.
4. After that, click on ‘Status Enquiry’ from among the various options.
5. Next, click on ‘Proceed’.
6. In doing so, a new page opens where the applicant needs to enter the passport number and one of either online registration number or acknowledgement number.
7. Following that, the applicant needs to enter the captcha code and click on ‘Get Status’.
The status of the application is displayed on the corresponding screen.
Within 30 days of the application, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant. If any adverse information is available against the applicant, the decision to grant or otherwise is taken within 120 days.
Also Read: How to apply for an OCI Card from the U.S.
To ask any questions related to the rights of NRIs, PIOs, and OCIs, you can download SBNRI App from the Google Play Store or App Store. You can also use the SBNRI app for investment in stock market/ mutual funds, NRI account opening, tax filing, etc. To ask any questions, click on the button below. Also, visit our blog and YouTube channel for more details.
A ‘Non-resident Indian’ (NRI) is a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India. A person of Indian origin who is a foreign national and gets registered as Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder under Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 is an OCI.
Can an OCI card holder purchase land in India ?
OCI card holders can purchase residential and commercial properties in India. But they are not permitted to purchase agricultural land, including farmland or any kind of plantation property.
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 grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known as ‘dual citizenship’.
US $ 275 or equivalent in local currency for each applicant. In case of PIO card holder, US $ 25 or equivalent in local currency for each applicant. In case of application filled in India, fee Rs.14,230/- for general category and for PIO card holders Rs.1,290/- to be paid by way of Demand