Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme
OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA (OCI) SCHEME
For details of the Scheme, the applicants are advised to check Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, website http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html .
Some salient features of the scheme are as follows:
1. Introduction : Based on the recommendations of the a High Level Committee on 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 Citizen Act, 1955, as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder.
2. Who is eligible ? The following categories of foreign nationals are eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India ( OCI) Cardholder:-
★ who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the commencement of the Constitution; OR
★ who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution; OR
★ who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947 ( Sikkim on 26.04.1975, Puducherry on 16.08.1962, Dadra and Nagar Haveli on 11.08.1961 and Goa, Daman and Due on 20.12.1961) ; OR
★ who is a child or a grand-child or a great grandchild of such a citizen; OR
★ a person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned in the above 4 criterion; OR
★ a person, who is a minor child, and whose both parents are citizens of India; OR
★ a person, who is a minor child, and whose one of the parents is a citizen of India; OR
★ spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder registered under section 7A 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 under this section.
Exceptions: No person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grand parents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such country as the Central Government may, by verification in the official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India card holder.
3. Benefits : The registered OCI Cardholders shall be entitled to the following benefits:
(i) Multiple entries, with multi-purpose life-long Visa to visit India.
(ii) OCI Card holder is exempted from having to report to Police authorities for any length of stay in India.
(iii) Provides for equality with NRIs in all spheres of financial, economic and educational fields barring the purchase of agricultural or plantation properties.
Note: Vide circular No. 26011/06/2015-OCI dated 29th January, 2015 of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, all immigration authorities in India will not insist on production of the foreign passport containing the 'U' Visa Sticker in the case of OCI Cardholders while they enter / exit India and the immigration clearance will be granted based on production of the 'OCI CARD ONLY', when produced along with valid passport.
Benefits to which OCI Cardholder 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, an OCI Cardholder cannot acquire agriculture of plantation properties in India.
Applications for registration as OCI Cardholders , for availing of OCI miscellaneous services or for obtaining OCI card in lieu of PIO cards, are to be submitted only on-line. For this purpose, applicants are required to log on to https://passport.gov.in/oci The applicant will be required to upload all the requisite documents ( self-attested), photograph and signature ( in case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression) along with the application. After the online submission and uploading of requisite documents ( self-attested) , photographs, signatures, the applicant will be required to submit a printout of the application along with the copies of the uploaded documents, as also their originals to the Assistant High Commission. When the documents have been examined and the application has been accepted, the applicant will get an auto mail informing the applicant “Application received and is under process.” On the completion of this process, the originals of the documents will be returned to the applicant.
Note: Please print / write fields in BLOCK LETTERS.
(A)Documents to be submitted with the application for registration for OCI Cardholder.
(i) Proof of present citizenship- Copy of present valid passport (application in all cases), with validity of minimum 6 months at the time of submission of application.
(ii) Evidence of self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents, being a citizen of India at the time of , or at any time after the commencement of the Indian Constitutions i.e. 26.01.1950; or, being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of Constitution of India i.e. 26.01.1950; or belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947. These could be;
(a) Copy of the Indian passport; or copy of the domicile certificate issued by the competent authority; or copy of the nativity certificate from the competent authority; or
(b) OCI or PIO cards of parents / spouse along with the base papers / documents upon which the OCI / PIO card was issued or,
(c) Any other proof substantiating the request. Usually applicants are able to submit a certificate of residence of place of birth of self / parents / grandparents from First Class Magistrate / district Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place.
(iii) 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’ names. In case the birth certificate is issued by a foreign authority, it is to be Apostled or endorsed by the concerned Indian Mission abroad.
(iv) In case of minor child whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India.
(a) Copy of child’s birth certificate
(b) 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)
(c) 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.
(v) Evidence as spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder-
(a) Registered Marriage certificate; and
(b) In the case of spouse of an Indian citizen- copy of the Indian Passport of the spouse of 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.
(c) In 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.
(B) For applications for OCI miscellaneous services , an applicant has to access the relevant service in the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/capchaActionMisc( can be availed of only by registered OCI Cardholders.).
The services which can be availed of are as follows
(i) Change of Passport particulars
(ii) Change of Personal particulars
(iii) Loss / damage of OCI certificate
(iv) Change of Address / Occupation
The documents to be uploaded / submitted are as follows:
(a) In case of issuance of new passport, a copy of the new passport, copy of U visa pasted on the old passport along with copy of registration certificate.
(b) In case of loss of OCI Registration Certificate and of Visa, a copy of the complaint lodged with Police authorities and copy of visa and registration certificate.
(c) In case of change of personal particulars, copy of the document(s) relevant for affecting the requisite changes.
(C) For applying for OCI Card in lieu of existing PIO Card, an applicant has to access the relevant service in the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/capchaActionMisc.
Only the following documents are required to be uploaded / submitted.
(i) Copy of the valid passport.
(ii) Copy of the PIO card
Besides uploading and later submitting the above mentioned two documents, with photocopies of the same, it is recommended that the applicants, while approaching the Assistant High Commission for submission of the physical copy of the application, bring along their original birth certificate and parents’ passports with copies of the same, to enable correct names of the parents to be reflected in the OCI card.
Note: In terms of the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 9th January, 2015 all existing PIO cards holders as on 09.01.2015 shall be deemed to be OCI card holders. The revised last date of submission of applications in this regard is June 30, 2016.
5.Checking of status of OCI Registration
The status of application for OCI Registration, or Miscellaneous OCI service or OCI certificate in lieu of a PIO card can be checked online atStatus Enquiry by quoting the online Registration number or file acknowledgement number at the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/capchaActionMisc.
The following may also be noted:
(a) After grant of registration, as a result of miscellaneous service or in lieu PIO, a registration certificate in the form of a booklet will be issued. This will serve as a lifelong visa. The provision of ‘U’ visa sticker on the foreign passport of the OCI card holders has been discontinued with immediate effect in terms of instructions dated January 29, 2015, issued by Government of India.
(b) If the registration as an OCI cardholder was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact, the registration as OCI Cardholder shall be cancelled under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The person will also be backlisted, thereby banning such person’s entry into India.
(c) As per Section 5 (1) (g) of the Citizenship Act 1955, a person registered as an OCI cardholder for 5 years and who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration is eligible for grant of Indian citizenship.
(d) No category of persons are entitled to OCI registration on gratis basis.
(e) Foreign military personnel, either in service or retired or civil Govt. servant working in Ministry of Defence as IT engineers / civil contractors are not entitled to OCI registration.