Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have dual citizenship? You can have the best of both worlds with the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) program.
In this article, we’ll go over the advantages of OCI, who qualifies for it, and how to apply. We will also address some of the most frequently asked program-related questions. So, if you want to find out more, keep reading.
What Is an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)?
An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a person of Indian origin who has been granted the privileges and benefits of citizenship by the Government of India.
If you are an Indian citizen and have resided outside of India for more than 12 months, you are eligible to apply for OCI status. The benefits of OCI include:
- Visa-free travel to India for up to five years,
- Exemption from registration with the local police authorities,
- Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial, and educational fields.
- Right to purchase agricultural or plantation property in India.
Who Is Eligible for OCI?
So who is eligible for OCI? Basically, if you are a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin, you are eligible for OCI.
- People who hold an Indian passport
- People born in India to Indian parents
- People who have acquired Indian citizenship through naturalization.
- Additionally, spouses and children of eligible individuals are also eligible for OCI. – This includes unmarried children below the age of 21 and married children of any age. However, parents and grandparents of eligible individuals are not eligible for OCI.
The Benefits of an OCI Card
An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card is a document that confers on its holder all the rights and privileges of an Indian citizen. It is not a citizenship certificate and does not confer Indian nationality on the holder.
The benefits of having an OCI card include:
- Visa-free travel to India for the cardholder and his or her family members.
- Exemption from registration with the local police authority for a stay of up to 180 days in India.
- Parity with Indian nationals in respect of economic, financial, and educational matters.
- Ability to purchase agricultural or plantation properties in India.
How to Apply for an OCI Card?
Applying for an OCI card is a simple process. All you need to do is visit the nearest Indian Mission or Indian Visa Application Center and fill out an online application. You will also need to provide several documents, including two passport-sized photographs, a copy of your Indian passport, or other proof of Indian origin, such as a birth certificate or school record. Once you have submitted all the necessary documents, your application will be processed and you will receive an OCI card if approved.
Documents Required for the OCI Process
The Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) process requires a number of documents for successful completion.
- Original passport
- Completed OCI application form
- Two passport-sized photographs
- Original proof of Indian origin and a fee are all required.
- In addition, you will need to submit proof that you have been living in the country that issued your current passport for at least two years before the date you apply.
When submitting your application and supporting documents, including copies of any legal documents that prove your place of residence, as well as any other relevant information about your identity. The OCI process can take up to eight weeks to complete, so make sure all paperwork is in order before submitting it to authorities.
Frequently Asked Questions About the OCI Process
As an Overseas Citizen of India, you may be wondering what exactly entails the OCI process. Many of our customers have asked us a range of questions about the process and we thought it would be useful to answer some of these here.
- To begin, you should be aware that every applicant must submit a valid passport on the day of application because this is required for the processing of the OCI card.
- Furthermore, all original documents must be submitted to the relevant authorities for your application to be considered valid. You should also be aware that any incorrect or incomplete information provided during the application process may have an impact on its processing. If you need to make changes to your application after submitting it, you must contact us directly.
- Finally, applicants may be required to complete additional requirements such as personal interviews or medical tests in order to obtain their OCI cards, depending on the country in which they reside. If you want to learn more about which requirements apply in your area, we recommend speaking with a customer service representative.
Things To Remember
When applying for OCI status, it is important to remember a few key things.
- Firstly, applications must be filled in online and all supporting documents must be uploaded online as well.
- Secondly, all forms must be signed by both the applicant and their parents/guardians.
- Thirdly, fees for the application must be paid online through the official website.
- Lastly, original documents have to be presented in person at the Indian mission or post office where the application is being submitted.
These are just some of the things to keep in mind when applying for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status.
Tips for OCI card holders and applicants
If you’re an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holder, make sure you always carry your passport and card with you as they serve as identification. In addition, please keep the following in mind:
- OCI card holders are not allowed to work in India.
- If you’re planning on staying in India for more than 180 days, you must register with the local police station within 14 days of arrival.
- You are not permitted to purchase agricultural or plantation land in India.
- Your OCI card will be valid for life, but if your passport expires, you will need to apply for a new OCI card.
What is the fee for the OCI card application?
The fee for the OCI card application is Rs.15,000 (Indian rupees). You can pay the fee online through the Ministry of Home Affairs website or through offline modes such as demand draft, cheque, or cash.
What are the common reasons for the rejection of OCI cards?
There are a number of reasons why your OCI card application may be rejected. The most common reasons are:
- You do not meet the eligibility criteria
- You have not submitted all the required documents
- There is an error on your application form
- You have a criminal record
- You are not an Indian citizen
What are the Miscellaneous Services Offered for OCI Card?
In addition to the benefits promised by the OCI card, cardholders can access a variety of services. These services include a multiple-entry, multi-purpose life-long visa that allows them to stay in India without restriction.
Furthermore, they can re-acquire Indian citizenship and purchase immovable properties in India after obtaining property registration from the respective state governments. OCI card holders can use non-scheduled air transport services in India, obtain PAN cards, and even work in the private sector without a work permit or license. They can also form business entities such as companies, trusts, or foundations in accordance with Indian laws and with the necessary approvals.
What is the process of re-issue of an OCI card?
The process of re-issuance of an OCI card is very straightforward.
- The OCI cardholder must submit a detailed application to the High Commission or Consulate office in their home country.
- The application must include a letter stating the reason for re-issuance and copies of relevant documents, such as the original OCI registration certificate and passport.
- The application and supporting documents will then be reviewed by the relevant officials, and processed accordingly.
- If approved, the new OCI card will be mailed to the applicant’s address within 15 business days.
If you are an Indian national who has lived permanently outside of India and meets certain other criteria, you may be eligible for OCI status. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, including eligibility requirements, application procedures, and benefits.