Comprehensive Overview of the OCI Card Application Process

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Are you planning to travel to India for business or leisure and need help understanding the OCI Card application process? With so much paperwork and requirements to meet, the entire process can seem overwhelming. This detailed guide provides a step-by-step breakdown of everything you need to know about applying for an OCI Card. From eligibility requirements to the application form and documentation, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the entire process without any hassle.

Overview o f OCI Card

The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card is a lifelong visa that allows holders to live and work in India. It also confers certain other benefits, such as access to Indian consular services, the ability to buy property in India, and exemption from registration with local police authorities.

The OCI card was introduced in 2005, replacing the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card. The PIO card had been created in 1999 to address the concerns of the growing number of Indians living overseas who were finding it difficult to obtain long-term visas to visit India.

The OCI card is open to any person of Indian origin, i.e., someone who was born in India or whose parents or grandparents were born in India. It is also open to people who have been granted Indian citizenship by naturalization (i.e., they have lived in India for a certain number of years).

To apply for an OCI card, you will need to fill out an online application form and submit it along with supporting documents, such as your passport, birth certificate, proof of Indian origin, and proof of current citizenship. Once your application is approved, you will be issued an OCI card, which will be valid for the duration of your lifetime.

Eligibility Criteria for an OCI Card

To be eligible for an OCI card, you must:

  • be a citizen of India,
  • have a valid Indian passport,
  • have been resident in India for at least one year before applying for the OCI card, and
  • have not been resident in any other country for more than two years in the last ten years.

Required Documents for an OCI Card Application

To apply for an OCI card, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • A completed application form. This can be obtained from the Indian consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
  • Your current passport, as well as any previous passports that show your Indian origin. 
  • Two recent passport photographs. These must be 2 inches by 2 inches and taken against a white background. 
  • Proof of your current status in the country of residence (for example, a copy of your green card or visa). 
  • A copy of your birth certificate showing that you were born in India, or that one of your parents was born in India. 
  • If you are applying for a child under the age of 18, you will also need to submit proof of relationship to the child, such as a birth certificate or adoption papers.

How to Apply for an OCI Card?

The process of applying for an OCI card is simple. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Gather all of the required documents. This includes your passport, two recent passport-sized photographs, and your birth certificate.
  2. Fill out the application form. You can find this form online or at your nearest Indian consulate or embassy.
  3. After filling out the application form, you need to submit it along with all of the required documents. You can submit your application in person or by mail.
  4. Once your application is received, it will be processed and you will be notified of the decision within 4-6 weeks.
  5. If your application is approved, you will be issued an OCI card which will allow you to live and work in India indefinitely.

Processing Times and Fees

The time it takes to process an OCI application and issue a card varies depending on the applicant’s country of citizenship. Whether they are applying from inside or outside of India, and the current workload of the Consular Section. In general, applicants should expect the process to take at least two months. There is no set fee for an OCI card; however, all applicants must pay a processing fee ofUSD 275D, which covers the cost of the application and fingerprinting. Applicants are also responsible for any additional fees associated with obtaining supporting documentation, such as a new passport or birth certificate.

Renewing Your OCI Card

If your OCI card has expired or is about to expire, you will need to renew it. The process for renewing your OCI card is similar to the process of applying for an OCI card for the first time. You will need to fill out an application form and submit it, along with supporting documents, to the Indian consulate. The renewal process can take up to eight weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead and not leave it until the last minute. Once your renewal application is approved, you will be issued a new OCI card which will be valid for another 10 years.

Tips for Applying for an OCI Card

  • Start by gathering the required documents. You will need your passport, two passport-sized photographs, and proof of Indian origin.
  • Fill out the application form completely and accurately. Incomplete or inaccurate forms will be rejected.
  • Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for an OCI card. You must be a citizen of India or of another country that allows dual citizenship, and you must have held an Indian passport at some point in your life.
  • Pay the application fee and submit your form to the Indian consulate or embassy nearest you.
  • Wait for your OCI card to arrive in the mail. It can take up to eight weeks for the processing of your application to be completed.

Applying for an OCI card can be a complicated process, but with the right guidance and preparation, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We hope our guide has helped you understand the steps involved in applying for your OCI card and given you the confidence to start your application journey. With these tips in mind, we wish you luck on your journey to becoming an OCI card holder.