Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card Eligibility

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You may be wondering if you are eligible for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. In this article, we will go over the eligibility requirements for an OCI card and help you determine if you are eligible.

An OCI card is a great option for foreign nationals who have strong ties to India and would like to enjoy the benefits of Indian citizenship. If you meet the eligibility requirements, an OCI card can provide you with many advantages, such as visa-free travel to India and the ability to conduct business in India.

Keep reading to learn more about OCI card eligibility and see if you qualify.

What Is an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a person who is not a citizen of India but is eligible to enjoy some privileges of Indian citizenship. It allows you to travel to India without a visa and facilitates hassle-free entry into the country. You are also exempted from registration with the local police authority for any length of stay in India.

If you are a foreign national and want to know whether you are eligible for an OCI card or not, read on.

OCI Card USA and Non-USA Passport Holders (Adult)

If you are a non-US passport holder and have held an Indian passport at any time, you are eligible for an OCI card. If you have never held an Indian passport, you must provide documentary evidence of at least one parent being an Indian citizen. If one of your parents is no longer alive, you must provide proof of your descent from that parent in the form of a death certificate or a court order establishing your succession.

If you meet these requirements, you can submit an application for the OCI card. The application process is relatively straightforward, and we can help guide you through it.

OCI Card USA and Non-USA Passport Holders (Minor)

The procedure for traveling is a little different if you are a minor and have an OCI card.  For both USA and non-USA passport holders, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your valid OCI card.
  • The original copy of your parents’ passports.
  • Your original birth certificate.

In addition, minors traveling without their parents will also need to provide:

  • A notarized letter of authorization from your parents giving you permission to travel.
  • A photocopy of both parents’ passports.

Eligibility Requirements for the OCI Card

If you want to apply for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card, the eligibility requirements can be confusing. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here is a list of the basic requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the card.

To begin, you must be an Indian citizen living abroad. This means you or your parents/grandparents must have been an Indian citizen prior to July 19, 1987. Furthermore, dual citizenship is not permitted in India, so if you have another citizenship, you will be ineligible to apply.

Second, OCI Cards are non-transferable and only valid for one lifetime. This means that you will be unable to renew your OCI Card if it has expired or been lost.

Finally, depending on their current political situation, certain regions may require additional eligibility criteria or restrictions. Additional steps may be required depending on the region you are from or wish to visit in order to gain proper access with your OCI Card – so double-check with the local government before making any final travel plans.

How to Apply for the OCI Card?

The next step is to submit an OCI card application if you are qualified. You can fill out and submit an application form online, or you can get a physical copy from your nearest Indian Embassy or Consulate.

You’ll need to provide three passport-sized photos, a copy of your passport, a copy of your proof of life certificate (which has to be less than six months old), and proof that you’re eligible for the card. In some cases, additional documents might be required as well.

You should also note that there are certain fees associated with submitting an OCI card application—like a processing fee, biometric fee, and possibly an interview fee if you’re applying at a consulate. Make sure you check with the consulate for more specific information about fees in your area.

Documents Required for the OCI Card Application Process

Once you have established that you are eligible for the OCI card, you will need to submit a few documents in order to apply. These documents include a clear and valid proof of your Indian origin:

  • Indian passport or a birth certificate issued by the Indian Government. 
  • You will also need to provide two identical passport-size photographs that were taken within the last six months and a valid proof of identity like a driver’s license or state identification card.
  • Additionally, if you are applying for an OCI card for a minor, you will have to provide proof of legal guardianship. 
  • An affidavit of guardianship signed by both parents is typically required in this situation, and if one parent is not able to sign due to a special circumstance then other documents may be needed.
  • Finally, you will need to provide evidence of your current address along with any other relevant documents such as an employment letter or a student visa. 

Be sure that all these documents are up-to-date and accurate before submitting them; having invalid papers can delay your OCI application process significantly.

Fees Associated With the OCI Card

Now that you know the eligibility criteria for the OCI card, there are a few other things to be aware of, such as the fees associated with it.

The processing fees for an OCI card will vary based on your age. For those aged up to 18 years, the fee is Rs. 2,500 and for those aged 18 and above it’s Rs. 5,000. You also have to include a passport-sized photo with your application form and a copy of your existing Indian passport if applicable.

On top of that, you’ll need to submit proof of residence abroad and documentary evidence showing your parents’ or grandparents’ (up to three generations) Indian origins such as birth certificates or school leaving certificates.

It’s important to note that these are just the general fees associated with applying for an OCI card and there can be additional charges depending on where you are located in the world.

Benefits of Having an OCI Card

If you’re eligible and have obtained an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card, you’ll gain access to numerous benefits. For example:

  • You won’t require a visa to enter India and will be allowed to stay for an indefinite period of time.
  • Making it easier for you to travel back and forth if needed.
  • On top of that, if you are an OCI card holder, you can get access to the same education and employment opportunities available to Indian citizens in certain categories.
  • Also, ownership rights in property or investments might also be extended to OCI card holders – this includes inheriting or buying agricultural land or immovable property. 
  • You’ll also have the right to open a bank account in India and invest in stocks, mutual funds, and bonds (subject to RBI regulations applicable from time-to-time). 
  • Last but not least, OCI cardholders may also register themselves as voters and are eligible for Ration cards.

To summarize, if you are a foreign citizen and meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for an OCI card. This card will provide you with benefits such as visa-free travel to India and the ability to buy property in India. It is important to note, however, that the OCI card does not allow you to work in India. If you want to apply for an OCI card, consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure you meet all of the eligibility requirements.