Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card Application Fees

Back view of a woman hand holding a credit card idea of ​​payment using credit card at the office.

The Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card is an Indian passport that offers certain benefits to Indian citizens living abroad. This guide will provide an overview of the OCI card, its application fees, and what benefits it offers.

What is an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card?

An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card is a document that confers on the holder the same rights and privileges as an Indian citizen. It is essentially a long-term visa that allows the holder to stay in India for an indefinite period.

To be eligible for an OCI Card, you must be a foreign national who:

  • Descendant of Indian nationals;
  • Born in India;
  • Had Indian parents or grandparents; or
  • Is married to an Indian national.

The application process for an OCI Card is straightforward, and the fees are relatively low.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for an OCI Card?

The fees for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card vary depending on the country you reside in. Below is a list of application fees for some popular countries.

  • United States: $80
  • Canada: C$85
  • Australia: A$110
  • New Zealand: NZ$120
  • United Kingdom: £65
  • Ireland: €80
  • Germany: €75
  • France: €85

Eligibility Criteria for OCI Card

The eligibility criteria for an OCI card are as follows:

  • The applicant must be a citizen of India
  • The applicant must hold a valid Indian passport
  • The applicant must have been resident in India for at least 180 days in the 12 months preceding the date of application
  • The applicant must have a permanent home in India
  • The applicant must not be a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh

How to Apply for the OCI Card?

If you are looking to obtain an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card, there are several steps you must take to apply. 

  1. Fill out the OCI Card application on the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs website. Then, you will need to pay the applicable application fee. The cost for this application is USD 275 and is non-refundable even if your request for an OCI Card is denied.
  2. After paying for your application, you must submit your form along with all of the required documents within six months from the date of payment. 
  3. You will then receive a receipt from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs within 90 days which will indicate that your application has been accepted or rejected. 
  4. Once approved, your OCI Card will be mailed directly to you in approximately 8-10 weeks.

The Application Fees for an OCI Card

Prospective OCI Card applicants must be aware of the associated fees before filing. For a new application, a fee of USD 275 is applicable for processing the application. There is an additional fee of USD 80 for each minor applicant whose name is included in the same application. Similarly, if an applicant wishes to add additional pages to their OCI passport, the fee is USD 80 for each extra page added to the passport.

If an existing OCI card holder needs to renew their card, a nominal fee of USD 25 must be paid for the renewal process. This fee can be remitted in Indian Rupees depending upon the currency conversion rate on the date of filing. Payment methods vary from country to country and more information can be found on the Indian Embassy’s website.

Documentation Requirements for OCI Card Application

When applying for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, it is important to submit the correct documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible. To complete the application process, you will need to provide the following documents: passport-size photos, a copy of your passport bio page, and a valid proof of address in India. You will also need to submit a completed OCI application form, along with the applicable fee. All of these documents must be included in your application for it to be considered.

Processing Time and Renewal of the OCI Card

Processing time for the OCI Card application is typically between four to six weeks from the time you submit your application to the Indian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. If your application is incomplete or there are discrepancies with information, processing time may take longer. Additionally, once the OCI Card has been issued, it is valid for a lifetime and does not need to be renewed.

What are the Benefits of OCI cards?

Several advantages come with holding an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card. The most significant benefit are: 

  1. Holders can travel to India without having to apply for a visa, provided the period of stay does not exceed 180 days. 
  2. OCI Card holders are permitted to purchase and transfer immovable property in India, as well as be employed in certain sectors of the Indian economy. 
  3. Exempt from registration under local foreigners’ registration offices and can take part in activities related to scientific, educational, cultural, and spiritual exchanges of Indian origin.

Importance of having OCI Cards

Having an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card is immensely important for people of Indian origin living outside India, for both identity and convenience. Having a valid OCI Card allows them to travel, work, and invest in India without worrying about visa and passport requirements. OCI Card ensures that its holder can access certain facilities only available to Indian nationals, such as educational scholarships or discounts on railway fares. In other words, having an OCI Card opens up many opportunities both inside and outside India—making it a vital document for those of Indian origin.

Five Factors to Consider when Applying for OCI Cards

When applying for an OCI Card, there are five main factors to consider:

  • Cost of the application. The fees for a fresh OCI Card application are significantly higher for applicants outside India than for those inside India. 
  • Timescales involved. Depending on the country being applied from, the processing time could be anywhere from two months to six months. 
  • Ensure that all relevant documents are submitted along with the application, including passport-sized photographs and proof of address in an Indian bank account.
  • Applicants must also bear in mind that their OCI Cards must be renewed every 10 years.
  • Applicants should remember that they must carry their original OCI Cards whenever they travel to or from India.

OCI Application Fees

The Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card is a travel document that allows persons of Indian origin to travel and stay in India. It is subject to certain fees when it comes to acquiring and renewing the card. These include a processing fee, an application fee, an affidavit fee, additional fees for photocopying documents, and a miscellaneous fee. The total cost can range from US$5- US$45 based on the applicant’s country of citizenship and their application type. Applicants will need to pay the embassy or consulate for processing their application.