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OCI In Lieu of PIO




The international Civil Aviation Organization has decided to accept only Machine Readable Travel Documents from October 2018 onwards. This Mission would like to inform that it will be necessary for all existing PIO Card Holders to obtain Machine Readable OCI Cards, in lieu of existing handwritten PIO Cards before October 2018, to avoid any inconvenience.

The Government of India has decided to extend the deadline for registration as OCI holders by erstwhile PIO Cards Holders on “GRATIS BASIS”.

In order to take advantage of getting such PIO Cards converted into Machine Readable OCI Cards on “GRATIS BASIS”, it will be advisable to get these converted before 31.12.2017.

After the expiry of the current deadline of December 31, 2017 conversion of PIO Cards to OCI Cards will attract a fee of USDollar 275/-, which is the same as charged for issuance of fresh OCI Card


Your payment allows you to deposit an application. The latter can be accepted, refused or modified by the Embassy of India in its full right. Once fees have been paid, they cannot be refunded, even in a case of an application refusal or cancellation.

Modes of payment

Please refer to the page of the mode of submission to find the list of accepted modes of payment.

Fees Chart

The price of your application is made up of fixed service charges and variable consular charges. Please consult the fees chart below in order to calculate the total amount to pay.

Print Fees Brochure

Documents Required

Kindly print the check list which corresponds with the service you wish to apply for and attach it with your application. It must be filled in and signed. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

pdf Print OCI In Lieu of PIO Checklist

Photo Specifications

In case of passport or OCI card applications applicants must strictly follow the below guidelines. Note that your application may be refused due to incorrect photos.

A photo service is available in our centres however this may not be suitable in the case of new born babies and young children. We therefore advise you to obtain the photos before visiting the centre in these cases. 

Sample Photo example

  • The photograph should be in colour and of the size of 2 inches x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm)
  • The photo-print should be clear and with a continuous-tone quality.
  • It should have full face, front view, eyes open.
  • Photo should present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.
  • Centre head within frame.
  • The background should be a plain white or off-white.
  • There should not be any distracting shadows on the face or on the background.
  • Head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but the facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of the face must be clearly shown.
  • The expression on the face should look natural.

Do's and Dont's for a Proper photo:

(i)Front View

Sample Photo example Front View

  • The photo should capture full face, front view, with eyes open. The head should be in the centre of the frame.
  • There should be no distracting shadows on the face or background.
  • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm).
  • Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3.

(ii)Lighting on face and background

Sample Photo example Lighting on face and background

  • The light should be even and balanced to avoid shadows on the face.
  • Background behind the face should be properly illuminated to avoid shadows in the background.

(iii) Photograph Print Properties

Sample Photo example Photograph Print Properties

  • The photograph should be in size 2 inch x 2 inch (51 mm x 51 mm) and in colour.
  • Print photo on thin photo paper or stock.
  • Ensure the print is clear and has a continuous-tone quality.
  • Do not retouch or otherwise enhance or soften the photo.

(iv) Resolution and Printing Quality

Sample Photo example Resolution and Printing Quality

  • High-resolution photography and printing are strongly recommended.
  • Both conventional and digital photography are acceptable, and conventional or digital printing methods may be used.
  • Resulting print should exhibit a continuous - tone quality regardless of the print method used (dye sublimation, ink jet, laser, etc.)
  • Digitally printed photos should be produced without visible pixels or dot patterns and should be of high quality colour.
  • Fine facial features should be discernible.

(v) Contrast and Colour

Sample Photo example Contrast and Colour

  • Brightness and contrast should be adjusted to present the subject and background accurately.
  • Photos without proper contrast or colour may obscure unique facial features. Colour should reproduce natural skin tones.
  • Fluorescent or other lighting with unbalanced colour may cause unwanted colour cast in the photo. Appropriate filters can eliminate improper colour balance.

(vi) Head & Eyes- Position and Background

Sample Photo example Head & Eyes- Position and Background

  • Head should face the camera directly and should not tilt or turned(portrait style).
  • Photo must show both edges of the face clearly.
  • The eyes must be open, level and clearly visible and must not be covered by hairs or eye-glass frames.

(vii) Eyeglasses

Sample Photo example Eyeglasses

  • Glare on eyeglasses should be avoided with a slight upward or downward tilt of the head. No tinted or dark glasses.

(viii) Head coverings

Sample Photo example Eyeglasses

  • Glare on eyeglasses should be avoided with a slight upward or downward tilt of the head. No tinted or dark glasses.It is not permitted except for religious reasons, but the facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of the face must be clearly shown.

(ix) Exposure and Lighting

Sample Photo example Exposure and Lighting

  • There should not be any over-exposure or under-exposure which results in an unusable photo.
  • There should be a three-point balanced lighting. Facial features
  • should be clearly evident in the photo.
  • Lighting should be adjusted to avoid shadows on the face or background. Diffuse sources of light, such as umbrella lights, are preferable to point sources.

(x) Flexibility in Children's photographs

Sample Photo example Flexibility in Children's photographs

  • Babies under one year do not have to have their eyes open.
  • As regards the photograph of the children under ten years of age, requirements can be somewhat relaxed in respect of height of the face, and the position of the eyes in the photographs; and in case of babies and infants also, the position of the face, the facial expression, the eyes and the line of sight can have some relaxation. However, a frontal photograph with clarity is required for children. It should show the child alone (no chair backs, toys or other people visible), looking at the camera with a neutral expression and the mouth closed.

Processing Time

Please note due to the delay in processing OCI applications, in case you need to travel urgently you should apply for a visa.

The Embassy of India and VFS Global Spain SL cannot, in any circumstances, be held responsible for any applications which are not completed in time for your intended date of departure. Kindly note that obtaining an OCI card is not automatic; your application may be accepted, modified or refused by the Embassy of India in its full right.

Applications processed individually

Each application is processed individually by the Embassy of India: as a result processing times may vary between applications that appear to be similar. It is particularly frequent for families and groups who have submitted their applications simultaneously to receive their OCI cards with a few days gap.

Minimum processing times

The company VFS Global Spain SL has no influence over the processing times of an OCI application: these depend essentially on the Embassy of India and to a lesser extent on the postal services (in case you have opted for a return courier service). We are therefore not in a position to guarantee maximum processing times. We are only able to communicate minimum processing times, provided for information purposes only.        

Minimum processing times for an OCI application
Mode of  Submission Minimum Processing Time
In Madrid Minimum 6 weeks days but may take longer
In Barcelona Minimum 8 weeks days but may take longer
In Las Palmas Minimum 8 weeks days but may take longer
By Post Minimum 8 weeks days but may take longer

The Embassy of India reserves the right to withhold any application submitted for an in-depth examination

Download Forms

Online Application Form

All applicants have to apply by online registration through Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website. As a private outsourcing partner of the Embassy of India, Madrid, VFS Global Spain SL has no influence over the content of the website or the form and are not in a position to modify its content or structure.

Access the Indian Government OCI application form

Instructions to fill in the online visa application form

  • Applicants need to fill Part-A and Part-B of the application online. Please select Madrid station at the time of filling the form.
  • You must upload your photo, signature and other supporting documents – note that the photo uploaded online should be the same as the one attached to the application form
  • Once the application is filled, the registration number (ESPM….) will be generated by the system and then you will need to print and sign it ready for submission in your selected application centre.
  • For each family application Part-B is common to all applicants of the family up to a maximum of four. Separate applications are required for any other additional members.

Frequent errors / Important Information

  • You should not to use any special characters or punctuation in any questions on the form: these could lead to errors during the processing of your application.
  • Where names of people are asked (parents, grandparents, spouse) please ensure to write their full name and not just the first name or surname.
  • No manual corrections should be made on the application form. In case of a mistake you will be required to fill a new form or modify the existing one online. Applicant will be responsible for any wrong entries in the application form
  • Full signature in the box should be provided in case of major. In case of minor applicants his/her thumb impression (left hand thumb for male & right hand thumb for female) or signature of the minor applicant should be provided.
  • Applicants must fill all the columns as per entries made in their passports.
  • It is an offence to knowingly furnish false information or to suppress material information when applying for OCI.
  • Re-issuance of OCI is mandatory every time passport is renewed up to the age of 20 years, and again after attaining the age of 50 years in view of frequent biological change in facial features in these age groups.

Please note that if the supporting documents provided are not satisfactory, the applicant will be asked to provide more documentary evidence.

Additional Forms

Your application may require additional documents as per your situation or the age of the applicant. You may find all the additional forms on this page.

Form (click on the title to print)
Declaration Form Declaration Form to be filled by all applicants when submitting any application