Overseas Citizen of India(OCI)
Helpful Tip! : Only follow the OCI checklist available on VFS website in order to complete your OCI application as per High Commission of India in Australia’s instructions.
Any other checklist instructions along with Application form or from other source may be generic and can result in your applications to be incomplete.
The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws. Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India OR of an OCI cardholder and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application, can also apply for OCI Card’.
No foreign military/police/defence personnel either in service or retired including civil servants working in Ministry of Defence as IT engineers/civil contractors will be registered as OCI cardholder.
A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.
Benefits to an Overseas Citizen of India card holder:
- A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India.
- Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
- Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
Any other benefits to an OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Benefits to which OCI is not entitled to:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
Renunciation / Surrender Certificate Guidelines for Persons of Indian Origin:
The renunciation / surrender certificate procedure and fee structure is based on the date, the Person of Indian Origin, has acquired Australian/Foreign Citizenship.
Please review the detail checklist on www.vfsglobal.com/india/australia on the effective date.
|If the Date of Australian / Foreign Citizenship is on or before 31-May -2010||If the Date of Australian / Foreign Citizenship is after 31- May - 2010|
|If the Indian Passport is not cancelled or is lost/damaged and not in possession (the applicant will need to provide a statutory declaration attested by a JP): For OCI / PIO / VISA Applications Au$ 24.00 cancellation fee is payable Statutory declaration will be attested and given back to applicant as a proof of cancellation. If the Indian Passport is cancelled the applicant will need to submit a photocopy proof of the bio page of the cancelled passport and no cancellation fee will be applicable.||If the Indian Passport is not cancelled or is lost/damaged and not in possession (the applicant will need to provide a statutory declaration attested by a JP): For OCI / PIO / VISA Application Au$ 147 is payable along with the submission of the OCI/ PIO/ VISA application and the surrender certificate will be issued along with the requested service. If the surrender certificate is already acquired only a copy of the same needs to be submitted and no additional fee will be applicable.|
Penalty Rates may also apply and will be levied as per the schedule of penaltiesNext
Checklist and Application Forms
Steps To Follow
The checklist for the application category that you apply for will provide details on which specific forms you may need to download. In some instances, there may be more than one form.
Complete a separate checklist and application form/s for each person applying. Ensure the documents are completed accurately and signed where needed.
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Checklist Form U (Each applicant must complete one Form U along with each Application Form.) Form N (Declaration of Renunciation of Citizenship) Form S (Undertaking)
Important Note for applicants under the category of spouse of foreign origin of an Indian citizen or OCI holder
- Form S (Undertaking) to be attached
- Grant of OCI to such applicants is strictly subject to MHA/GOI security clearance and thus the indicated processing time is not applicable to these cases
Information regarding U Visa Stickers: For OCI applications lodged from 01 September 2015 onwards, applicants will be receiving only OCI cards and NO U-visa stickers. Therefore, they are not required to submit their foreign passports for stamping. OCI cards in respect of such applicants will be sent to their postal address.
Please refer to the table below and select the correct Indian Mission when filling out your online Application Form.
Please Note: Incorrect selection will require you to fill a new form.
Once application is complete refer to the VFS locations where you can submit your applications in person/send through courier.
Your Residential State Indian Mission Jurisdiction VFS Office Location (If you are sending your application through Post/courier VFS office Location(if you are applying in person) New South Wales Australia- Sydney VFS - Sydney VFS - Sydney South Australia Australia- Sydney Australia- Sydney VFS - Adelaide Victoria Australia - Melbourne VFS - Melbourne VFS - Melbourne Tasmania Australia - Melbourne VFS - Melbourne VFS - Melbourne Australian Capital Territory Australia- Canberra VFS - Canberra VFS - Canberra Queensland Australia- Canberra Australia- Canberra VFS - Brisbane Western Australia Australia- Perth VFS - Perth VFS - Perth Northern Territory Australia- Perth VFS - Perth VFS - Perth
Please note: you can only submit your applications as per the jurisdiction to the VFS office location as mentioned in above table.
Example: if you residing in SA and wishing to apply in person, you must visit VFS - Adelaide office.
Before you click on the complete online application form button below, remember you must print out the application form once completed online, checklist (one per person) and additional forms as indicated above if any. Return to this page to complete Step 3.Complete Online Application Form
Now that you have completed Step 2, you’re ready to submit your application. Make sure you have signed the application form/s and checklist where required and have all supporting documents in place.
Incomplete applications or applications with incorrect photographs specifications cannot be accepted and will be returned. Refer to Application and Service Terms
By Post/ Courier- If you decide to send in your application by Post/ Courier click here for details on how to submit your application.
In Person- If you decide to submit your application in person by appointment at an Application Centre, click below to book your appointment.Book An Appointment
Fees and Charges
Click on the Fee Calculator Icon to calculate fees applicable.
Fees for OCI/PIO services are subject to revision every month depending upon the prevailing Rate of Exchange.
Credit/Debit card surcharge of 1.95% applicable for card payments. Only Master card or Visa cards issued in Australia are acceptable
IPVSC centres provide a courier service to return your processed applications back to your address at an additional service charge of AUD 19.95 (inclusive of GST) and return by courier for Visa and few Consular Miscellaneous services Application is purely optional service selected for convenience to the applicants
Optional SMS service provide you with three SMS updating you in real time on the status tracking of your lodged application at an additional service charge of AUD 1.99 (inclusive of GST)
IPVSC Centres in Australia provide photography services as per the guidelines of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This service is chargeable and available for standard photographs of Adult and children. (Assistance may not be available for Infant and applicants’ with Special Needs).
IPVSC centres provide the service of Photocopy and Form printing of the Documents at an additional charge of AUD 0.50 per page.
Preferred mode of payment
At the application centre by Credit Card/EFTPOS
At the application centre in Cash
Other Payment modes
Fees can be paid by Money Order/Postal Order, in favour of, “VFS Services Australia Pty Ltd”
For all type of applications, same day pick up requests will incur an additional VFS Global Emergency Processing Fee of Au$88.00 (inclusive of GST) including interim/complete withdrawal cases.
Strictly do not finalize travel plans before receiving the service applied for. Processing times below are average processing times. Please plan your travel accordingly.
VFS Global/Government of India would not be responsible for any inconvenience/problems faced as a result of finalizing travel plans before obtaining the relevant service.
Applicants sending their documents by Post/Courier are requested to ensure that they are completed and meet requirements. Processing times mentioned do not include transit time by post/courier. Transit times by Courier are generally 1-3 days on average and may be higher in remote or rural areas.
Incomplete applications will lead to an increase in processing time and applicants will need to comply with any changes in the procedure that may occur during this time. As a part of Processing Incomplete applications are returned and Courier Return fees will apply. See terms and conditions for further details
For Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
Average of 8 weeks
Please note: -
Grant of OCI on the basis of Spouse's Indian origin is strictly subject to MHA/GOI security clearance and thus average processing time cannot be provided to these cases.
Secure and Safe return choice:
OCI applications are returned by secure courier delivery process.
Photographs should be in color and strictly as per the specifications below.
- Un-mounted - 2 inch x 2 inch in size.
- Face should cover about 70 to 80% of the photo area.
- Frame Subject with Full Face, Front view, Eyes open
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance.
- The photographs must be clear, well defined and taken against a plain white or light-coloured background.
- Appropriate brightness and contrast showing your skin tones naturally
- Even lighting (no shadows across or behind the face)
- Face must be square to the camera with a neutral expression, neither frowning nor smiling and with your mouth closed.
- If you must wear a head covering for religious reasons, make sure your full facial features are not obscured.
- Non-tinted prescription glasses are allowed as long as your eyes are clearly visible. Make sure that the frame does not cover any part of your eyes. Sunglasses are not acceptable.
- Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
- Photograph for Child/babies - The photograph should show the baby or child awake, looking straight at the camera with mouth closed and nothing covering the mouth. It should also show both edges of the face clearly (no toys, blankets, chair backs or other people visible) and no hair across the eyes.
There is one self-service Photo-booth available at each of our centres in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The photo-booth is a self operating standard Adult photo facility and cannot be adjusted to assist with Infant, Children or Special Needs applicants’ photographs.