Frequently Asked Questions
Long Term Visas Information - OCI
Who is eligible to apply for OCI?
A foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950 or was a citizen of India on or any time after 26 January 1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947 and his/her children and grandchildren, provided their country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or the other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such a person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
Who is an NRI?
"Non Resident Indian" (NRI) means a person who is a resident of a foreign country but is a citizen of India.
Who is PIO or Person of Indian origin?
"Person of Indian Origin " means a citizen of any country (not being a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh) if:
- he/she at any time held an Indian passport; or
- he/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents were born in and were permanent residents of India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935, and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any of the specified countries; or
- He/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (1.) and (2.) above.
Who was eligible to become Citizen of India on 26 January 1950?
Any person who or either of whose parents or grand-parents were born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally Enacted), and who was ordinarily residing in any country outside India but was eligible to become citizen of India as on 26 January 1950.
Which territories became part of India after 15 August 1947 and from what Date?
The territories which became part of India after 15 August 1947 are:
- Sikkim from 26 April 1975
- Pondicherry from 16 August 1962
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli from 11 August 1961
- Goa, Daman and Diu from 20 December 1961
How many copies of application have to be submitted?
Only one Set of Application has to be submitted for each applicant.
Can the spouse of the eligible person apply for OCI?
A spouse of eligible person can apply if he/she is eligible in his/ her own capacity. Further, spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 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 apply.
Can children of parents, wherein one of the parents is eligible for OCI, Can apply for OCI?
Yes. Children can apply on the basis of the parent/s who is/are eligible for OCI. OCI Card should not be granted to a minor child whose one parent is eligible for OCI and the other parent is or was ever a Pakistani or Bangladeshi national.
What documents would qualify for "Any other proof" for evidence of self or parents or grandparents being eligible for grant of OCI?
Any documentary evidence by which the Officer equivalent to Under Secretary to the Government of India in the Indian Mission/Post can diligently arrive at the decision. Documents may vary from person to person depending on the personal circumstances.
Whether applicant(s) have to go in person to submit the application(s)?
Application can be submitted in person/Travel agent/Representative or by Post/Courier.
Whether the applicant (s) have to take oath before the Counsel of the Indian Mission/Post?
No. Earlier provision in this regard has been done away with.
Can a person apply in the country where he is ordinarily residing?
Yes. The person needs to ensure that he/she is available in the country for collection as the OCI cannot be applied for in one country/Indian Mission and collected from another.
What are the consequences of furnishing wrong information or suppressing material information?
All the applications will be subject to pre or post enquiry depending on whether any adverse information is available or not. If at any time the Government comes to know that any false information was furnished or material information was suppressed, the registration as OCI already granted shall be cancelled by an Order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The persons concerned will also be blacklisted, banning their entry into India.
What is the time taken for registration as OCI?
Within 8 weeks of the application, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant, an OCI will be granted. If any adverse information is available against the Applicant, the decision to grant or otherwise is taken within 120 days.
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.
Can a PIO cardholder apply?
Will the PIO card be honoured till the time they are valid even after acquisition of OCI?
No. PIO card will have to be surrendered to Indian Mission/Post/MHA for grant of OCI registration certificate.
What will be issued after registration as OCI?
A registration certificate in the form of a booklet will be issued.
Will a separate OCI passport be issued?
No. A separate registration Certificate in the form of a Booklet will be issued.
In case of loss/ damage/ change in details, will a duplicate certificate of registration as OCI be issued?
Yes. Applicant can apply for OCI Miscellaneous service.
Will the applicant lose his current foreign citizenship after registering as OCI?
No. As only citizens of those countries which allow dual citizenship under the local laws in some form or the other are eligible for applying for registration as OCI, the question of losing current foreign citizenship does not arise.
Can a person after acquiring OCI travel to protected area/restricted area (PAP/ RAP) without permission?
No. He/she will be required to seek PAP/RAP for such visits. Such permissions may be issued by FRRO on arrival into India on providing a confirmed itinerary.
Would the Indian civil/criminal laws be applicable to persons Registered as OCI?
Yes, for the period a person registered as OCI is living in India.
Can a person registered as OCI be granted Indian citizenship?
As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, a Person who is registered as OCI for 5 years and is residing in India for 1 year out of those 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship. In such a case, the person will have to renounce his / her current foreign citizenship as Indian law does not permit Dual Citizenship.
Will OCI be granted gratis to certain categories of people?
No. Charges are applicable in each and every case.
Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals who are not eligible for OCI, but married to persons who are eligible for OCI?
Yes (other than Pakistan and Bangladesh).
Will foreign-born children of PIOs be eligible to become OCI?
Yes, provided one of the parents is eligible to become OCI.
What are the benefits of OCI?
Following benefits will be allowed to OCI: (a) Multi-purpose, multiple entry, lifelong visa for visiting India. (b) Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India. (c) Parity with NRIs in respect of economic, financial and education fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.
Will any other benefit be granted to OCI?
Any other benefits to OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Whether the OCI is entitled to voting rights?
Whether the OCI is entitled to hold constitutional post in India?
Whether the OCI is entitled to hold Government posts in India?
No, except for the posts specified by an order by the Central Government.
If a person is already holding more than one nationality, can he/she apply for OCI?
Yes, as long as the local laws of at least one of the countries allow dual Citizenship in some form or other.
Whether an OCI be entitled to apply for and obtain a normal Indian passport which is given to a citizen of India?
Yes. As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, a person who is registered as OCI for 5 years and has resided in India for 1 year out of the above 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship. In such a case, the applicant will have to renounce his / her current foreign citizenship as Indian law does not permit Dual Citizenship.
Whether nationals of Commonwealth countries are eligible for OCI?
Yes, if they fulfil the eligibility criteria.
Can a person renounce OCI?
Yes. He/she has to declare intention of renunciation in Form XXII to the Indian Mission/Post where OCI registration was granted. After receipt of the declaration, the Indian Mission/Post shall issue an acknowledgement in Form XXII A
Who can avail the OCI Miscellaneous services?
Only a registered Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) can avail the OCI Miscellaneous Services.
Under what circumstances can the services be availed?
OCI Miscellaneous services can be availed for re-issuance/issuance of duplicate OCI Registration Certificate and Visa in the following category of cases:
- In case of issuance of new passport.
- In case of change of personal particulars viz. nationality etc.,
- In case of loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa.
- In case of filling of wrong personal particulars while submitting online applications viz. name, father's name, date of birth etc.,
- In case of manually filled in applications (discontinued now) mistakes have been committed by the Indian Mission/Post/Office while entering the personal particulars.
- In case of change of address/occupation
Can an OCI holder undertake Research work in India?
Yes, after getting prior approval/special permission from MHA.
Whether foreign military personnel are eligible for grant of OCI?
No, foreign military personnel either in service or retired are not entitled for grant of OCI.
Whether civil Govt. servant working in Ministry of Defence as IT engineers/civil contractors entitled for OCI?