All the information with regard to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card scheme/submission of online application is available at the following website/ link:
Track status of your application: https://ociservices.gov.in/statusEnquiry
Before proceeding to complete OCI application applicants are advised to read the following guidelines/instructions carefully:
Important : India does not allow holding of dual citizenship to its nationals. It is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967 to hold and travel on an Indian passport after acquiring foreign passport. Therefore, an Indian national upon acquiring any other foreign nationality is required to renounce his/her Indian citizenship by surrendering Indian passport to the nearest Indian Embassy/ High Commission/ Consulate immediately.
Who is eligible – Following categories of foreign nationals are eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder: (1) who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution of India i.e. 26.01.1950; or (2) who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or (3) who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947; or (4) who is a child or grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or (5) who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or (6) who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or (7) spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder registered under section 7A of India’s 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 OCI application.
Who is not eligible- No person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Government of India may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an OCI Cardholder.
PROCEDURE FOR A FRESH OCI REGISTRATION –
Please note that it is mandatory for applicants applying for OCI-Card to upload his/her image and signature image in jpeg or jpg format, specifications are given in succeeding paragraphs. Kindly be ready with both images before starting the registration process.
The applicants have to submit the application form online (please log on to https://ociservices.gov.in/ and upload all the requisite documents (self attested) in a PDF file, photograph and signature (in case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression in black or blue ink) along with the application.
After submission of the complete online application, the applicant is required to take a print out of the application and submit the same along with the originals and self-attested copies of the required documents and fee at HCI Abuja and CGI, Lagos. The originals are returned to the applicants after verification.
Specifications of the photograph:
Photograph to be affixed on the application should be of square shape of size not less than 51x51 mm (the image must be in jpg or jpeg with max size 200 KB - minimum dimension 200 pixels (width) x 200 pixels (height); maximum dimension 900 pixels (width) x 900 pixels (height) with 80% coverage of face). It should have plain light color background (not white) without the border with front view of person’s head and shoulders showing the full face in the middle of the photograph. It should not be stapled and should not have any signature. (Note: Photographs that do not conform to the above standards will be rejected and may cause delay in processing of the applications).
Documents uploading instructions:
Document-upload section of online registration has 4 categories. Scanned copy of self-attested documents relevant to your application has to be uploaded under relevant heading in pdf file with maximum size of 500 KB.
Affidavit: All personal particulars of the applicants such as name, DOB, place of birth, parents names, appearance, etc. must be the same as in their Indian passports. In case there is a change in name, an affidavit is required to be submitted.
Fee– USD 278/-
Processing time: The processing time for fresh OCI applications is 6-8 weeks from the date of submission of papers.
Documents to be submitted with application:
1. Proof of present citizenship – copy of current passport with a validity of minimum 6 months at the time of submission of application;
2. Evidence of address of the place of application- copy of electricity bill/ telephone bill/national card etc in own/parents/ grandparents/spouse name.
3. Evidence of self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents being citizens of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or being eligible to become citizen of India; belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. These could be – Indian Passport (first & last page and observation, if any to be uploaded online) or Nativity Certificate or Domicile Certificate issued from the concerned District Administration (First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate) or OCI Card/ PIO Card of parents / spouse or certificate of residence or place of birth of self/ parents/ grandparents from First Class/ District Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place.
4. Evidence of relationship as parents/grandparents/great grandparents, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for registration as OCI cardholders – the document of relationship could be “birth certificate” issued from competent authority mentioning both parents name. In case the birth certificate is issued by a foreign authority, it is to be Apostled or endorsed by the concerned Diplomatic Mission and thereafter by the Indian Mission abroad.
5. Surrender Certificate issued by the Indian Embassy/High Commission/Consulate stating that applicant has surrendered Indian passport upon acquiring foreign citizenship. (OCI applicants, if surrendering their Indian passport now, can apply for OCI and Surrender Certificate simultaneously).
6. Marital Status:-In case of married applicants, if the name of the spouse is not mentioned in Indian Passport, they have to provide marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages/District Administration. Please note that the marriage certificates issued by Village Panchayats, Wakf Boards, Gurudwara and Churches in India are not recognized unless these are attested/authenticated by the concerned District Administration and the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.
Divorcee applicants are required to submit their divorce certificate. Please note that in normal circumstances if marriage is solemnized in India, the divorce should also be taken place in India.
II APPLICATION BY MINOR APPLICANTS:
Process will be the same as mentioned above. Documents required are as follows:
1. Copy of applicant’s birth certificate (statement of live birth certificate) issued by the concerned foreign authority; in case the applicant is born in India, then birth certificate issued by the Registrarof Birth or Municipality concerned.
2. Copies of Indian passports of both parents or copy of Indian passport of one parent and foreign passport of other parent along with copy of birth certificate of the latter.
3. Marriage Certificate of parents issued in India, Nigeria or any other foreign country;
4. Joint self-declaration signed by both parents with their photographs, mobile numbers and email IDs mentioned on it, expressing their no objection to acquire OCI card for their minor child except in cases where parents are divorced.
5. If parents are divorced, court order of dissolution of marriage is required, which specifically mentions that the legal custody of the child is with the parent who is applying for the OCI card.
III APPLICATIONS BY FOREIGN SPOUSE OF INDIAN CITIZEN OR OCI CARDHOLDER
A spouse of a citizen of India or OCI cardholder whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of two years at the time of submitting application is eligible for registration of his/her OCI application under the spousal category.
The process will be the same as for fresh OCI application mentioned above. Documents required are as under:
1. All the documents mentioned above for fresh OCI along with OCI card or Indian passport of the spouse and registered marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages from the concerned Indian State Government. If the Marriage Certificate is issued by the Nigerian Authorities, it should be first Apostled by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In case of Marriage Certificate issued by other Foreign Governments, it should be first Apostled/authenticated by the concerned Diplomatic Mission.
2. A written declaration that in the event of dissolution of marriage or death of the Indian spouse, the applicant shall notify and return the OCI card forthwith to the Government of India or nearest Indian Mission.
IV.OCI MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES ( renewal, in lieu of lost OCI etc.)
IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR RENEWAL OF OCI CARD
1. The mandatory requirement of re-issuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued up-to the age of 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age has been dispensed with.
2. OCI cardholder is required to upload ONLINE a copy of the new passport and a recent photo each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age. The uploading of these documents may be done within three months of receipt of the new passport.
3. OCI card obtained by any foreign national, on the basis of having Indian Spouse / Indian origin Spouse - is required to upload a copy of the new passport and a recent photo online each time a new passport is issued, along with a declaration on subsisting of marriage, copy of the Indian passport of the Indian spouse/passport and OCI card of the OCI cardholder Indian orign spouse.
4. Only that OCI Card holder, who obtained the OCI card at the age of 20 years or below, is required to get the OCI Card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after completing 20 years of age. The standard existing procedure for re-issue of OCI card is required to be followed by submitting the online OCI application, physical submission of documents and Fee etc.
5. No Fee is required to be paid for updation / uploading details.
6. The procedure for updating details is as below:
(a) Visit website : https://ociservices.gov.in/welcome
(b) Opt for passport updation services under - OCI Miscellaneous Services
(c) Upload new Passport, Photograph and other prescribed documents
7. Immediately on successful uploading of the documents, an email will be auto sent by the system to the OCI Cardholder confirming that the documents have been successfully uploaded.
8. After necessary verification by the concerned authorities and final approval of updation of details, an acknowledgement through e-mail will be sent to the OCI Cardholder informing that
the updated details have been taken on record. The verification for ‘Renewal of OCI updation’ is processed by the same office from where the OCI has been issued. The whole process of verification and final confirmation of updation may take about 30-45 days.
9. There will be no restriction on the OCI Cardholder to travel to/from India during the period from the date of issue of new passport till the date of final acknowledgement of his/her documents in the online system.
BENEIFTS TO AN OCI CARDHOLDER (indicative list)-
- Life long visa for visiting India for any purpose;
- Aadhar Card is not required by OCI cardholders, instead OCI or PIO card can be used as proof of their Indian origin; OCI card will be treated as their identification for any services rendered to them.
- Exemption from registration with FRRO for any length of stay in India;
- Parity with NRIs in respect of facilities available to them, except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
- Parity with NRIs in matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children;
- Parity with NRIs in matters of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India;
- Parity with NRIs for entry fee to visit national parks, wild life sanctuaries, historical sites and monuments, etc
- Parity with NRIs for pursuing following professions – doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, advocates; architects; chartered accountants and to appear for AIPMT or such other tests.
OCI cardholder is NOT entitled to –
- Right to vote;
- Cannot become a Member of Parliament, Legislative Assembly, Council and cannot hold any Constitutional Post such as President, Vice-President, Judge of High Court or UPSC, Election Commission, etc;
- He/She cannot normally hold employment in the Government;
- He/She cannot undertake any Missionary, Mountaineering and Journalism work without prior permission of the Govt. of India;
- OCI cardholder shall also require Protected Area Permit (PAP)/Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit any place which falls within the Protected/Restricted Area notified by the Government as in the case of any foreigner;
- Further, OCI cardholders cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India.