Applying for an Overseas Citizenship of India
Revised guidelines for OCI Applicants
Guidelines regarding OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) applications and related Services effective from 23rd November 2015.
- All OCI applications will be submitted online along with the requisite documents (self-attested), photograph and signature (in the case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression (for boys) and right hand thumb impression (for girls).
- After filing of the online OCI application and uploading the supporting documents, signature and photograph online, applicants must submit the originals of the supporting documents (along with photocopies) to BLS International (outsourced agency of High Commission/Consulate General of India) for necessary verification.
- If there is any discrepancy in the application or uploaded documents / photograph, BLS International shall inform the applicant by email, who will need to physically submit the required documents to BLS International, for necessary online modifications.
- Once all documents are received and verified, the applicant will receive an automated email message that the application is under process.
- No OCI application or service request will be accepted in the off line mode any longer.
- The OCI scheme is operational from 2nd day of December in the year 2005.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) commonly known as ‘dual citizenship’. Persons of Indian Origin 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 under the local laws.
- Application for registration for the OCI can be filled online. Before filling the application, instructions may be perused so that there is no error in submission of application. Furthermore, details of fees and applications centers can also be viewed online.
- Persons registered as an OCI are not eligible for being elected underLok Sabha / Rajya Sabha / Legislative Assembly/Council, holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President and Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc.
- Registered OCI’s shall be entitled to following benefits:
- Multiple entries, multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India;
- Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and
- Parity with NRI’s in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
- Any further benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- A person registered as an 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 an OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.
Please note that OCIs are printed in India and in some cases, depending on various reasons it may take more than normal time for the OCI to be ready. Therefore it is advised that please do not buy tickets in anticipation of receipt of OCI.
For travel to India both documents, i.e. OCI certificate along with the passport containing the U-Visa sticker must be carried otherwise ENTRY into India will NOT be allowed.
Up to the completion of 20 years of age and once after completion of 50 years of age, it is MANDATORY that OCI Registration Certificate & U-Visa are re-issued on the passport. Otherwise ENTRY into India may NOT be allowed
However, between 21-50 years of age, re-issuance is not mandatory. In such cases, one must travel to India with OCI Registration Certificate, old Canadian Passport having U-visa and new Canadian Passport.
For OCI applications, the relevant documents have to be uploaded online along with application form. The documents have to be uploaded online on the passport.gov.in/oci website before submitting the application at the center.