Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

Updated: February 26, 2013   (Disclaimer)      Print    Contribute to this guide
Overseas Citizen of India

Overseas Citizen of India

 

The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced in response to persistent demands for ‘dual citizenship’ from the Indian Diaspora in North America and other developed countries. According to this scheme, any Person of Indian Origin (PIO) can apply for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).


Benefits to an OCI

Registration as an OCI does NOT mean ‘dual citizenship. A registered OCI can avail of the following benefits:

  • A multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India
  • Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay inIndia
  • Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children
  • Parity with resident Indian nationals in matters of tariffs in domestic airfares
  • Parity with domestic Indian visitors in respect of entry fee for visiting national parks and wildlife sanctuaries inIndia
  • Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of:Entitlement to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts
    • Entry fees for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums inIndia
    • Practicing the following professions in India – Doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, advocates, architects, and chartered accountants (in accordance with the provisions in the relevant Acts)
  • Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties

The registered OCI will not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India
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


Eligibility

You are eligible to be registered as an OCI if you -

  1. Are a foreign national holding citizenship of any country outside India except Pakistan or Bangladesh, AND
  2. Were eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950 or thereafter or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August 1947Are children and grand-children (including minor children) of a person eligible under rules 1 and 2 above.
    • Any person who, or whose parents or grand-parents were born in India, and who was ordinarily residing in any country outside India, was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950.
    • The territories which became part of India after 15th August 1947 are Sikkim,Pondicherry, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Goa, Daman and Diu.

Procedure

Applications by US citizens for registration as an OCI are handled by Travisa Outsourcing.

  1. The OCI application form consists of 2 parts – Part-A and Part-B.
  2. Part-A has to be filled for each applicant of the family while Part B is common for all applicants of the family.
  3. Fill out the Online OCI Application Form.
  4. After completing the online portion, print out both Part-A and Part-B of application form, and complete Part-B. Details in Part-B can be typed or hand written. Completed application form on Parts A and B should be submitted along with all relevant enclosures to the appropriate office.
  5. US applicants should complete the online Travisa Order Form after completing the OCI Online Application. This form provides real time tracking of your application and indicates your mode of payment. You MUST include a copy of this form with all other supporting documents.

Instructions for Filling Application Forms

  1. Write/print fields in CAPITAL LETTERS ONLY.
  2. If applying as a family, all family members MUST reside at the same address. Family applications are limited to 4 family members per application. If applying as a family of five or greater, the family can be split up with the father and mother on separate family applications.
  3. Signature:  All sections which require applicant signatures must be signed correctly.
    • Each applicant must sign COMPLETELY inside the box in Part-A of their form next to their picture.
    • Minors who cannot write their name can use a thumbprint in black ink instead. It is very important that ALL applicants sign Part B.
    • For minor applicants, both parents must sign the Part B application form even if both parents are not applying for OCI. If only one parent is available to sign for the minor, proof of custody or a death certificate must be provided. For non-US applicants, parents are not allowed to sign for minor applicants.
    • If any part of the signature or thumbprint for Part A is outside of the box, the application will be rejected.
  4. Attach one passport size photograph to the application. It should have light color background (not white) without 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. See Detailed Photo Specifications.
  5. In case the space provided is not sufficient, additional sheets may be used for providing requisite details

Documents Required

US Applicants Born in India
  1. Copy of United States Passport
    • Copy of the information page containing the picture and basic details.
    • Copy of the endorsement/amendment pages (copy pages 22, 23 and 24 for US passports that end with page 24, OR copy pages 25, 26 and 27 for US passports that end with page 28).
  2. Copy of Naturalization Certificate
    • A copy of your Naturalization Certificate for former Indian nationals or people who were not born in the US.
    • If a minor gained naturalization through his/her parents and possesses no separate naturalization certificate, then copies of the parents’ naturalization certificates and a notarized written statement signed by both parents is required stating the circumstances that their child received his/her naturalization status and why the child does not possess his/her own certificate.
    • If you have obtained more than one nationality after having Indian citizenship, please provide all Naturalization Certificates or proof of nationality from all countries that you have held citizenship.
  3. Copy of Birth Certificate
  4. Proof of Indian Origin:  Any one of the following documents that provides sufficient evidence that you held Indian Citizenship -
    • Copy of the last Indian passport held (first three and last two pages)
    • A notarized copy of educational certificate issued by an institution in India and land ownership certificate by which eligibility may be reasonably ascertained
    • A duly notarized affidavit to that effect
    • A copy of an Ancestral Nativity Certificate issued by an Indian official or magistrate with sufficient authority to confirm Indian origin of the applicant
  5. Proof of Renunciation of Indian Citizenship:
    • If the applicant has already renounced Indian citizenship:
      • Copy of your Certificate of Renunciation issued by a Consulate of India OR
      • Copy of your cancelled Indian passport with stamp that states “Cancelled as holder acquired US/foreign citizenship
    • If the applicant has NOT renounced their Indian citizenship, or cannot show proof, the following must be provided:
      • Most recent ORIGINAL Indian passport
      • Copy of your naturalization certificate
      • Two copies of the completed Renunciation Form
      • Copies of the first three pages and the last two pages of the most recent Indian passport
  6. Proof of Address: Submit a proof of residence/address that matches the present address on the OCI application exactly. This proof must also match the prepaid envelope return address exactly. Any one of the following documents can be submitted.
    • Photocopy of state issued Driver License or State ID (Do not cut your driver’s license copy down to a smaller size. Please leave the copy on regular sized paper)
    • ORIGINAL utility bill (Water, Gas, Electric, Sewage)
    • For minors, a proof of address from both parents and a legal guardian
    • For family applications, only one copy of proof of address is required per family as long as all family members reside at the same address
    • For college/university students living on campus in university housing/dormitories, a letter from your institution on the institution’s letterhead explaining the exact address that you presently reside
  7. prepaid return shipping envelope -  A copy of the return shipping label or prepaid envelope is also required. The return address on the prepaid envelope must match the home address EXACTLY as given on the proof of address.
US Applicants Born Outside India

If you are applying for OCI on the basis that your parents and/or grandparents were Indian nationals, then you must enclose the following documents in addition to documents mentioned above:

  1. Copy of United States Passport (see 1 above)
  2. Copy of proof of both parents’ current nationality and previous nationality.
  3. Proof of address (see 66 above)
  4. Your birth certificate (in which your parent’s name is mentioned).
    • If you are applying as the grandchild of an Indian national, then you must submit your birth certificate as well as your parent’s birth certificate. All submitted birth certificates must show the parent’s names clearly so that it establishes the relationship with your parents and grandparents
  5. One of the following documents - 
    • Copy of both parent/grandparent’s Indian passport 
    • Copy of both parent/grandparent’s domicile certificate issued by the competent authority 
    • Copy of both parents OCI cards, 
    • Any other document that provides sufficient evidence of your parent/grandparent’s Indian citizenship, such as a notarized copy of school certificate and a land ownership certificate by which eligibility may be reasonably ascertained.
  6. Return shipping label (see 7 above)
NON-US citizens applying in US

The following additional documents are required -

  1. Copy of Permanent Resident Card (both sides), Employment Authorization Card or copy of passport pages showing H1 / H4, L1/L2, F1/F2, J1/J2 etc
  2. Proof of present citizenship
  3. Proof of Indian origin of self or parents or grandparents as specified in 5 above
  4. PIO card holders should submit a copy of his/her PIO card
Original Passport

At the last step in the process after your OCI card has been approved and returned from Delhi to the Embassy/Consulate, you will receive notification and shipping instructions automatically by email.  Provide your valid original US passport so that the U-Visa (OCI) sticker can be affixed to a blank visa page. The passport must have a minimum validity of six months from the date of application with at least two blank visa pages.


Application Fees

$290 for applicants in US (processing Service Fee of $12 + consular Fee of $278).  If your OCI application is withdrawn mid-process, $25 is charges as consular processing fee and the rest is refunded. The Travisa service fee of $12.00 is non-refundable.

For applications filed outside India but not in US, US $ 275 for each applicant, US $ 25 for each PIO card holder, US $145 for minor PIO card holder or equivalent amount in local currency.

For applications filed in India, Rs.15,000 for each applicant, Rs.1,400 for PIO card holders and Rs.8000 for minor PIO card (Demand Draft Required)


Addresses of Offices to Submit OCI Applications 

Applicants in US should send their completed applications to one of the following address depending on their state of residence.

Applications can also be personally dropped of at these locations. However an appointment is required to do so and drop-off times vary by location. Please call to make an appointment.

 STATE OF RESIDENCE  ADDRESS FOR SENDING OCI APPLICATION
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin Travisa India Outsourcing
Attention: OCI Mail Department – 9 Digit Application ID here  
17 North State Street, Suite #950, Chicago,IL 60602.
Phone: (312) 346-2367
 Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, American Samoa, Armed Forces Americas, Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Pacific, Bermuda, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau Travisa India Outsourcing
Attention: OCI Mail Department – 9 Digit Application ID here  
1010 Wisconsin Ave, NW Suite #100, Washington, DC 20007.
Phone: (202) 333-7460
 Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Northern Marianas Travisa India Outsourcing
Attention: OCI Mail Department – 9 Digit Application ID here  
965 Mission Street, Suite # 155, San Fransisco, Ca 94103.
Phone: (415) 644-0149
 Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas Travisa India Outsourcing
Attention: OCI Mail Department – 9 Digit Application ID here  
4100 Westheimer Road, Suite # 210, Houston, TX 7702.
Phone: (713) 840-0489
 Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Island Travisa India Outsourcing
Attention: OCI Mail Department – 9 Digit Application ID here  
316 East 53rd St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10022.
Phone: (212) 754-9900

 

Applicants outside India can submit applications to:

  • The Indian Embassy/Consulate in the country of which applicant is a citizen, OR 
  • If he/she is not living in the country of his/her citizenship, to the Indian Embassy/Consulate in the country of which the applicant is resident

Applicants in India can submit the applications in person or by Speed Post/ Registered Post ONLY.

  • Applicants residing in any part of the country can file with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) in Delhi at FRRO, East Block-VIII, Level-2, Sector-1, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110066.
  • Applicants residing in the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Trivendrum, Cochin, Calicut, Goa, Lucknow and Amritsar can also file with respective FRRO at the addresses found HERE 

Online Status Enquiry

US applicants – Track your Application Status here

Applicants in India can track application status by clicking HERE.


TI Mantra

  1. Always use a trackable method such as FedEx, UPS etc for sending documents. Avoid using registered mail due to the fact that USPS tracking is usually not available until up to 48 hours later.
  2. Do not staple your documents or use paper clips.
  3. When traveling to India, an OCI card holder must carry both the OCI booklet and the passport with the ‘U’ visa sticker.
  4. Top reasons why OCI applications are REJECTED for US applicants
    1. Missing proof of that Renunciation of Indian Citizenship or application  for a Renunciation Certificate (if citizenship not renounced)
    2. Missing copies of the Indian passport of an adult applicant, parents of a minor applicant
    3. Missing signature of Mother and/or Father on OCI application Part B
    4. Missing proof of Name Change if name is different on Indian passport than onUSpassport
    5. Missing Prepaid Return Shipping Label
    6. Prepaid Return Shipping Label not acceptable – shipping label must be computer generated. Handwritten labels not accepted
    7. Missing Proof of Address – cell phone bill, credit card statement, bank statement or lease are not accepted as proof of address for US applicants

Related Guides

Tax Residency Status
PIO Card
Living in India with a Green Card


References

www.mha.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/oci/homepage

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