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Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. However, based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to accord Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status (commonly termed Dual Citizenship).
OCI card provides for a multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India, with exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India. It also gives parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
Complete information about OCI scheme is available at Ministry of Home Affairs website http//www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm. Salient features have been included in this page.
Once you have understood the instructions properly and are ready to apply for OCI, complete the application on line at
Complete Part-B, - handwritten in block capitals or printed.
In the event the Indian passport is not available; the following additional documents may be submitted to claim the status.
Photographs important instructions
Following kinds of photographs are not accepted
As your photograph is scanned and printed on the OCI card and lifelong visa, it should be of a high quality for reproduction and conform to International Civil Aviation Organization specifications
At the end of Part-B, a list of Documents that are required is mentioned. These are -
Signature The signature of the applicant should b affixed without touching the borders of the box of Part A of the OCI Application form. For children who cannot sign or write their name, left hand thump impression must be put within the signature box. Make sure it is a legible dark print. Parents should not sign for children in the signature box.
All documents should be submitted in two sets each applicants and should comprise of Part A, Part B and supportingdocuments
Complete information about OCI scheme is available at Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website http//www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm. Extracts of the scheme are given below
Who is Eligible
A foreign national
Who is not Eligible
(a) parity with non-resident Indian in respect of
(b) 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.
Extract of Citizenship Act - 1955
7A. Registration of overseas citizens of India The Central Government may, subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, on an application made in this behalf, register as an overseas citizen of India-
(a) any person of full age and capacity(i) who is citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the commencement of the Constitution; or
(ii) who is citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution; or(iii) who is citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that become part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or(iv) who is a child or a grand-child of such a citizen; or(b) a person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a) Provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an overseas citizen of India.
7B. Conferment of rights on overseas citizens of India
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an overseas citizen of India shall be entitled to such rights other than the rights specified under sub-section(2) as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf.
(2) An overseas citizen of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India (a) under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment; (b) under article 58 of the Constitution for election as President;(c) under article 66 of the Constitution for election of Vice-President; (d) under article 124 of the Constitution for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court; (e) under article 217 of the Constitution for appointment as a Judge of the High Court;(f) under section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950(43 of 1950) in regard to registration as a voter;(g) under sections 3 and 4 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the House of the People or of the Council of States, as the case may be;(h) under section 5, 5A and 6 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the Legislative Assembly or a Legislative Council, as the case may be, of a State; (i) for appointment to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State except for appointment in such services and posts as the Central Government may by special order in that behalf specify.
(3) Every notification issued under sub-section (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament.
7C. Renunciation of overseas citizenship (1) If any overseas citizen of India of full age and capacity makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his overseas citizenship of India, the declaration shall be registered by the Central Government, and; upon such registration, that person shall cease to be an overseas citizen of India.
(2) Where a person ceases to be an overseas citizen of India under subsection (1), every minor child of that person registered as an overseas citizen of India, shall thereupon cease to be an overseas citizen of India.
7D. Cancellation of registration as overseas citizen of India The Central Government may, by order, cancel the registration granted under sub-section(1) of section 7A if it is satisfied that- (a) the registration as an overseas citizen of India was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact; or
(b) the overseas citizen of India has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India as by law established; or
(c) the overseas citizen of India has, during any war in which India may been engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in, or associated with, any business or commercial activity that was to his knowledge carried on in such manner as to assist an enemy in that war; or (d) the overseas citizen of India has, within five years after registration under sub-section(1) of section 7A has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years; or(e) it is necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of India, friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public.
What are the advantages of OCI when compared to PIO cardholders?
(i) OCI is entitled to a lifelong visa for visiting India, while for a PIO cardholder, it is for 15 years
(ii) PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India
OCI for PIO Card Holder
i) PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as OCI should follow the above process and apply similarly as the OCI applicant.
ii)In addition to other supporting documents, PIO card holders shall also submit a copy of their PIO card.
iii)PIO card holders will be required to surrender their PIO Card once OCI status is accorded. A PIO card holder cannot hold the PIO and OCI cards at the same time.
A PIO card holder applying for OCI status will pay a fee of US$ 25/- at counter when filing the application
Under Indian law, Persons of Indian origin who have acquired Foreign citizenship are required to surrender their Indian Passports to the nearest Indian Mission/Post immediately after acquisition of foreign citizenship. The Indian Citizenship Act does not allow dual citizenship. Holding Indian passport/acquiring Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Passport Act and attracts penalties.
In view of this legal provision all foreign nationals of Indian origin applying for Indian visa, OCI/PIO card or other consular services are required to surrender their Indian passports (valid/Expired) to the Embassy of India, Luanda. They would be issued surrender certificate in lieu of depositing their Indian passports.
1. A fee is payable for renouncing Indian citizenship/surrender of Indian passport is chargeable. The surrender certificate will be issued in 7 working days. Penalty cases would take more time. The Government of India has fixed fee for renouncing the Indian Citizenship/surrender of Indian passport at Rs.7,000/- (payable in US$ in case application is made to Embassy of India, Luanda at the current Official Rate of Exchange). The information regarding applicable fee could be viewed at
2. The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship. Holding Indian passport/acquiring Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967, and attracts penalties. The Government of India has prescribed imposition of penalty on a graded scale, depending on number of trips made on Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality, for the violation of Passport Rules ranging from a minimum of Rs. 10,000/- to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/-
3. In view of these provisions, Persons of Indian Origin, intending to apply for OCI/PIO Cards, should surrender their Indian passports and then apply for these services. In case they do not have the Indian passports in their possession for any reason (loss/misplacement/submission to authorities of his new nationality long time back, etc.), they are required to furnish duly notarized affidavit in this regard. If the Indian passport is still valid but has been misplaced/lost, then Police report should be submitted additionally (to rule out any misuse).
4. Persons of Indian Origin applying for Indian visa for the first time after acquiring foreign nationality are required to first renounce/surrender their Indian passports.
5. All applications for renunciation/surrender of Indian passports are to be made at the Embassy o India Luanda
OCI card Link to online registration
Full information about OCI card are available at http//mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553
Online registration may be done at the site https//passport.gov.in/oci/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp
completed application may be submitted at the Embassy with supporting documents and fees. (use internet explorer to go online)