Extension of deadline for registration as OCI cardholder by erstwhile PIO cardholder

The date for submission of applications for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of the PIO card online has been extended till 
June 30, 2017. This cutoff date will be only for submission of the applications online by the applicants. A separate online application form for submission of application for registration as OCI cardholder in lieu of PIO card is available in the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/



OVERSEAS CITIZENS OF INDIA (OCI) SCHEME

OCI Important: Please note that an OCI card alone cannot be accepted as an authority for entry into India unless the “U” visa sticker is pasted in the passport of the OCI card holder. Hence please ensure that an OCI “U” visa sticker is pasted in your Passport.

OCI application can be submitted directly to the Consulate General of India, St. Petersburg.

In pursuance of the Prime Minister of India’s statement, Citizenship Act 1955 has been amended to extend the scope of OCIto Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of all nationalities other than Pakistan and Bangladesh that allow dual citizenship under their local laws in some form or the other. Citizenship Rules, 1956 have been amended to simplify the procedure and application form for grant of OCI registration. Necessary amendments have also been carried out in the Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920 and Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 to spell out the following benefits to registered OCIs.

  • Multi-purpose, multi entry, lifelong visas for visiting India. 

  • Exemption from registration with Foreigners Regional Registration officer / Foreigners Registration Officer for any length of stay in India.
  • Parity with NRIs in respect of all facilities to the latter in economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.

Such registered OCIs shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under article 16 of Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, election to Constitutional offices like President/Vice president/Judges of Supreme Court or High Courts/Members of Parliament or Legislative Assembly/Council or right to vote under Representation of the People Act, 1950. And it is also to be noted that holders of the OCI card are not entitled to undertake any missionary work, mountaineering and research work without prior permission of the Government of India in accordance with the instructions issued from time to time.


Every registered OCI will be issued a registration certificate which is printed like an Indian passport in different colour and an OCI visa sticker will be pasted in the person’s foreign passport. These two documents will have the photograph of the individual and all necessary security features. 


 

The method for applying for the OCI is given in detail in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) web site (www.mha.nic.in). Russian nationals of Indian origin who are eligible for the OCI would be required to pay Rbls.10040/- (Ten thousand forty only). In case the application is rejected Rbls.740/- (Seven hundred forty only) will be deducted as processing charges. PlO card holders, who are otherwise eligible - refer eligibility in web site of MHA) will be required to pay Rbls.740/- (Seven hundred forty only) and submit a copy of his/her PlO card along with other documents and the application for the OCI registration.

 

Requirement for issue of OCI card

  • Proof of present citizenship of applicant e.g. copy of Passport.
  • Evidence of self or parents or grand parents, being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution i.e. on 26th January, 1950; or Belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947;or Being citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950.
  • These could be: Copy of the passport; or Copy of the domicile certificate issued by the Competent Authority; or Any other proof. (Any documentary evidence like School certificate, land ownership certificate, birth certificate etc. by which eligibility may be reasonably ascertained)
  • Evidence of relationship as parent/grandparent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of Overseas Citizenship of India.
  • PIO Card holder should submit a copy of his/her PIO Card.
  • The documents enclosed with the application should be self attested.
  • The form when completed should be submitted in duplicate(both sets must have original photograph and signature along with enclosures)
  • The application should be in prescribed Form XIX which can be downloaded from MHA’s website www.mha.nic.in. A family consisting of spouses and upto two minor children can apply in the same form.
  • Photograph requirements can be found here .
  • The application form is in two parts i.e. Part A and Part B. Part A has to be filled for each applicant of the family and Part B is common for all applicants of the family.
  • Application has to be submitted in duplicate for each applicant.
  • It may also be noted that, as of May 13, 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs decided that a 'Nativity Certificate' issued by State Government in India by an authority not below a District Collector/District Magistrate about an applicant being PIOeligible for registration as OCI may be accepted as sufficient proof.

Instructions for filling application form

  1. Please write/print fields in BLOCK LETTERS.
  2. A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered as minor. In case of minor who cannot sign, his/her left thumb impression may be placed in the Signature Box. Parents should not sign on behalf of minors. A minor child will be eligible for OCI only if either parent is also eligible.
  3. Photograph to be affixed on the application should be of square shape of size not less than 35*35mm (with 80% coverage by face). It should have light colour background (not white) without border with front view of person's head and shoulders showing the 
face in the middle of the photograph. It should not be stapled and should not have any signature.
  4. After submission of Part A online, a copy of Part A with an online Registration Number will be printed along with Part B of application form. Details in Part B can be typed or hand written in BLOCK LETTERS. In case the space provided is not sufficient, additional sheets may be used for providing requisite details. Application form on Parts A and B, complete in all respects, along with all relevant enclosures, may be submitted. Please ensure 2 sets are submitted. Part A is to be in original in both sets.
  5. Please ensure all enclosures are self-attested. In case of minors, parent may attest the enclosures.
  6. For any problem in filing application, please e-mail: cons.spburg@mea.gov.in
  7. For further details visit web-site at http://www.mha.nic.in/

Please CLICK HERE for online registration of OCI APPLICATION 

Instruction for filling application form

Miscellaneous Services for OCI

Miscellaneous Services for OCI includes re-issuance/issuance of duplicate OCI documents in following cases:a) If a new passport has been issued.b) Change of personal particulars like nationality etc.c) Loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/Visa.d) If wrong personal particulars were filled up during online submission of application eg. Father's name, date of birth etc.e) If the Indian mission/office has committed any manual mistake earlier while entering the personal particulars.f) Change of Address/Occupation.

CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE APPLICATION FOR DUPLICATE OCI DOCUMENTS


FAQ for OCI

1. Who is eligible to apply?(i) Russian Passport

A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such 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.

2. Who was eligible to become Citizen of India on 26.01.1950?

Any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grand-parents was 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 was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950.

3. Which territories became part of India after 15.08.1947 and from what date?

The territories, which became part of India after 15.08.1947 are:
      

(i) Sikkim from 26.04.1975
      

(ii) Pondicherry from 16.08.1962
      

(iii) Dadra & Nagar Haveli from 11.08.1961
      

(iv) Goa, Daman and Diu from 20.12.1961

4. Can the spouse of the eligible person apply for OCI?

Yes, if he/she is eligible in his/her own capacity.

5. Can the children of parents, one of whom is eligible for OCI, apply for OCI?

Yes.

6. In what form should a person apply for OCI and where are they available?

A family of two spouses and up to 2 minor children can apply in the same form i.e. Form XIX, which can be downloaded from the website  www.mha.nic.in.

7. Can the application form be filled and submitted on line?

Only Part A of the application form can be filled in online. Thereafter, the printout of Part A, and the duly filled in Part B,  have to be submitted by hand/mail to the Indian Mission/Post.

8. What documents have to be attached with the application?

The following documents shall be enclosed with each application:

All applicants should bring Original documents i.e. Russian & Indian passports etc. which will be returned to them after verifying.

(1) Five additional stamp size photographs for each applicant.
(2) Proof of citizenship of each applicant, such as Russian passport.
(3) Evidence of self or parents or grand parents

(a) being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution; or
(b) belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or 
(c) being a citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950. 

These are :–
(i) Copy of the passport (or)
(ii) Copy of the domicile certificate issued by the Competent authority (or)
(iii) Any other proof acceptable to the Consular Officer

(4) Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian origin is
claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
(5) Proof of fee payment Rbls.9970/- for each applicant (Rbls.670/- for each PIO card holder).
(6) PIO card holders must also submit a copy of their PIO card.

9. What documents would qualify for “Any other proof” for evidence of self or parents or grand parents 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.

10. How many copies of application have to be submitted?

Applications have to be submitted in duplicate.

11. Whether applicant/s have to go in person to submit the application/s?

Yes.

12. Do the applicant (s) have to take oath before a Consular Officer of the Indian Mission/Post?

No. The earlier provision in this regard has been done away with.

13. Where should the application be submitted?

To the Indian Mission/ Post of the country of citizenship of the applicant. If the applicant is not in the country of citizenship, to the Indian Mission/Post of the country where he is ordinarily residing. If the applicant is in India, to the FRRO Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Amritsar or to CHIO, Chennai or to the Under Secretary, Citizenship section, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Jaisalmer House, 26, Mansingh Road, New Delhi-110011.

14. Can a person apply in the country where he is ordinarily residing?

Yes.

15. 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 the Government comes to the knowledge 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 will also be blacklisted banning his/her entry into India.

16. What is the fee for application for registration as OCI?

Rbls.9970/- for each applicant. In case of PIO card holder, Rbls.670/- for each applicant.

17. What is the time taken for registration as OCI?

Within 30 days of the application, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant. If any adverse information is available against the applicant, the decision to grant or otherwise is taken within 4 months.

18. If the registration as OCI is not granted, what amount will be refunded?

An amount of Rbls.9300/- shall be refunded, if registration is refused.  
Rbls.670/- is the processing fees, which is non-refundable.

19. Can a PIO cardholder apply?

Yes, provided he/she is otherwise eligible for grant of OCI like any other applicant.

20. Will the PIO Cardholder be granted OCI registration gratis?

No. He/she has to make a payment of Rbls.670/- along with the application.

21. Will the PIO card be honoured till the time they are valid even after the acquisition of OCI?

No. The PIO card will have to be surrendered to the Indian Mission/MHA at the time of the grant of the OCI registration certificate and the OCI ‘U’ visa sticker.

22. What will be issued after registration as OCI?

A Registration Certificate, like the Indian passport in appearance,  will be issued,  and a multiple entry, multi-purpose OCI ‘U’ visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant. For this purpose, the applicant has to send the original foreign passport to the Indian Mission/Post after receipt of the acceptance letter/OCI Registration Certificate. 

23. Will a separate OCI passport be issued?

No.

24. Will a duplicate Certificate of Registration as OCI be issued?

Yes. For this purpose, an application has to be made to the Indian Mission/Post with evidence for loss of certificate. In case of a mutilated/damaged certificate,  an application has to be made enclosing the damaged document, along with payment of a fee of Rbls.670/-.

The applications in both cases have to be made to the same Indian Mission/ Post which issued the certificate.

25. Will a new OCI visa sticker be issued on the new foreign passport after the expiry of the old passport? 

Yes. On payment of a requisite fee, a new OCI ‘U’ visa sticker will be issued. However, the applicant can continue to carry the old passport wherein OCI ‘U’ visa sticker was pasted along with new passport for visiting India without seeking a new visa, as the visa is for lifelong.

26. Will the applicant lose his citizenship after registering as OCI?

No. As only citizens of countries which allows dual citizenship under their local laws in some form or the other are eligible for applying for registration as OCIs, the question of  their losing their foreign citizenship does not arise.

27. Can a person holding OCI travel to protected area/restricted area without permission?

No. He/she will be required to seek Protected Area Permit (PAP)/ Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for such visits.

28. Would the Indian civil/criminal laws be applicable to persons registered as OCI?

Yes. For the period the OCI is living in India.

29. Can a person registered as OCI be granted Indian citizenship?

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 is residing in India for 1 year out of the above 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship.

30. Will OCI be granted gratis to certain categories of people?

No.

31. Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals who are not eligible for OCI, but married to persons who are eligible for OCI?

No.

32. Will foreign-born children of PIOs be eligible to become OCI?

Yes, provided one of the parents is eligible to become OCI.

33. 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 authority 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.

34. 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.

35. Whether the OCI is entitled to voting rights?

No.

36. Whether the OCI is entitled to hold a constitutional post in India?

No.

37. Whether the OCI is entitled to hold Government posts in India?

No, except for the posts specified by an order by the Central Government.

38. 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.

39. What are the advantages of OCI when compared to PIO cardholders?

Apart from the fact that OCI confers on the recipient the status of an Indian overseas citizen, 
(i) an  OCI is entitled to life long visa free travel to India whereas for a PIO cardholder, it is only for 15 years.
(ii) a PIO cardholder is required to register with the local Police authority for stays exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit,  whereas an OCI is exempted from registration with the Police authority for any length of stay in India.

40. Will an OCI be entitled to apply for and obtain a normal Indian passport which is given to a citizen of India?

No. An Indian Passport is given only to an Indian citizen.

41. Whether nationals of Commonwealth countries are eligible for OCI?

Yes, if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

42. 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.

43. Do the applicants who have applied on the earlier prescribed application form have to apply again in the new form?

No. All such applications will be considered for registration as OCI without seeking fresh application and fee.

 

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