What is an OCI card and the documents needed to apply for an OCI?
The full form of the term OCI is Overseas Citizenship of India.
Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is granted by the central government of India and is a form of permanent residency given to people of Indian origin and their spouses.
The OCI is granted to those who have migrated from India and also to those whose ancestors belong to India with exemptions to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The OCI enables the people eligible to live and work in India frequently.
However, the OCI status of a person should not be mistaken for citizenship as it does not grant the right to vote in the elections of India or hold public office.
When was the OCI scheme introduced?
The OCI was introduced through the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2005 as a response to the demands made for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora (people who migrate from their countries to other countries).
What are the benefits of OCI?
Following are the benefits an OCI cardholder is entitled to which other foreign nationals are not –
- Multiple entries to India, multipurpose lifelong visa to visit India.
- Being equivalent with NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields leaving out the acquisition of plantation or agricultural properties.
- An OCI cardholder is also exempted from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India.
How to apply for an OCI card – Documents Needed –
To submit an OCI application following are the documents needed –
- The candidate must have proof of present citizenship.
- The candidate must possess evidence of relationship as parents or grandparents or great grandparents if they are the basis to claim Indian origin for the purpose of registration to obtain OCI.
- The candidate must possess evidence relating to self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents having Indian citizenship.
- Evidence as spouse of foreign origin of Indian citizenship or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI).
- Candidate’s passport size photograph.
- Thumb impression of the candidate.
What is the fee to be paid to obtain an OCI?
Rs.15,000 nearly $275 shall be charged as an application fee when applied through Indian Missions Abroad or when the application is submitted in India.
The OCI application form and fee challan can be submitted at Foreigners Regional Registration Offices or at Indian Missions abroad.
How long does it take for an OCI to arrive?
An OCI card is issued usually within the period of 30 days of receiving the acknowledgement from the bureau.
When can the OCI be denied or cancelled?
Issuance or non-issuance of an OCI lies with the Ministry of Home Affairs in India.
- The OCI can be denied or rejected for lacking adequate security clearance.
- If the OCI was obtained by fraud or by concealing certain information, it can be cancelled.
- The OCI results in an immediate cancellation if a person is found to have disrespected the Constitution of India.
The way to Citizenship –
If a person who is an OCI cardholder and intends to acquire Indian citizenship can do so after the period of five years of the OCI being granted.