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HomeImmigration & VisaHow to get OCI Card in India

How to get OCI Card in India

INDIA

How to get OCI Card in India. For individuals of Indian origin residing abroad, the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card serves as a valuable document, offering various benefits and privileges while maintaining a connection to their ancestral homeland. The OCI card facilitates seamless travel to India, grants multiple-entry, and exempts holders from the hassle of obtaining a visa for visits to their country of origin. If you are considering applying for an OCI card in India, here’s a comprehensive guide to navigate the process.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an OCI card, applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • A foreign national who was a citizen of India at any time after January 26, 1950.
  • Individuals eligible to become citizens of India on January 26, 1950.
  • Those who belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947.
  • Children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of Indian citizens.
  • Minor children of eligible individuals mentioned above.
  • Minor children with both parents as Indian citizens or one parent as an Indian citizen.
  • Spouses of foreign origin of Indian citizens or OCI cardholders with a registered marriage of at least two years.
  • However, individuals with ancestors who were citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, or specified countries are not eligible.

Application Restrictions for Foreign Nationals:

  • Foreign nationals cannot apply for OCI in India while on Tourist, Missionary, or Mountaineering Visas.
  • The applicant must be ordinarily resident in India, meaning they have resided in the country continuously for at least six months.
  • ‘Ordinarily resident’ refers to a person staying in a specific country or India for a continuous period of six months.

Application Process:

  1. Complete the Online Application: Visit the official website of the Indian government’s Ministry of Home Affairs at https://ociservices.gov.in/ . And complete the online OCI application form.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Ensure you have all necessary documents, including proof of Indian origin, proof of current citizenship, photographs. And any other supporting documents.
  3. Upload Documents and Pay Fees: Upload scanned copies of required documents and pay the prescribed application fee online through the designated portal.
  4. If the application is submitted in India itself, an amount of Rs.15,000 needs to be paid through Demand Draft. The Demand Draft needs to be in favor of ‘Pay and Accounts Officer (Secretariat), Ministry of Home Affairs’ payable at New Delhi.
  5. Biometric Enrollment: Schedule an appointment at the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) for biometric enrollment and document verification.
  6. Interview (if required): Applicants may be called for an interview if additional information or clarification is needed.
  7. OCI Card Issuance: Upon successful completion of the process, the OCI card will be issued and sent to the applicant’s registered address.

Benefits of OCI Card:

  1. Lifelong Visa-Free Travel: OCI cardholders enjoy lifelong visa-free travel to India for tourism, business, and employment purposes.
  2. Access to Services: OCI cardholders are entitled to various services in India, including the ability to open bank accounts. purchase property, and invest in Indian markets.
  3. Education and Employment: OCI cardholders have access to educational institutions and employment opportunities in India on par with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
  4. Social and Economic Rights: OCI cardholders have the right to participate in Indian society, culture, and politics, with certain restrictions on voting and public employment.
  5. Easy Residency: OCI cardholders can reside in India indefinitely without the need for a separate visa or residence permit.

The OCI card is a valuable asset for individuals of Indian origin seeking to maintain close ties with their homeland. With its numerous benefits and privileges, obtaining an OCI card in India offers a pathway for Indian-origin individuals to seamlessly reconnect with their roots and contribute to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of India. By following the prescribed application process and meeting the eligibility criteria. Applicants can embark on a journey to secure their OCI status and embrace their Indian heritage with pride.

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