The OCI Scheme provides for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) of all Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 or thereafter or were eligible to become citizens of India on 26th January, 1950, except, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Government of India may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify. Detailed information on the OCI Scheme is available on the website: www.mha.nic.in
OCI is not to be misconstrued as ‘dual citizenship’. OCI does not confer political rights. The registered Overseas Citizens of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. The OCI documents consist of OCI Registration Booklet and a Universal 'U' visa sticker. It is mandatory for registered OCIs to carry their passports containing 'U' visa and the OCI registration certificate for entry into / exit from India.
Please note that OCI registration certificate and visa are to be reissued each time a new passport is issued to the applicant till he/she attains the age of 20 years and also once after completion of 50 years of age of the OCI cardholder.
For an applicant who is 21 - 49 years of age, there is no need to reissue OCI registration certificate and visa each time a new passport is issued. Please note that while such an OCI cardholder can request that OCI registration certificate and visa be reissued so that OCI documents reflect their current passport number, it is also sufficient if the cardholder carries his OCI registration certificate, old passport carrying the 'U' visa and the current valid Passport while travelling to India.
A registered Overseas Citizen of India is granted multiple entry, multi purpose, life-long visa for visiting India, he/she is exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer or Foreign Registration Officer for any length of stay in India, and is entitled to general ‘parity with Non-Resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties’. Specific benefits/parity are notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs from time to time.
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has issued notifications granting registered OCIs further benefits as under:
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 air fares;
Parity with domestic Indian visitors in respect of entry fee for visiting national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India;
Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of:
Entry fees for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;
Practicing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely;
Doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;
Chartered Accountants; and
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.
IMPORTANT : If any person, seeking to apply for OCI registration or OCI Miscellaneous service, had ever held an Indian Passport, he/she must also simultaneously apply for/or submit a copy either of the following :-
Surrender of Indian citizenship certificate, or
Deemed Surrender of Indian citizenship certificate, or
Consulate General of India, Houston have outsourced the handling of OCI applications to BLS International Services Ltd from 1st July 2013. BLS International Services Ltd in Houston is located at 1235, North Loop West, Suite 515, Level 5, Houston, Texas 77008.
BLS International Services Ltd accepts OCI applications, complete in all respects, from eligible applicants. All applications received by BLS International Services Ltd are acknowledged by the next working day. Normal processing time for an OCI Registration is 45-50 days.
For detailed guidelines on submitting the application, required documentation, fee etc., please go to the following link: http://www.blsindia-usa.com/
Those seeking information on this service/wanting to ascertain status of their applications, must contact BLS International Services Limited.