1. Eligibility criteria :
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. Application form and procedure :
A family consisting of spouses and up to two minor children can apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX. The form can be downloaded from our website www.cgihouston.org. The following documents shall be enclosed with each application:
- Three additional passport size photographs.
- Proof of citizenship of applicant(s)
- 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 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 (or)
- Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
- Proof of fee payment US $ 275 for each applicant or equivalent in local currency [US $ 25 for each PIO card holder(Adult) and $145 for PIO Card holder(Minor)]. The fee has to be paid in the form of cash/Money Order at the counter or Cashier's cheque by mail.
- PIO card holders must also submit a copy of their PIO card.
The application form completed in all respects along with enclosures should be submitted in duplicate to the Indian Mission/Post of the country of applicant's citizenship or where he/she is not in the country of citizenship to the Indian mission/post of the country in which he/she is ordinarily resident. If the applicant is in India, he/she can apply to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Amritsar or Chief Immigration Officer (CHIO) Chennai or to the Under Secretary, Citizenship Section, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Jaisalmer House, 26 Mansingh Road, New Delhi-110011.
3. Procedure for granting registration :
Initially, the time taken for registration as OCI will be a minimum of 42 working days (6 weeks) from the date of receipt in the Embassy/Consulate General of India.
After preliminary scrutiny, if there is any adverse information against the applicant, prior approval of MHA, New Delhi shall be required before grant of registration. MHA may approve or reject the grant of registration within 120 days from the date of the receipt of the application. If the grant of registration as OCI is approved by MHA, the Indian Mission/Post shall register the person as OCI. During this period, the applicants are requested to refrain from making telephonic/written/email enquiries about the status of the application.
If the application is filed in India, registration shall be granted by MHA by following the above procedure.
After grant of registration, a registration certificate in the prescribed format will be issued and a multiple entry, multi-purpose life long OCI 'U' visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the application.
4. OCI registration for PIO card holders:
PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as OCI may apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX and they will be considered for grant of registration in the same manner as other applicants. PIO card holders (Adults) will have to pay a fee of US$ 25/- and PIO Card hold (Minors) will have to pay $ 145, instead of US $ 275 for normal applicant. PIO cardholders will have to surrender his/her PIO card after issuance of acceptance of application and before grant of OCI registration certificate/visa.
5. OCI registration for persons who have applied on the earlier prescribed application form :
All such applications will be considered for grant of OCI on the same line as in para 3 above without seeking fresh application and fees.
6. Cancellation of OCI registration:
If it has been found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted for visiting India.
7. Benefits to OCI:
Following benefits will accrue to OCI:
(i) A multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa for visiting India.
(ii) Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.
(iii) Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties
Any other benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
8. Benefits to which OCI is not entitled to:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
9. Help Desk:
For any clarification/query on the scheme, please visit the website www.mha.nic.in or www.indianembassy.org or www.cgihouston.org or contact the Indian Mission/Post or Citizenship Section, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26 Mansingh Road, New Delhi-110011.