Overseas Citizenship of India
The government has decided to offer dual citizenship to all overseas Indians who migrated from the country after January 26, 1950, as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship under their law
As stated by the Prime Minister
India now offers Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to the Indians based all over the world with a few exceptions. Those applicants who are granted OCI receive a lifelong multiple entry to India. An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status can be applied for by all overseas Indians who migrated after 26th January, 1950, except those who are now settled in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
An expatriate holding OCI does not require visa for travel to India. That person will however need to present passports of both the countries while travelling to and from India.
Once a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) gets OCI, he is issued a registration certificate and an overseas citizen passport. This passport along with the passport of the country of which he is resident and citizen is necessary for travel to India.
There is no need of going through registration formalities for staying in the country, which a foreigner is required to undergo.
A dual citizen does not need separate documentation for admission in colleges/institutions or for taking employment.
The dual citizens have been granted parity with non-resident Indian in respect of facilities available to the latter in the economic, financial and educational field.
The children of dual citizens can avail of the facilities for obtaining admission to educational institutions, including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Its, Items, etc. under the general category.
The dual citizen can also avail facilities under the various housing schemes of the LIC, state government and other government agencies
The OCI seeks to remove the obstacle in travel to and from India and permit investments in business ventures and foster a greater sense of belonging.
Privileges enjoyed by Overseas Citizens of India
Lifelong visa to India for any number of visits, and for any purpose.
Enjoy the same benefits as NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields except in purchase of agricultural property.
Exclusion from registration with the FRRO.
The OCI status however does not confer any political rights, or entitle him/her to enjoy the rights extended to an Indian citizen under Article 16 of the Constitution. Persons registered as OCI cannot stand for election to eitherHouse of ParliamentÂ or state council or assembly or hold Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, and Judge of the Supreme Court or High Courts.
The OCI registration certificate, which is printed like the Indian passport, carries an OCI visa sticker on the holders foreign passport.
How to apply for an OCI Card
NRIs/PIOs can apply for the OCI card at all Indian missions outside India and to Foreigners Regional Officers/CHIO and OCI Cell in Foreigners Division of Ministry of Home Affairs in India.
Proof to be submitted for registration:
Documents proving applicants parents/grandparents migration from India after 26th January, 1950
Documents showing proof of residence in territories like Goa, Pondicherry, Sikkim which merged with the Indian Union after 15th August, 1947
Proof of relationship with parents/grandparents, on whose basis the applicant is seeking the OCI card.
The application form will have to be accompanied with a demand draft of USD 275 or equivalent in the local currency as application fees. If the application is rejected, USD 250 Persons, who have been registered as PIOsby the Government of India and wish to apply for an OCI status, may submit their application with a fee of US$ 25 or equivalent in the local currency.
A normal application would be serviced within a month, but in case of a criminal record, the processing could take 4 months. Every case will be scrutinized by the security agencies of the Central Government so that an OCI certificate acquired on the basis of concealed information or falsification can be cancelled. Such persons would be permanently blacklisted for entry into India.