Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

Are you considering applying for the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card? We have the information you need to help you to apply for your OCI card. The requirements can seem overwhelming but we are here to help make this process much easier for you!

What is the Overseas Citizen of India card?

The Overseas Citizens of India or OCI card is issued to foreign nationals of Indian origin. This document gives you almost all the privileges of an Indian national except for the right to vote, government service, and buying agricultural land. The OCI card allows the card holder visa free travel to India as well as live and work in India. The OCI card does not replace your passport. You will still need a valid passport to travel to India. When traveling, you will need to present both your passport and your OCI card.

Who can apply for the OCI card?

A. The following categories of persons (except Pakistan and Bangladesh) are eligible to apply:

  • Who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the commencement of the constitution; or
  • Who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the constitution; or
  • Who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; or
  • Who is a child or a grand-child or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or

B. A person, who is minor child of a person mentioned in clause (A); or

C. A person, who is a minor child, and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or

D. Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A, Citizenship Act 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application under this section:

E. Provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for the registration as Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.

How long is my OCI card good for?

Under the provisions of the OCI card, which gives the cardholder a lifelong visa to India, those below 20 years of age and above 50 years of age need to renew their OCI card every time they have their passport renewed.

When should I apply for a new OCI card? (iVisa does not currently offer support in renewing an existing OCI card)

  • For an applicant who is 20 years of age or younger, OCI documents must be re-issued each time a new passport is issued.
  • For an applicant who is 50 years of age or older, OCI documents must be re-issued once after the issuance of a new passport. If the OCI card is issued for the first time after the age of 50 years, then there is no need for re-issuance of OCI.
  • For an applicant who is 21 to 49 years of age, there is no need to re-issue OCI documents each time a new passport is issued. However, if the applicant desires, he/she can request that the OCI documents be re-issued so that the OCI documents reflect the correct passport number.
  • In case there is a change in personal particulars.
  • In case of loss/damage of passport and/or OCI booklet.
  • For correcting personal particulars entered wrongly while submitting online applications e.g name, father’s name, date of birth etc.,
  • In case of change of address/occupation.

What documents do I need to apply for the OCI card?

Proof of present citizenship

  1. Copy of present, valid passport that does not expire within the next 6 months
  2. Copy of certificate of citizenship/Naturalization certificate for your current nationality
  3. Canceled/Surrendered Indian passport with Surrender certificate (only for those who have surrendered an Indian passport in or after 2010)
  4. Proof of renunciation if you have renounced your Indian citizenship in the past (Must be renounced before you can apply for the OCI card)

Proof of residence

  1. Copy of an electricity bill/telephone bill in your own/parent's/grandparent's/spouse's name
  2. If the electricity bill/telephone bill is in any other relative's name, you must submit a letter from the relative stating that you live with them
  3. Copy of the lease agreement if you are a tenant/renter

Digital photo: Click here for information on how to take a compliant photo

Any other documentation the government might request

This list is just a beginning. There might be other documents the government will request in order to process your application. The Overseas Citizen of India card is a very important and valuable document and the government wants to ensure that you qualify for the OCI card before they issue it.

After you have completed your application, confirmed your information is correct, and uploaded all of your supporting documentation, we will create an application kit for you that includes all of this information so you can submit a physical application to the VFS Application Center. They will work on your OCI card for 5 to 6 weeks and finish the application process with you.

Safe travels!

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