OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA (OCI)
APPLICATION AND PROCEDUREPindoria Solicitors are leaders in the United Kingdom in respect of applications for Overseas Citizenship in India (OCI). On a daily basis we advise, applications and submit complete application on our client's behalf to the High Commission of India, London office.
We provide a complete service for anyone wanting a professional and reputable solicitors firm to assist with their OCI application.
We will do the following:
- Draft and prepare your OCI application
- Prepare the OCI Affidavit/Statutory Declaration
- Organise a Postal Order
- Submit the OCI application to the High Commission of India
- Monitor the OCI application
- Inform you when the OCI application is successful
Benefits of an OCI
Following benefits will accrue to an OCI:
- A multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa for visiting India.
- Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
- 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 an OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
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 Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
OCI Scheme – for first time applicants (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs))
Who is eligible to apply?
A foreign national, who was eligible to become a 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 an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). 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.
Who was eligible to become Citizen of India on 26.01.1950?
Any person who, or whose parents or grand-parents were born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who was ordinarily residing in any country outside India was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950
Can the spouse of the eligible person apply for OCI?
Yes, if he/she is eligible in his/her own capacity. In other words, she or he unlike PIO scheme would not be entitled to OCI only on the basis of being a spouse of an OCI card holder. The applicant has to establish his or her Indian origin separately as provided in the OCI scheme.
Can Minor children apply for OCI?
Yes, if either of the parents is eligible for OCI. Minor children of parents where both (father and mother) are Indian nationals would not be eligible for OCI.
Can application form be filled and submitted on line?
Yes. Part A of the application form can be filed online. However, Part B can be downloaded and printed on computer or by hand in Block letters. Printed Part A and Part B of the application form have to be submitted to the High Commission of India, London office.
What documents have to be submitted with the application?
The following documents shall be enclosed for each applicant:
- Proof of present foreign citizenship
- Evidence of self or parents or grand parents,
- being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution; or
- belonging to a territory that became a part of India after 15 th August, 1947; or
- being a citizen of India on or after 26 th January, 1950
- Copy of the Indian passport :or
- Copy of the domicile certificate issued by the Competent authority;
- Nativity Certificate issued by the concerned District Magistrate in india or district collector;
- Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
- PIO card holders should submit a copy of his/her PIO card.
- In case the applicant was an Indian passport holder, he or she would be required to produce a certificate (popularly known as Surrender Certificate) showing that the most recent passport held by him/her has been surrendered to competent authorities. Indian passports of parents’ or grand parents’ too have to be surrendered and a certificate to that effect furnished if the applicant claims his Indian origin on the basis of his/her parents’ or grand parents’ Indian passport.
Can a person apply in the country where he is ordinarily residing?
Yes. If you are a non-Indian and non-UK citizen but have been ordinarily living in UK, you are eligible to apply in the UK. Documents to justify your status in this connection would be necessary.
My child who is also an OCI applicant cannot sign. What do I do? Can I leave the box meant for signature empty?
No. Under no circumstances, the signature box can be left empty. If for reasons such as a person being a minor or illiterate, left thumb impression would have to be affixed in the earmarked box.
What is the fee for application for registration as an OCI?
£175 for each applicant. In case of PIO card holder, it is £18. For PIO card holders who are minor, the fee is £94 for each applicant. Please note that this fee is payable per applicant and not per application. If an application comprises more than one applicant, the fee would accordingly be multiplied.
Please note, the above fee's are correct as of 1st April 2013.
What will be issued after registration as an OCI?
A registration certificate in the form of a booklet will be issued and a multiple entry, multi-purpose OCI ‘U’ visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant. For this purpose, the applicant has to present the original passport to the Indian Consulate in Birmingham after verifying the status of the application online.
Will a separate OCI passport be issued?
Will a new OCI visa sticker be pasted on the new foreign passport after the expiry of the old passport?
Yes. On payment of requisite fee, a new OCI ‘U’ visa sticker will be issued. However, the applicant can continue to carry the old passport wherein the OCI ‘U’ visa sticker was pasted along with new passport for visiting India without seeking a new visa, as the visa is life long.
Will the applicant lose his citizenship after registering as an OCI?
No. As only citizen of the country which allows dual citizenship under the local laws in some form or the other are eligible for applying for registration as an OCI, losing foreign citizenship does not arise.
Will an OCI card holder and a UK national be debarred from accessing consular services of UK Government while in India?
No, he/she would be entitled to all such services of his country whose citizenship he/she holds notwithstanding his/her registration as an OCI.
Would the Indian civil/criminal laws be applicable to persons registered as OCI?
Yes, for the period OCI is living in India.
Can a person registered as an OCI be granted Indian citizenship?
Yes. As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, a person who is registered as an OCI for 5 years and is residing in India for 1 year out of the above 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship.
Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals (who are themselves not eligible for OCI), on the basis of their marriage to persons who are eligible for OCI?
What are the advantages of the OCI when compared to PIO cardholders?
- An OCI is entitled to life long visa with free travel to India whereas for a PIO card holder, it is only valid for 15 years.
- A PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for any stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas an OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.
Whether an OCI be entitled to apply for and obtain a normal Indian passport which is given to a citizen of India?
No. Indian Passports are given only to Indian citizen.
British Government position on OCI