Dual of Overseas Citizenship of India
Who is eligible for OCI?
The following person(s) are eligible for OCI. Minor children of such persons are also eligible; however, if the applicant has ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI. The following criteria must be met:
- A foreign national who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26th January 1950
- Was a citizen of India on or at anytime after that 26th January 1950
- Belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th Aug 1947 and his/her’s children and grand children
- His/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws
What are the benefits of OCI?
Following benefits will accrue to an OCI:
- A multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit 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.
What are the limitations of OCI?
- Not entitled to vote
- Cannot 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.
- Cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
- Not entitled to an Indian passport
What is the procedure to apply for OCI?
The Government of India has amended its Citizenship Rules 1956 to simplify the procedure and application form for grant of OCI registration.
For those wanting to make online submission can visit the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India website – www.mha.nic.in.
OCI vs. PIO Card
According to the OCI, there are many advantages compared to PIO cardholders.
- An OCI is entitled to life long visa with free travel to India whereas for a PIO cardholder, 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 exempt from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.
- An OCI gets a specific right to become an Indian Citizen as in 29, whereas the PIO cardholder does not have this.
While Desh Videsh endeavours to ensure that the information on the above-cited websites are correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Information provided by cited websites are meant to provide the reader with general information only.