News, Culture & Society

When do people apply for an OCI card?

The internet turned tedious paperwork, a lot more convenient, allowing people to handle it at their convenience.

Online application processes make the entire process a lot easier and smoother since people now can coordinate it at their convenience. Furthermore, applicants can now gather all the information that they need before getting through the application process, as compared to the past where they would have to make multiple trips to the office to get the information. With the new website, all the OCI application forms are available online. The main requirement for the OCI card is a foreign passport, with most of the information relating to the application process gathered from it. However, applicants have to prove that they are of Indian origin and they have to provide that information. There are a series of documents they can hand in, which they have to coordinate through the Indian mission in various countries around the world.

Indian has more than six million OCI cards that they have distributed to people in various countries around the world. When it comes to the OCI card, however, people from Bangladesh and Pakistan are not allowed to apply for the cards.

Here are the eligibility criteria for a person to apply for an OCI card and the Government of India, on the application, may register any person as an Overseas Citizen of India, if the person:

  • was a citizen of India on 26 January 1950 or at any time thereafter.
  • belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947.
  • was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950.
  • is a child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of such a citizen,
  • is a minor child of such persons mentioned above
  • are minor children with both parents who are citizens of India, or one of the parents is a citizen of India
  • is a 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 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, with a registered marriage and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application

No person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan & Bangladesh, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India.

Persons who served as a member of any foreign military are also ineligible to receive an OCI card.

One of the rules also states that a person of Indian origin can apply for an OCI card with a foreign passport. After having the OCI card for more than five years, they have the option to apply to be an Indian citizen again. Since India does not support the concept of dual citizenship, they would have to surrender the passport that they are using for an Indian passport.


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