The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is an immigration status permitting a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in the Republic of India indefinitely. It was introduced by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in August 2005.
It was introduced in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora, particularly in developed countries.
The OCI document is a passport-like document (though it is not a passport). It has a blue cover with golden-colored printing. The Emblem of India is emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The words 'Overseas Citizen of India Card' is inscribed above the Emblem, and 'भारत गणराज्य' (Hindi) and 'Republic of India' (English) are inscribed below the emblem.
- Was a citizen of India on 26 January 1950 or at any time thereafter; or
- Belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947; or
- Was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950; or
- Is a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of such a citizen; or
- Is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or
- Is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or
- 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 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
No person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan or 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.
You need to apply for it online. For this purpose, please log on to https://passport.gov.in/oci
Applications made from outside India are charged a fee of US$275. Applications submitted in India are charged a fee of ₹15,000 (US$210).
A person making an application is required to submit a photograph and several identification documents to prove they meet the eligibility criteria, and also must pay an application fee. The original of the
supporting documents has to be submitted to the Indian Mission/ Post/ FRRO concerned for prior verification.
For Address details: https://boi.gov.in/content/frro-contact-list
Privileges and restrictions
- Multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India;
- Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and
- Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
- Registered Overseas Citizen of India shall be treated at par with Non-Resident-Indian in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.
- Registered Overseas Citizens of India shall be treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India.
- Registered Overseas Citizens of India shall be charged the same entry fee as domestic Indian visitors to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India
- Parity with Non-Resident Indian in respect of entry fees to be charged for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India; Pursuing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely:-
Doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists;
- Parity with Non-Resident Indian to appear for the All India Pre-medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts.
- “State Governments should ensure that the OCI registration booklets of OCIs are treated as their identification for any services rendered to them. In case proof of residence is required, Overseas Citizens of India may give an affidavit attested by a notary public stating that a particular/specific address may be treated as their place of residence in India and may also in their affidavit give their overseas residential address as well as e-mail address, if any” 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
Overseas Citizens of India are not citizens of India from a constitutional point of view and will not enjoy the following rights even if resident in India:
- They do not have the right to vote,
- They do not have the right to hold the offices of Prime Minister, President, Vice-President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Court, member of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly, or Council.
- They do not have the right to any public services (government jobs).
- They do not have the right to hold farmland (agricultural property).
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), or Foreign Citizens and who are residents of India for more than 182 days have to pay tax and file income tax return in India. The income tax filing is usually based on his/her global income and is subject to the conditions of DTAA (Double Tax Avoidance Agreement). In case of OCI, who have lived for less than 182 days (in any financial year in India), will have to pay tax and file income tax return only on the income earned in India.