How to Get OCI Card in India?

Planning to apply for an OCI Card? The Overseas Citizen of India Card is issued to Indian citizens holding foreign nationality. Using the OCI card status, people can reside and work in India for an uncertain period. OCI Status is referred to as an immigration status rendered to the individuals. Wondering How to Get OCI Card in India

If you have already acquired foreign citizenship in any country outside India but planning to reside in India now, can apply for an OCI Card. The applicants need to fulfill certain OCI Card Eligibility to get the immigration status. Here is a complete guide on How to Register OCI card, its eligibility guidelines, the procedure to check the OCI status, fee details, and more. Have a look!

What Is OCI Card?

What is OCI Card? An Overseas Citizen of India [OCI] Card is referred to as the permanent residency provided to the Indian citizens that allows them to stay in India for an uncertain period. OCI Card is generally issued to Indian-origin citizens and their spouses who have been holding foreign citizenship. With the OCI status, such people can stay and work in India for an indefinite time. However, providing OCI status doesn’t actually mean citizenship or nationality offered to the people. 

Also, OCI Status doesn’t offer the right to vote during Indian elections. Indian citizens who are planning to stay in India despite holding foreign citizenship can apply for the OCI Card provided they need to meet some eligibility criteria. More than 6 million OCI Cardholders are among the Indian Overseas migration. The Central Government usually grants the Overseas Citizenship of India Card to the individuals who have migrated from the nation. It is also issued to the ancestors of those individuals who belonged to India. 

OCI Card Eligibility

Applicants willing to get an OCI status must meet certain eligibility for OCI card india. Without fulfilling the eligibility rules, the individuals may not get an immigration status to live and work in India. Here is a curated list of eligibility guidelines that an applicant must meet to acquire the OCI Card. Check it out!

  • Foreign individuals with Indian origin who stayed in a territory previously that got separated to the Indian sovereign government post the Indian Independence on 15th August 1947. 
  • The foreign citizens who got the eligibility for Indian citizenship as of 26th January 1950.
  • Individual who is a citizen of another country, but was an Indian citizen on 26th January 1950 or at any time later.
  • Individual who is a child or grandchild or a great-grandchild of such citizen as mentioned in the first three OCI Card Eligibility rules.
  • An applicant who is a minor child and both parents of that particular child is Indian citizens or one of the parents is an Indian citizen.
  • Individual who is a spouse of foreign origin of an Indian citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder registered as per section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The marriage of that person has been registered and endured for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately before the application for OCI Card.

Besides the above eligibility guidelines, there are a few exceptions that include the following:

  • Pakistan and Bangladesh citizens cannot apply for the new OCI Cards. This rule will also apply to the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents of those citizens.
  • In case, the age of the OCI Cardholders is less than 21 years or more than 50 years, they need to apply for a new OCI card as well as a new Passport.

Applicants who are seeking to apply for an OCI Card need to keep a few important points in mind. Before heading for the application of OCI registration, the applicant needs to note that he/she must have been a resident in India for about 12 months. After acquiring the OCI status, the OCI Cardholder can apply for an Indian citizenship grant of 5 years.

How to Register For OCI Card?

The Bureau of Immigration under the Union Home Ministry issues an OCI Status to the applicants who are willing to stay and work in India. Originally, the OCI Card was launched in August 2015 considering the requests made by the Indian immigrants [who were living in the developed nations] regarding dual citizenship. The Indian Government has come up with this new OCI Card as per the Citizenship [Amendment] Act, 2005. OCI Card was launched in Hyderabad in 2006 at the time of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention. 

It is to be noted that the Indian Constitution doesn’t allow Indian citizens to hold dual citizenship. However, OCI Card Status doesn’t mean providing Indian citizenship to foreign nationals [Indian origin people] as per the law. As we have already mentioned, there are certain restrictions to the OCI Cardholders such as no right to hold constitutional offices, no right to vote, and no right to purchase any sort of agricultural lands and other properties. If you are not sure about the procedure on How to Register OCI Card then, this guide is for you, readers.

Before heading to register for an OCI Card, the applicants need to keep a few points in mind. Make sure you have gone through all the vital OCI Card Eligibility rules. 

  • In case, you are an existing OCI Cardholder, you need to utilize the OCI Miscellaneous Services instead of the new registration. 
  • In case, you are a PIO Card Holder, you must register through OCI Registration [in respect to the valid PIO Card].
  • In case, you are a PIO Card Holder and you lost the PIO Card, you need to register through OCI Registration [in respect to the lost PIO Card]
  • If you have already registered your application for OCI Card and seeking to reprint it, you must use the service ‘Re-Print Submitted Application.’
  • For any sort of urgent travel needs, applicants need to apply for an appropriate Visa.
  • Before applying for the OCI Card, applicants need to go through the pre-requisites such as the exact measurements for the applicant’s image and signature image.

The OCI Registration procedure includes Part – A, image and signature upload, and Part – B. Go through this in-depth guide that helps you understand How to Get OCI Card in India. Check out the procedure furnished below:

Part – A

Step 1: Visit the Official Website

  • First of all, go to the official website of Overseas Citizen of India i.e., at https://passport.gov.in/oci.
  • Soon after visiting the website, you will find the ‘New OCI Registration’ option displayed on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • After tapping on the new registration option, the list of prerequisites and important points will show up on the screen.
  • After reading all the rules, you can click on the ‘proceed’ button.

Step 2: Read the Instructions

  • Immediately, the instructions will be displayed on the screen for filling out the OCI application form.
  • Tick the checkbox ‘I have read the instructions’. Hit the Accept button.
  • On the next screen, you will be prompted to begin the registration comprising Part-A and Part- B. 
  • Enter the Captcha Code as shown on the screen. Hit the ‘Enter’ button.

Step 3: Fill in the Applicant’s Details

  • You can then find the OCI Registration Form.
  • Select the place of submission i.e., India. Next to the Mission, you need to select the FRRO near your location from the drop-down menu. You can find a total of 12 FRROs listed in the menu.
  • Enter the applicant’s details such as the given name, surname, gender, date of birth, country of birth, place of birth, current nationality, national identification number, and visible mark.

Step 4: Fill in Applicant’s Passport Details

  • Further, enter the applicant’s passport details such as the passport number, date of issue, date of expiry, place of issue, and previous passport number. 

Step 5: Provide Applicant’s Family Details

  • In the next section, enter the applicant’s family details that include father’s name, father’s nationality, father’s profession, mother’s name, mother’s nationality, and mother’s profession. 
  • Select your relationship with the root India. 
  • Click on the button ‘save and continue’.

Step 6: Enter Applicant’s Address Details

  • Fill in the applicant’s address details on the next screen that include the present address, PIN Code, mobile number, and email id. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
  • On the next screen, all the information that you have entered in the application form will be displayed on the screen for verification purposes.
  • Check all the details once again. If you want to change anything, you can just click on the option ‘Modify’. Otherwise, just tap on the button ‘Submit.’

Step 7: Upload Image

  • Upload the image of the applicant if you are ready to upload it then and there. Otherwise, you can simply click on the ‘Exit now’ button. Using the Temporary Application ID, you can log into the account and continue with the image uploading procedure whenever you want to.
  • Click on the button ‘Yes I am ready with the image’.
  • Choose a file of the applicant’s image as well as the applicant’s signature image and upload both the files.
  • In the case of OCI application for minors [below 5 years], you can simply take a thumb impression of the applicant. Capture the photo of the minor’s thumb impression and upload the same. 
  • Click on the Upload button.
  • On the next screen, you can see a message stating that you have successfully registered Part-A and finished the image and signature uploading.
  • The preview of your image and signature will be shown on the screen. If you are willing to proceed with the image, just click on the button ‘I have uploaded successfully’. If you want to change the image, just click on the button ‘I want to upload again’.

Part – B 

Step 8: Answer Few Questions

  • On the next screen, the file reference number will be displayed on the screen.
  • Below that, you need to click on the button ‘Proceed to Part B’.
  • On the next page, you need to answer some of the basic questions regarding your citizenship details. 
  • You need to click ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for all the questions. 
  • Some of the questions include whether you are holding a dual citizenship, whether there is any criminal record on the applicant, whether you are applying for an OCI Card renewal, and so on. 
  • After providing precise answers to all the questions, click the ‘Submit button.’
  • On the next screen, you can find a message saying that you have successfully completed Part – A and Part – B registration for the OCI application. 

Step 9: Upload Relevant Documents

  • Further, you will be prompted to upload the necessary documents.
  • Click on the button ‘Upload Documents’.
  • On the next page, upload all the relevant documents supporting your OCI application.
  • Select a document type to upload the documents i.e., Spouse OCI Card/PIO Card/Renunciation Certificate of Indian citizenship/Employment/Work Letter. After uploading all the documents in PDF format, you can click on the Upload button.
  • Lastly, click the ‘Final submit’ button.

Step 10: Generate Registration Form

  • You can then generate the final registration form by clicking on the link ‘Generate Registration Form’.
  • On the next screen, you can see the complete OCI Application form that you have filled in with appropriate details.
  • Take a printout of the form and make sure you carry the form to the selected FRRO [Foreigner Regional Registration Office].
  • At last, give your declaration by providing the applicant’s name, place, date, and signature of the applicant. 

That’s all! This is the detailed procedure on How to Register OCI Card online through the official website of OCI Card Services. 

NOTE: Carry all the originals of the supporting documents along with the application form at the time of visiting the FRRO Office. Make sure you take an appointment at the corresponding FRRO Office before visiting the office for OCI Registration. After verifying all the documents, application form, and relevant details, the concerned authorities will provide an acknowledgment number for the application. 

OCI Registration Fees & Charges

The application or OCI Registration fees depend on the location from where the applicant is applying for the OCI Card. In case, the applicant has submitted the OCI application outside India, he/she must pay  US$275 or it’s equivalent in local currency through DD [Demand Draft]. In case, the applicant has submitted the OCI application in India, he/she must pay an amount of Rs. 15000. The Demand Draft must be paid in favor of ‘Pay and Accounts Officer, Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs’, New Delhi.

How to Check OCI Card Application Status?

Using the acknowledgment number provided by the FRRO officials to the applicants during the document verification process, the individuals can easily track the status of their OCI Card Application. The status can be checked easily online i.e., at the OCI Services Government Portal using the acknowledgment number. Follow the simple steps provided below to check the OCI Card Application Status online:

  • Initially, go to the official website of OCI Services from your device i.e., www.ociservices.gov.in.
  • On the home page of the website, you can find a list of services displayed on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Click on the button ‘Status Enquiry’.
  • On the next screen, you will be prompted to fill in the Passport Number and File Reference Number in the provided fields.
  • You can find the File Reference Number from your OCI application. 
  • Enter the Captcha Code as shown on the screen.
  • Click on the button ‘Get Status’.
  • You can then check your OCI Card application status displayed on the screen. 
  • This is the procedure to check the status of an OCI application easily online. 

Once your OCI application is approved and the OCI Card is issued, you will get an email from the FRRO Office stating to collect your OCI. For that, you need to once again visit the FRRO Office to get your OCI Card. During your visit to the FRRO, you need to carry some of the relevant documents such as the following:

  • Applicant’s Passport
  • OCI Acknowledgment Letter
  • Applicant’s Visa/Permit issued by the FRRO
  • Aadhaar Card of the Applicant

Conclusion

That’s all! This is everything you need to know about the procedure on How to Get OCI Card in India. We assume that this guide has clearly explained What is OCI Card alongside a detailed registration process mentioning the eligibility guidelines. If you still have doubts regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments space. We try to answer your queries soon. To get more articles on passports, the Overseas Citizen of India Card-related posts, and more, stay tuned to MoneyCompass.

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