Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs Notification No.585(E) dated 23.03.2012 permits use of OCI Registration Booklets of OCIs to be treated as their identification for any services rendered to them in India. It also allows OCIs to give an affidavit attested by a Notary Public stating that a particular/specific address may be treated as their place of residence in India.
A foreign national, who was eligible to become 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 Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor 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.
Application Form and Procedure:
Detailed instructions are given at the website of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553 which should be carefully read before applying. A family consisting of spouse and upto two minor children (those below 18 years old) can apply in one application form i.e. Form XIX. Part A has to be filled for each applicant and Part B is common for all applicants of the same family.
To fill up the application, an applicant should follow the procedure given below:
- Visit http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553
- Click Online registration and complete the form (Part A) online.
- After Part A is filled out online, click 'save'. A print window would appear. Click 'OK' to print out the requisite application form consisting of Part A (which has been completed as online registration). The blank form of Part-B will automatically print itself along with Part A.
- The applicant must then fill in Part B. It should be written in Capital letters with blue or black Ink only
- The following documents should be enclosed in respect of each applicant:
- Proof of present citizenship (copy of the Passport)
- Evidence of self or parents or grand parents:
- being eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or
- being citizen of India on or after 26.01.1950; or
- belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947.
These could be either copy of the Indian passport, or copy of the domicile certificate issued by the Competent authority, or any other acceptable proof.
- Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
- PIO card holder should also submit a copy of his/her PIO card.
- Four identical colour photographs (size 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm excl. border). One photograph to be pasted in the designated box on Form A (not stapled), and enclose the remaining three. Photograph in prescribed size should be taken against a light background (not white).
- Application fee of DKK 1780.00 for each applicant; DKK 180.00 for each PIO card holder. In case of a Minor holding PIO card, the fee is DKK 930.00.
- If the applicant was born in Denmark, please attach the Birth Certificate, duly certified by the Danish Foreign Ministry and the Marriage Certificate of parents (Attested by Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in respect of marriages solemnised in Denmark. If the marriage was solemnised in India, the certificate should be attested by Consular Section, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi).
- If the name of the spouse of the applicant (if applicable) is not available in the documents being submitted, please submit the Marriage Certificate along with the application (duly attested by Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for marriages solemnised in Denmark and attested by Consular Section, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, for marriages solemnised in India).
The application form completed in all respects along with enclosures should be submitted in Duplicate to the Embassy.
- Applicants may check status of their application on the MHA's website http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553.
- After grant of OCI registration, a Registration Certificate in the form of a Booklet will be issued and a multiple entry, multi-purpose life long OCI 'U' visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant.
- It may be mentioned that the OCI Registration Certificates are to be prepared at a centralised cell in the Ministry concerned in New Delhi and not in the Embassy of India, Copenhagen. The procedure will take time. Hence applicants are requested to keep this time-frame in mind while submitting their applications. The Embassy will initially acknowledge the applications and will suitably advise the applicants when the required documents have been received from India.
OCI for PIO Card holders
PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as OCI may apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX. They will be considered for grant of registration in the same manner as other applicants. PIO card holders have to pay a fee of DKK 180.00 (instead of DKK 1780.00 for normal applicants). PIO card holder will have to surrender his/her PIO card after grant of registration as OCI.
Benefits to OCI:
- A multiple entry, multi-purpose, life long visa for visiting India.
- Exemption from registration with local police authority 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 OCI which may be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Benefits to which OCI is not entitled:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament. He/she cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
Cancellation of OCI registration:
If it has been found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted for visiting India.
Application for PIO Cards
- A "Person of Indian Origin (PIO)" means a foreign citizen, not being a citizen of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, if:
- He/she at any time held an Indian passport; or
- He/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents was born in and permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any of the aforesaid countries referred to above; or
- He/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin covered under (i) or (ii) above.
- A PIO card is granted to eligible persons and is valid for a period of 15 years. This confers the following entitlements:-
- No requirement of a visa to visit India as long as the PIO Card is valid;
- No requirement to register with the Foreigners Registration Offices if continuous stay in India does not exceed 180 days. If continuous stay exceeds 180 days, then registration is required to be done within a period of 30 days of the expiry of 180 days;
- Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial, educational and other fields.
- Applicants for a PIO Card need to apply in the prescribed form which can be downloaded from our website.
- The completed application is to be submitted to the Embassy along with the following additional documents:-
- Existing (valid) foreign passport in original, along with a photocopy of the cancelled Indian passport/travel document(s) of the applicant or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents in original, along with a photocopy. If proof of Indian nationality of either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents is not available then a Nativity /Domicile/Citizenship Certificate may be furnished;
- If the applicant is applying on the basis of a parent's Indian citizenship then clear proof of his/her relationship is required to be submitted;
- In case the applicant does not have an old Indian Passport, he/she may provide a copy of other documents issued in India such as a Birth Certificate, Residence/Nativity Certificate, etc. which establish that the applicant is of Indian origin. Such supporting documents will be sent to India for confirmation before acceptance of the application form. If the applicant held an Indian Passport in the past then proof of renunciation of citizenship/surrender of passport should also be submitted;
- All the above-mentioned documents are to be produced in original for verification and photocopies attached in duplicate with the application;
- Those applying on the basis of the past or present national status of the spouse should submit the original Indian passport or PIO Card (whichever is applicable) of the spouse and the original marriage certificate. To be eligible the marriage must have been solemnized more than a year before the date of application. The applicant must also submit a declaration by the spouse stating that he/she has no objection for issuance of the PIO card and in the event of a divorce, the PIO card will be surrendered.
- The requirements listed above are indicative and attempts have been made to cover the majority of cases. However, the Consular Officer may ask for additional documents after examining the application.
- The applicant has to come in person to the Embassy for submission of the PIO application alongwith:
- Four recent passport size photographs of the applicant showing frontal view of the full face;
Documents listed in Para 4 above.
- The applicant would also be required to submit an explanation of the circumstances under which the card was lost and a Police Report to that effect.
- Processing time for issue of a PIO Card in which the documentation is complete in all respects and verification reports from Indian authorities, if required, are in place, is 15 working days.
- This service is available only at the Embassy.
- Kindly note that the Embassy will accept an application for grant of PIO status after satisfying itself on the adequacy and authenticity of supporting documents. In certain cases this is likely to take time as the documents may require verification from the issuing authorities in India. In these cases the Embassy cannot prescribe any timeframe within which the PIO card will be issued; however, at the stage of initial application, an acknowledgement will be provided to you by post. Applicants will be periodically informed about the progress of their application and are also advised to keep in touch with the Embassy to follow up.
Benefits available to a PIO Card Holder
- No visa required for visiting India during the period of validity of PIO Card.
- Exemption from the requirement of registration if stay in India does not exceed 6 months. Should the continuous stay exceed six months, registration will be required within 30 days of the expiry of six months with the concerned Foreigners Registration Officer (FRRO). (Click Here For Registration Checklist)
- Parity with non-resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter in economic, financial and educational fields.
- All facilities in the matter of acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of immovable properties in India except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural/plantation properties.
- Facilities available to children of NRIs for getting admission to educational institutions in India including medical colleges, engineering colleges, Institutes of Technology, Institutes of Management etc. under the general categories.
- Facilities available under the various housing schemes of LIC, State Governments and other Government agencies.
Applicant already in India on Long-Term Visa (more than one year) should make the application for issue of a PIO Card to the following authorities:
DELHI: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Hans Bhawan, I.P. Estate,
New Delhi 110 002.
Tel: 91-11-331 9489 Fax: 91-11-375 5183
MUMBAI: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer,
Annexe II, Commissioner of Police, Crawford Market,
Tel: 91-22-262 1169 Fax: 91-22-262 0721
CALCUTTA: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer,
237, Acharya J.C. Bose Road, Calcutta 700020
Tel: 91-33-247 3301 Fax: 91-33-247 0549
CHENNAI: Chief Immigration Officer,
Bureau of Immigration, Shastri Bhavan Annexe,
No. 26, Haddows Road, Chennai 600006
Tel: 91-44-827 7036 Fax: 91-44-827 7036
Those residing in the other part of India:
Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs,
1st Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market,
New Delhi 110 003
Tel: 91-11-469 3334 Fax: 91-11-462 1563