OCI is an acronym for Overseas Citizenship of India. It is an immigration status authorizing a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India for a prolonged period. The OCI card was introduced by the government in 2005 to meet the demands of millions of Indians residing overseas who insisted on dual citizenship. India does not approve dual citizenship, but OCI smart cards do grant certain privileges to the holder.
Eligibility for an OCI Card
The eligibility criteria state the foreign national was an Indian citizen after 26th January 1950 or belonged to a territory that later became a part of India post Independence. Likewise, his or her children and grandchildren are eligible for registration. Minor children of the applicants are also eligible for OCI.
While applying for an OCI, it is mandatory for former Indian nationals to provide a Certificate of Renunciation of Indian Citizenship. In case you don’t have the certificate, apply for it. Once you have the certificate, you can proceed with the OCI application.
Step By Step Guide to the OCI Card Application
Here are some procedures to follow for applying for an OCI card. In-person applications are not entertained. Applicants can submit their application to a center in their jurisdiction.
OCI Visa Services makes the process simple and easier for you.
1. To identify the OCI Application Category.
The OCI classifications are listed below:
- New OCI Registration
- OCI Registration in lieu of PIO card validity
- OCI Registration in lieu of lost PIO card
- OCI Miscellaneous Services
- The applicant was issued a new passport
- A change in the applicant’s particulars like name, nationality
- Loss or damage of OCI registration
- Change of address or occupation
- Cancel or renunciation of OCI
2. Fill out the online application form for the OCI card
Complete your OCI application at the Indian government website. There must not be more than 180 days between the submission of the form and the submission of 3 forms to the Embassy.
The form must provide complete and correct details. As part of the procedure upload recent photographs, signatures, and relevant documents
3. Register with VFS Global and pay your fee
Look for an authorized VFS Indian Consular Application Centre. Once the online form is filled, prepare a hard copy with relevant documents to be sent by post to the VFS Indian Consular center.
4. Submit a Physical Application to the VFS Global website
Reach out to the Indian Embassy USA to help you choose the center to submit your application. The VFS center accepts physical applications duly filled with black ink only. Select the right postal method during the registration process like prepaid courier labels.
5. Submit the receipt of the Application by post
Once you receive the receipt of your application, the VFS system will get updated and you will receive an email on your id. The application will be duly reviewed by the authority. This takes some time.
OCI Card Fees must be paid in US Dollars
The OCI card application process takes anywhere between 8 to 19 weeks depending on the nature of the purpose.
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