About Us OCI Cards

As on October 19, 2020

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR OCI REGISTRATION

Before proceeding further to complete your OCI application, please read the following guidelines/instructions carefully:

Web link for submission of online application: https://ociservices.gov.in/

Track status of your application: https://ociservices.gov.in/statusEnquiry

IMPORTANT: India does not allow holding of dual citizenship to its nationals. It is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967 to hold and travel on an Indian passport after acquiring foreign passport. Therefore, an Indian national upon acquiring Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan or any other foreign nationality is required to renounce his/her Indian citizenship by surrendering Indian passport to the nearest Indian Consulate/ High Commission/ Embassy immediately.

WARNING: Cancellation of OCI card : If it is found that the registration as an OCI cardholder was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI cardholder has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of Section 7D of India’s Citizenship Act, 1955, the OCI registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted preventing his/her future entry into India.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

Following categories of foreign nationals are eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder: (1) who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution of India i.e.  26.01.1950; or (2) who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or (3)  who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947; or (4) who is a child or grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or (5) who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or (6) who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or (7) spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder registered under section 7A of India’s 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 OCI application.

Who is not eligible: No person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Government of India may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an OCI Cardholder.


BENEIFTS TO AN OCI CARDHOLDER (indicative list)

- Life long visa for visiting India for any purpose;

-  Aadhar Card is not required by OCI cardholders, instead OCI or PIO card can be used as proof of their Indian origin; OCI card will be treated as their identification for any services rendered to them.

- Exemption from registration with FRRO for any length of stay in India;

- Parity with NRIs in respect of facilities available to them, except in matters relating to the    acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

- Parity with NRIs in matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children;

- Parity with NRIs in matters of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India;

- Parity with NRIs for entry fee to visit national parks, wild life sanctuaries, historical sites and monuments, etc.

- Parity with NRIs for pursuing following professions – doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, advocates; architects; chartered accountants and to appear for AIPMT or such other tests.

OCI cardholder is NOT entitled to

- Right to vote;

- Cannot become a Member of Parliament, Legislative Assembly, Council and cannot hold any Constitutional Post such as President, Vice-President, Judge of High Court or UPSC, Election Commission, etc;

- He/She cannot normally hold employment in the Government;

- He/She cannot undertake any Missionary, Mountaineering and Journalism work without prior permission of the Govt. of India;

- OCI cardholder shall also require Protected Area Permit (PAP)/Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit any place which falls within the Protected/Restricted Area notified by the Government as in the case of any foreigner;

- Further, OCI cardholders cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India.

Click here  to view Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for OCI Miscellaneous Applications.

 

PROCEDURE FOR A FRESH OCI REGISTRATION

General Instructions

Please note that it is mandatory for applicants applying for OCI-Card to upload his/her image and signature image in jpeg or jpg format, specifications are given in succeeding paragraphs. Kindly be ready with both images before starting the registration process.

The applicants have to submit the application form online (please log on to https://ociservices.gov.in/ and upload all the requisite documents (self-attested) in a PDF file, photograph and signature (in case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression in black or blue ink) along with the application.

After submission of the complete online application, the applicant is required to take a print out of the application and submit the same along with the originals and self-attested copies of the required documents and fee at the Embassy. The originals are returned to the applicants after verification in about 2 weeks.

Specifications of the photograph:

Photograph to be affixed on the application should be of square shape of size not less than 51x51 mm (the image must be in jpg or jpeg with max size 200 KB - minimum dimension 200 pixels (width) x 200 pixels (height); maximum dimension 900 pixels (width) x 900 pixels (height) with 80% coverage of face) in matte finish as is given for the Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan passport. It should have plain light color background (not white) without the border with front view of person’s head and shoulders showing the full face in the middle of the photograph. It should not be stapled and should not have any signature. (Note: Photographs that do not conform to the above standards will be rejected and may cause delay in processing of the applications).

Applicant’s signature/ thumb impression of minor who cannot sign:

The height and the width of the signature photo must have the aspect ratio 1:3.

The minimum dimensions are 200 pixels (width) x 67 pixels (height). The maximum dimensions are 900 pixels (width) x 300 pixels (height).

Documents uploading instructions:

Document-upload section of online registration has 4 categories. Scanned copy of self-attested documents relevant to your application has to be uploaded under relevant heading in pdf file with maximum size of 500 KB.

Affidavit:

All personal particulars of the applicants such as name, DOB, place of birth, parents names, appearance, etc. must be the same as in their Indian passports. In case there is a change in name, an affidavit is required to be submitted.

Fee:

Kindly visit Fee Structure

Processing time: 

The processing time for fresh OCI applications is 6-8 weeks from the date of submission of papers at the Embassy.

Documents to be submitted with application:

1. Proof of present citizenship – copy of current passport with a validity of minimum 6 months at the time of submission of application

2. Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan Citizenship Certificate or status in the country;

3. Documents supporting proof of immigration.

4. Evidence of address of the place of application - copy of electricity bill/ telephone bill in own/parents/ grandparents / spouse name. Lease License in case of tenants. If residing with relatives, an undertaking from relatives is required.

5.    Evidence of self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents being citizens of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or being eligible to become citizen of India; belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. These could be – Indian Passport (first & last page and observation, if any to be uploaded online) or Nativity Certificate or Domicile Certificate issued from the concerned District Administration (First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate) or OCI Card/ PIO Card of parents / spouse or certificate of residence or place of birth of self/ parents/ grandparents from First Class/ District Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place.

6.    Evidence of relationship as parents/grandparents/great grandparents, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for registration as OCI cardholders – the document of relationship could be “birth certificate” issued from competent authority mentioning both parents name. In case the birth certificate is issued by a foreign authority, it is to be Apostilled or endorsed by the concerned Diplomatic Mission and thereafter by the Indian Mission abroad. Birth Certificate from the Birth Registrar to be supported by i) education documents, if any and ii) Documents of inherited land/property, if any.

7.   Surrender Certificate issued by the Indian Consulate/High Commission/Embassy stating that you have surrendered Indian passport upon acquiring foreign citizenship (OCI applicants, if surrendering their Indian passport now, can apply for OCI and Surrender Certificate simultaneously).

Note: Applicant can provide his/her latest Indian passport that was held prior to acquiring Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan or Foreign citizenship. (Hope you have surrendered your Indian passport on acquiring the Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan citizenship, if not please do it immediately).

Marital Status:

- In case of married applicants, if the name of the spouse is not mentioned in Indian Passport, they have to provide marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages or District Administration. Please note that the Consulate does not recognize marriage certificates issued by Village Panchayats, Wakf Boards, Gurudwara and Churches in India unless these are attested/authenticated by the concerned District Administration and the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

- Divorcee applicants are required to submit their divorce certificate. Please note that in normal circumstances if marriage is solemnized in India, the divorce should also be taken in India (not in Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay), however, if both applicants who are seeking divorce have acquired Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan or foreign citizenship, can obtain divorce in Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay, provided the decision is with mutual consent and not  ex-parte.  Ex-parte divorce certificate will not be accepted. Divorce certificate if issued by a court in a foreign country, the same should be attested by the Embassy of India in Buenos Aires.

- Widow/widower applicants are required to submit death certificate in respect of his/her spouse from the Municipality or Registrar in India if death has taken place in India. In case the death of spouse has taken place in Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay, the certificate from Government of Service Ontario or concerned Province will be needed.    

9. Applicant whose spouse is of Pakistan origin is also required to submit an affidavit attested by the Consulate General of Pakistan stating that, he/she has not acquired Pakistani citizenship nor does he/she possess a valid Pakistani passport.

10. All the Documents (mentioned at S. No. 1-6 above) of the spouse in case of married applicant will also be required.

DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED Documents mentioned at S.No. 1, 3, 5 and 8 above in PDF file.

 

APPLICATION BY MINOR APPLICANTS:

Process will be the same as mentioned above. Documents required are as follows:

1. Copy of applicant’s birth certificate (statement of live birth certificate) issued by the Foreign   Authority; in case the applicant is born in India, then birth certificate issued by the Registry of Birth or Municipality concerned.

2. Copies of Indian passports of both parents or copy of Indian passport of one parent and foreign passport of other parent along with copy of birth certificate of the latter.

3. Marriage Certificate of parents issued in India, Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay or any other foreign country;

4. Joint self-declaration signed by both parents with their photographs, mobile numbers and email   IDs mentioned on it, expressing their no objection to acquire OCI card for their minor child except in cases where parents are divorced.

DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED Documents mentioned at S.No. 1, 3, 5 and 8 above in PDF file.


APPLICATIONS BY FOREIGN SPOUSE OF INDIAN CITIZEN OR OCI CARDHOLDER 

A spouse of a citizen of India or OCI cardholder whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of two years at the time of submitting application is eligible for registration of his/her OCI application under the spousal category.  

The process will be the same as for fresh OCI application mentioned above. Documents required are as under: 

1. All the documents mentioned above for fresh OCI along with OCI card or Indian passport of the spouse and registered marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages from the concerned Indian State Government. If the Marriage Certificate is issued by the Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan Authorities (longer version), it should be first Apostilled by the local Foreign Office and thereafter by the Embassy of India in Buenos Aires. In case of Marriage Certificate issued by other Foreign Governments, it should be first Apostilled/authenticated by the concerned Diplomatic Mission and thereafter by the Embassy of India in Buenos Aires. After the attestation is over, it should be uploaded online with other documents.

2. A written declaration that in the event of dissolution of marriage or death of the Indian spouse, the applicant shall notify and return the OCI card forthwith to the Embassy of India in Buenos Aires.

3. The applicant can submit the OCI application on any working day from 10 to 12 hrs. without any prior appointment. For visit on any other working day, he/she can write to seek an appointment at www.indembarg.gov.in.

DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED:  As mentioned for fresh OCI application at S.No. 1, 2, 3 and OCI card or Indian passport of spouse and marriage certificate in one PDF file.


OCI MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES (renewal, in lieu of lost OCI etc.)

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR RENEWAL OF OCI CARD

1. In view of the biological changes, the OCI card is required to be reissued each time a new passport is issued to the applicant up to the age of 20 years. Applicants who have attained the age of 50 are also required to renew their OCI once a new Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan passport is issued to them after 50.(However, in emergency cases, the applicant can perform the journey carrying the existing OCI along with old Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan passport on which OCI was issued and the latest Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan passport.) Application for OCI renewal can be submitted upon his/her return).

2. Reissuance of OCI card is not mandatory each time new passport is issued between 21 and 50 years of age. However, if applicant wishes to avail this service, he/she can apply for the same.

Lost/Damaged OCI Card: In case of loss of OCI, the applicant is required to follow the same process as above except that he/she needs to also submit an FIR from the local Police Authority mentioning the loss of OCI card with its number mentioned on the FIR and a notarized Affidavit with same details. For damaged OCI, an affidavit with OCI details is required to be submitted. The fee charged for this service on the Fee Structure.

Change of address/occupation:  In this case no new OCI documents shall be issued and accordingly, payment of fee does not arise. Applicant may apply online and application form be submitted on the Ministry of Home Affairs website: www.mha.nic.in at the link https://ociservices.gov.in/ under miscellaneous services. Data shall be captured and new address/occupation shall be printed by the applicant which may be kept in the OCI booklet for record purpose.


CONVERSION OF PIO TO OCI

PIO Card scheme has been withdrawn by the Government of India vide its Gazette Notification No.25024/9/2014F.I dated 09.01.2015. Henceforth, PIOs are advised to get their PIO cards converted to OCI card. In terms of Ministry Home Affairs’ Notification No. 26011/01/2014-IC.I dated 9/1/2015 all PIO cardholders having valid PIO card are deemed to be OCI cardholders. 

Please note that the Machine-Readable electronic travel document is mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization.  However, hand-written PIO cards will be accepted as a valid document for travel to India till 31 December 2021 by the Bureau of Immigration in India.

All PIO cardholders are requested to convert their PIO cards to OCI at the earliest by submitting their application through the PIO conversion link:  https://ociservices.gov.in/

After the successfully completing the registration of online OCI application and uploading the pdf copy of current passport and PIO card, the applicants are required to submit the print-out of the duly signed application form with one photograph, self-attested copy of current Argentinian/Uruguayan/Paraguayan Passport and PIO card in original along with required fee.

Note: Joint self-declaration signed by both parents with their photographs, mobile numbers and email IDs mentioned on it, expressing their no objection to acquire OCI card for their minor child except in cases where parents are divorced.   In case spouse name is not mentioned on the PIO card, Marriage Certificate or cancelled Indian Passport having spouse name is required to be submitted by the applicant. 

HELP DESK AT EMBASSY OF INDIA in BUENOS AIRES: For any clarification / query with regard to OCI, please write to cons.buenos@mea.gov.in


COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID

PRESS RELEASE Acceptability of PIO Cards for travel to India till 31st December, 2021

PRESS RELEASE Conversion of PIO Card to OCI Card

PRESS RELEASE Instructions about re-issuance of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cards-regarding

PRESS RELEASE Relaxation in OCI Guidelines till 31st December 2020