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Eligibility

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.

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.

Benefits

  • Lifelong 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;
  • Further, OCI cardholders cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in 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;

For general guidelines and documents required:Click Here