Advisory on Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card
- Overseas Citizen of India card is required to be re-issued each time a new passport is issued up to the age of 20 years;
- OCI card is required to be re-issued only once after attaining age of 20 years. Re-issuance of the OCI card is not mandatory each time a new passport is issued between 21 and 50 years of age. However, if the applicant wishes to obtain OCI document linked to his/her current passport, he/she can apply for renewal of OCI under miscellaneous services.
- OCI card is required to be re-issued only once on renewal of passport after completing 50 years of age.
- If the OCI card is issued at the age of 50 years or later, there is no need for renewal of the OCI Card.
- Applicant need to travel with their Current passport, OCI Card and old passport with which OCI card is linked (if applicable).
Applicants may also refer to the following links (including FAQs) for any other clarification on the matter:
New India visa requirements
We would like to disseminate the following salient points on travel with OCI card for information of all international operators.
- PIO cards are deemed to be OCI cards, however all PIO card holders have to apply and obtain an OCI card before 31 March 2020, after this date PIO cards will be invalid travel document as per the current regulations. Till then all immigration posts in India will accept PIO cards for entry and exit.
- Pasting an OCI "U" sticker on the passport has been discontinued. Currently only OCI cards are being given which is a valid visa for entry, stay and exit from India.
- It is mandatory to produce OCI card for immigration clearance on arrival & departure ("U" sticker is not necessary). However a relaxation is being given to passengers arriving/departing only on "U" sticker for immigration clearance (till an order issued in contrary to this).
- An OCI card holder have to obtain a new OCI card whenever the related passport is changed till the passport holder attains 20 years of age and for those beyond 50 years of age. It is not necessary to obtain a new OCI card for those between the age of 21 years to 50 years, with the change of related passport.
- A valid OCI card is a valid visa for India, Airlines may not obstruct passengers travelling to India on OCI card.
Clarification on travel of Nepal nationals to third country from India
"If a citizen of Nepal visits India on valid Nepalese passport, he/ she may not be allowed to proceed to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Libya and Lebanon from India, unless he/ she obtains a 'No Objection Certificate' from the Embassy of Nepal in India."
Thinking of applying for an OCI or PIO?
What is OCI?
The Government of India for the convenience of persons of Indian origin has launched the 'OCI Card' scheme, aimed at making the journey back to the roots, simpler, easier, flexible and trouble free. The validity of OCI card is life-long. Processing time is around 6-8 weeks in straightforward cases. It may take longer in certain cases requiring reference to authorities in India or elsewhere.
Those eligible to apply for a OCI Card:
A foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August 1947 and his/her children and grandchildren are eligible for registration as OCI;
However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI. A person who may have been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, and is married to a person eligible for registration as OCI, is not eligible for grant of OCI. However, their children are eligible as OCI. An OCI registration card will be issued by the Indian Missions/Posts abroad after scrutinizing the application and deciding eligibility.
Advantages of OCI:
(i) Multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India;
(ii) Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India;
(iii) Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
What is PIO?
The Government of India for the convenience of persons of Indian origin has launched the 'PIO Card' scheme, aimed at making the journey back to the roots, simpler, easier, flexible and trouble free. The validity of PIO card is 15 years subject to the validity of the passport. Processing time is around 4-6 weeks in straightforward cases. It may take longer in certain cases requiring reference to authorities in India or elsewhere.
Those eligible to apply for a PIO Card:
Who 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 he/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents was at any time a citizen of any country as may be specified by the Central Government from time to time;
Who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as mentioned above, is eligible to hold a PIO card.
Advantages of PIO:
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).
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.
For further assistance and advice on eligibility and documents required or to apply for either of the above, please call 020 8518 9100 and ask to be connected to our London office.