OCI Card Information

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an OCI Card?

Ans– An OCI card, called “Overseas Citizens of India” is a card issued by Government of India to people of Indian origin who are now citizens of foreign countries.

  1. What is the difference between an “Indian Visa” and “OCI Card”?

Ans– The main difference between the two is that you can only stay in India for a maximum period of 6 months at a time with an India Visa; whereas you can stay for years in India with an OCI Card.

  1. What is the purpose of an OCI Card?

Ans– An OCI Card has the following key benefits

  • Multiple Entry lifelong visa to visit India
  • No need to report to police stations in India for any length of stay in India
  • Gives freedom to engage in any commercial activities in India; except purchase of agricultural land.
  1. Who is eligible to get an OCI Card?

Ans– Any Foreign national of Indian origin can apply for an OCI Card if he/she meets one of the following conditions:

  • You must have been a Citizen of India on or after the 26th Jan 1950, OR
  • You lived in the Indian Side after partition of India, OR
  • Your parents or grandparents were Indians from India Side after partition, OR
  • For Children; either of their parents were Indians.
  • Your Husband or Wife was an Indian before acquiring US/foreign Citizenship. If one of the sides was never an Indian; you need to wait for at-least 2 years after your marriage to be able to apply for an OCI Card.
  • If you ever were an Indian passport holder before acquiring US/Foreign passport; you MUST surrender your Indian Citizenship before you can apply for OCI Card. The process is called “Renunciation”. You can visit the following page for more information: http://traversalvisa.com/indian-origin-applicants/
  1. Who is NOT ELIGIBLE for an OCI Card?
    1. If your parents or grandparents ever held Pakistani or Bangladeshi citizenship.
    2. If you, your parents, your husband/wife are working (even retired) in Military/Police/Defense in any role.
    3. Step Children or adopted children who were born outside India.
  1. Do I ever need to RE-ISSUE my current OCI card ever?

Ans– You need to RE-ISSUE your current OCI Card with a new one if you fall in the following age bracket:

  • If you are less than 20 years of age, and you are getting a new passport
  • If you are 50 years of age; you need to get your OCI card re-issued one time when get a new passport.
  • These conditions don’t apply if you are in the age bracket of 21 years to 49 years; you can carry your old passport, the new passport and the current OCI card while travelling to India.
  • These conditions also don’t apply if you got your first OCI Card after the age of 50.
  1. How long does it take to get an OCI Card?

Ans– The application process for an OCI Card is anywhere between 8-10 weeks long as it involves various stages of verification in India. If you are in a hurry to travel; please apply for a Tourist Visa to India.