- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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/
- Who is NOT ELIGIBLE for an OCI Card?
- If your parents or grandparents ever held Pakistani or Bangladeshi citizenship.
- If you, your parents, your husband/wife are working (even retired) in Military/Police/Defense in any role.
- Step Children or adopted children who were born outside India.
- 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.
- 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.