Overseas Citizenship of India
PIO to OCI
Important notice to PIO Card holders residing in Brunei Darussalam
The Ministry of Home Affairs, in consultation with this Ministry, has decided to extend the date for submission of the application for registration as OCI cardholder by the erstwhile PIO cardholders till December 31, 2017.
External Affairs Minister has announced that the conversion of PIO cards into OCI cards will be done free-of-charge (gratis) for applications submitted until December 31, 2017.
The Scheme of PIO Card has been discontinued. All valid PIO card as on date, are deemed OCI and are valid for travel to India. However, all holders of PIO Card (valid as on 09.01.2015) presently residing in Brunei Darussalam are requested to change their PIO cards to OCI status. Registration for OCI is an online process. Only after successful registrationwill an applicant be considered for registration as OCI. Applications complete in all respects should be submitted to the High Commission of India, Brunei Darussalam along with valid PIO Card. For registration as OCI, please visit the link www.ociindia.nic.in.
How to apply for OCI if you have a PIO card:
The following points may be noted carefully for registration. Read Instructions carefully before starting the registration process.
1. Go to www.ociindia.nic.in and click on New OCI-Registration.
2. After this a new window will open at http://passport.gov.in/oci/, and choose the option Click Here to Proceed button.
3. On the window http://passport.gov.in/oci/welcome please choose the option OCI Registration (In lieu of valid PIO Card).
4. Fill in all details required without leaving any column blank. Place of submission for OCI applications (In lieu of PIO Card) should be the same as the place of issuance of PIO Card. Provide valid PIO Card details at the place specified. PIO-Card should be valid as on 9th Jan 2015.
5. Complete Part-B of the registration process.
6. Documents to be enclosed along with application are given at the end of Part-B.
7. Completed application is to be submitted to the High Commission of India, Brunei Darussalam with the fee of BND 57.50, payable in cash.
OCI card is a smart card and it facilitates quicker immigration clearance and various consular services from Indian Missions abroad. OCI card holders are entitled to the following benefits:
1. A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong U Visa for visiting India.
2. No separate Student/ employment/ business visa will be required for admission in colleges/ institutions or for taking up employment, business etc. in India.
3. Special counters for speedy immigration clearance at designated immigration check posts.
4. Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
5. Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in economic, financial and educational fields except for acquisition of agricultural land or plantation.
6. OCI card can be used as proof of identity for applying PAN Card, Driving Licence and for opening regular bank account in India, if the OCI card holder resides in India.
7. Other benefits may be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
What an Overseas Citizen of India is not entitled for:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament. He/she cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA (OCI)
A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or, was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or, belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and, his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such persons are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant has ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
Application Form and Procedure:
Detailed instructions are given in the website of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html which should be carefully read before applying. A family consisting of spouses and up to two minor children (those below 18 years old) can apply in one application form i.e. form XIX. Part A has to be filled for each applicant and part B is common for all applicants of the same family.
To fill up the application, an applicant should follow the procedure given below:
· Click online registration and complete the form (part A) online.
· After part A is filled out online, click 'save'. A print window would appear. Click 'OK' to print out the requisite application form consisting of part A (which has been completed as online registration). The blank form of part-B will automatically print itself along with part A.
· The applicant must then fill in part B. It should be written in capital letters with blue Ink only.
· The following documents should be enclosed in respect of each applicant:
o Proof of present citizenship (copy of the Passport)
o Evidence of self or parents or grand parents:
§ being eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or
§ being citizen of India on or after 26.01.1950; or
§ belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947.
These could be either copy of the Indian passport, or copy of the domicile certificate issued by the Competent authority, or any other acceptable proof.
o Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI (birth certificates, duly attested by the Foreign Ministry or the embassy of the issuing country).
o PIO card holder should also submit a copy of his/her PIO card.
o Four identical colour photographs (size 5 cms x 5 cms, white background). One photograph to be pasted in the designated box on form A (not stapled), and enclose the remaining three.
o Application fee of BND 497.50 (payable in cash) for each applicant applying for OCI card and BND 57.50 (payable in cash) for each PIO card holder applying for OCI card
o If the applicant was born in Brunei Darussalam, please attach the birth certificate, duly certified by the Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFAT) and the Marriage Certificate of parents (Attested by Mofat in respect of marriages solemnised in Brunei Darussalam. If the marriage was solemnised in India, the certificate should be attested by Consular Section, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi or Branch Secretariat of MEA).
o If the name of the spouse of the applicant (if applicable) is not available in the documents being submitted, please submit the Marriage Certificate along with the application (duly attested by Mofat for marriages solemnised in Brunei Darussalam, and attested by Consular Section, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, for marriages solemnised in India).
The application form completed in all respects along with enclosures should be submitted in Duplicate to the High Commission of India.
Applicants may check status of their application on MHA's website http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html.
After grant of OCI registration, a registration certificate in the form of a booklet will be issued and a multiple entry, multi-purpose life long OCI 'U' visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant.
Please note that the OCI registration certificates are prepared at a centralised cell in the Ministry concerned in New Delhi and not in the High Commission of India, Brunei Darussalam. The procedure will take time. Hence applicants may keep this time-frame in mind while submitting their applications. The High Commission will initially acknowledge the applications and will suitably advise the applicants when the required documents have been received from India.
OCI for PIO Card holders
PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as OCI may apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX. They will be considered for grant of registration in the same manner as other applicants. PIO card holders have to pay a fee of BND 57.50 (instead of BND 497.50 for normal applicants, payable in cash). PIO card holder will have to surrender his/her PIO card after grant of registration as OCI.
Cancellation of OCI registration:
If it has been found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted for visiting India.