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 person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
Application Form and Procedure:
Detailed instructions are given at the website of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553 which should be carefully read before applying. A family consisting of spouse and upto 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:
- Visit http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553
- 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 or black Ink only
- The following documents should be enclosed in respect of each applicant:
- Proof of present citizenship (copy of the Passport)
- 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.
- Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
- PIO card holder should also submit a copy of his/her PIO card.
- Four identical colour photographs (size 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm excl. border). One photograph to be pasted in the designated box on Form A (not stapled), and enclose the remaining three. Photograph in prescribed size should be taken against a light background (not white).
- Application fee of BND xxxx.00 for each applicant; BND XXX.00 for each PIO card holder. In case of a Minor holding PIO card, the fee is BND xxx.00.
- If the applicant was born in Brunei Darussalam, please attach the Birth Certificate, duly certified by the Brunei Foreign Ministry and the Marriage Certificate of parents (Attested by Brunei Ministry of Foreign Affairs 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, New Delhi).
- 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 Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 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 Embassy.
- Applicants may check status of their application on the MHA's website http://mha.nic.in/uniquepage.asp?Id_Pk=553.
- 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.
- It may be mentioned that the OCI Registration Certificates are to be prepared at a centralised cell in the Ministry concerned in New Delhi and not in the Embassy of India, Brunei Darussalam. The procedure will take time. Hence applicants are requested to keep this time-frame in mind while submitting their applications. The Embassy 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 XXX.00 (instead of BND XXXX.00 for normal applicants). PIO card holder will have to surrender his/her PIO card after grant of registration as OCI.
Benefits to OCI:
- A multiple entry, multi-purpose, life long visa for visiting India.
- Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.
- Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
- Any other benefits to OCI which may be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Benefits to which OCI is not entitled:
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.
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.