Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were citizens of India on January 26, 1950, or later, or who were eligible to become citizens of India, can apply for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI).
Although, Canada allows dual citizenship, but India doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Indian citizens after becoming Canadian citizens have to give up their Indian citizenship.
After becoming Canadian citizens, Indians then either have to apply for visa to visit India OR they can apply for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI).
However, the OCI is not the same as ‘dual citizenship’ as OCI does not grant political rights.
Registered Overseas Citizens of India are not entitled to the rights provided to a citizen of India under Article 16 of the Constitution in terms of equal opportunity in public employment.
Overseas Citizen of India is also entitled to general ‘parity with Non-Resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial, and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of Agriculture.
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) benefits
- Parity with non-resident Indians in the adoption of Indian children across borders
- Parity in domestic air price tariffs with resident Indian nationals
- Entry fees for visiting India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries equal those paid by domestic Indian visitors.
- equality with non-resident Indians in terms of
- Indian national monuments, historical sites, and museums all charge admission.
- Practicing the following occupations in India following the provisions of the applicable Acts, namely:
- Doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists
- Architects and
- Chartered Accountants
- Entitlement to take the All India Pre-Medical Test or other exams necessary to qualify for admission per the provisions of the applicable Acts.
An online OCI Miscellaneous service is accessible for re-issuing/issuing duplicate OCI documents.
With this service, you can change personal information, such as nationality, name, address, occupation, etc.
Further, the Government of India also relaxed OCI regulations by eliminating the necessity to get a new OCI card each time a foreign national receives a new passport up to the age of 20 and once after turning 50.
After turning 20, the cardholder only needs to apply to have their OCI card issued once more if they receive a new passport.
But after the age of 50 and every time a new passport is granted, the holder of an OCI card is required to complete an online form with a copy of the new passport and a recent photo.
Who can register to get an OCI?
- Anyone of legal age
- Citizen of another country but was a citizen of India at the time of, or after, the Constitution’s adoption
- Citizen of another country but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time the Constitution was enacted
- A citizen of another country but was born in an area that became a part of India after August 15, 1947
- Child or grandchild of such a citizen
- A person who is a minor child of one of the people specified in the previous section
- As long as they are not currently or previously citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, or any other nation that the Central Government may define by publication in the Official Gazette, they are not eligible to register as an Indian overseas citizens.
Frequently Asked Questions on OCI
People of Indian descent who formerly held an Indian passport are given an Overseas Citizen of India card. OCI is a lifetime visa for India and offers a variety of other benefits. Below are some of the frequently asked questions:
Can I apply for OCI if you do not hold an Indian passport?
Yes, you must present a copy of your nativity certificate or domicile certificate, both of which were issued by Indian authorities, as evidence of your Indian origin.
Can my child receive OCI from Canada despite being born in the United States?
Yes, you must apply for OCI in the country where you currently reside, along with current evidence of address from your parents.
Can I get my OCI from India or the High Commission?
No, you must pick it up from the office where you applied. BLS will deliver to your specified address if you have already paid the courier fees.
Does my OCI Card need to be renewed?
For the age range of 1 to 20 years: No, every time a new passport is provided to the applicant, the applicant must upload their photo and passport (up to the age of 20 years) online under OCI Miscellaneous services.
When a new passport is issued after a person turns 20 years old, the OCI card only needs to be issued once to record the applicant’s facial features as they become adults.
When a new passport is granted for those between the ages of 21 and 50, the OCI card only needs to be issued once to properly record the applicant’s facial features upon reaching adulthood.
For people 51 and older: No. Once a new passport is provided to the applicant, the applicant is only required to upload their photo and passport (after turning 50 years old) online under OCI Miscellaneous services.
For more information, refer to BLS International.