Centre Releases New Guidelines for “OCI Cardholders”

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What is the News?

The Central Government released new guidelines related to the Overseas Citizen of India(OCI).

What is the current Procedure for the OCI card?

  • Currently, the Overseas Citizen of India(OCI) card is required to be re-issued each time. Generally, the re-issue will occur two times.
    1. One, when issuing a new passport after 20 years of age.
    2. Other, when issuing a new passport after completing 50 years of age.
  • This is in view of capturing the biological changes in the face of the applicant.

What are the New Guidelines?

  • A person who is registered as an OCI cardholder prior to attaining the age of 20 years will get the card re-issued only once. (after completing his or her 20 years of age). This is to capture his or her facial features on attaining adulthood.
  • If a person has obtained an OCI card after attaining the age of 20 years, then there will be no requirement of re-issue of an OCI card.

Other New Guidelines: To update the data regarding new passports obtained by the OCI cardholder, it has been decided that:

  • OCI Cardholder shall upload a copy of the new passport containing along with the latest photo on the online OCI portal. He/She has to do this each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age.
  • OCI cardholder shall upload the documents within three months of receipt of the new passport.
  • However, the spouses of the OCI cardholders will have to upload a copy of their passport along with a declaration whenever a new passport is issued. The declaration has to include that their marriage is still subsisting.

Who can apply for an OCI Card? :

  1. A foreign national who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after 26th January 1950; or
  2. Foreign national eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950; or
  3. A foreigner who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August 1947; or
  4. A foreign national who is a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of such a citizen; or
  5. A foreigner who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India
  6. Besides, a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or a spouse of foreign origin of an OCI Cardholder is also eligible. But their marriage has to be registered and has a continuous period of not less than two years.

Note: If the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible to be registered as OCI.

Benefits to OCI Cardholders

  • OCI cardholders can enter India multiple times, get a multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India. Further, they are also exempt from registering with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
  • If an individual is registered as an OCI for a period of five years, he/she is eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.
  • OCI cardholders can open special bank accounts in India, buy a non-farm property and exercise ownership rights. They can also apply for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.


  • OCI cardholders do not get voting rights, cannot hold a government job. They also cannot purchase agricultural or farmland.

Source: The Hindu

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