Ever thought of what would happen to the legal standings or the rights of an Indian resident who has been living overseas for some time. Or someone marries and has a family with someone who is not an Indian resident?
This article discusses the key aspects of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).
The OCI full form is Overseas Citizen of India. An OCI is a person who is a citizen of another country; however, is guaranteed certain rights that are enjoyed by an Indian citizen.
An OCI card, in the simplest words, is a long-term visa that is accessible to the citizen of other countries who hold a familial link to the nation.
The Indian constitution does not permit holding the citizenship of India and foreign country citizenship simultaneously. The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is the scheme that was initiated by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in 2005 August.
Listed below are the categories of person that are entitled to apply under the overseas citizen of India scheme except for Bangladesh and Pakistan:
In March 2021, the government of India issued a circular that delineates the privileges afforded to the OCI cardholders in India. This new circular consolidates all the previous circulars that have been issued by the Indian government.
One of the important modification that has been introduced is the reporting obligations of the overseas citizens of India cardholders. From now on, any change in the residential address or occupational has to be reported. A couple of years ago, another noteworthy change was when the OCI cardholders were required to procure the special permit to undertake any Tabligh activities.
The previous circulars indicated that the OCI cardholders need to get special permits to conduct any missionary, mountaineering or journalist activities; however, did not specify any certain group.
Under 2021, March notification, there is a new requirement wherein the OCI cardholders who are looking forward to an employment or internship with any nations foreign offices also need to procure the special permit.
The application for registration as an overseas citizen of India can be made easily online. Before, filling the application form, read the instructions carefully to avoid any mistake.
The details regarding the fees and offices where the documents need to be submitted to complete the verification process might also be pursued.
The person who is registered as the OCI cardholders are not given any right to vote, holding any of the constitutional posts, and so forth. However, the registered OCI cardholders are eligible for many benefits.
Any individual registered as the OCI cardholder is entitled to apply for the grant of citizenship of India under Section 5 (1) (g) of 1955, Citizenship Act. This is possible when the individual is registered as the OCI cardholder for 5 years and is an ordinary Indian resident for 12 months before an application is made for the registration. When the central government is satisfied with the existing circumstances and has recorded it in writing, they would relax the tenure of 12 months up to 30 days maximum that will vary in the different breaks.
To apply for the OCI registration, visit the link https://ociservices.gov.in/
Before an individual starts with the OCI registration, the following are some important pointers that need to be kept in mind:
To view the current status of the OCI application, visit the link https://ociservices.gov.in/statusEnqury
Enter the passport and file reference number.
No, the OCI cardholders do not need a visa to visit, work or live in India.
The OCI cardholders required to get a special permit for the following:
On 2015, January 09, the Indian government issued the notification in regards to the merger of the PIO and OCI schemes. It states that all the existing PIO cardholders registered within the new PIO card scheme 0f 2002 are then expected to apply for the OCI card.
The deadline to convert the PIO cards has been extended often since the time of the merger of the two schemes. This gives more time to the PIO cardholders to apply for registering as the OCI cardholder. The Indian Consulates abroad have also issued press releases that have extended the deadline until 2021, December 31 for the cardholders of PIO to convert the PIO cards to OCI cards.
The OCI cardholders are exempted from the registration with the Foreigners Registration Office/ Foreigners Regional Registration Office for the length of stay in India.
The OCI cardholders need to inform the FRO or FRRO of the relevant jurisdiction through email when the residential address or the occupation change.
The OCI cardholders neither can vote nor entitled to hold any Indian government jobs, run for public office, and so forth.
Yes, after the divorce, the foreign national would lose the OCI status. In case of such a circumstance, the foreign nationals will surrender the OCI card after the marriage dissolution.