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Guidelines regarding OCI Renewal and other Misc. Services (wef April 16, 2021)

1.    The existing requirement to re-issue an OCI card each time a new passport  is issued  to a foreigner  up  to  20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age is dispensed

2.     However, an OCI cardholder shall have to get the OCI card re-issued once when  a  new  passport  is  issued  after completing 20 years of age so as to capture  his/her  facial features on attaining For this purpose, the OCI cardholder shall submit an online application under OCI Miscellaneous Services. 

3.     An OCI cardholder may upload a copy of the new passport containing the photo of the passport holder and also a latest photo on  the  online  system  under  OCI  Miscellaneous Services each  time a new passport is issued  up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years  of age. These documents may be uploaded by the  OCI  cardholder  within three  months  of  receipt  of  the  new  passport.  This service will be provided on gratis basis.

4.     In the case of those who have been registered  as  OCI cardholder as spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder under section 7A(l)(d) of The  Citizenship Act,  1955,  the  OCI cardholder shall upload a copy of the new passport containing the photo of the passport holder and  also a latest photo on the online system under OCI Miscellaneous Services each time a new passport is issued. In such cases,  the  OCI  cardholder  and his/her Indian  spouse or OCI cardholder  spouse will have to give  a  declaration  that  their  marriage   is  still  subsisting. Copy of the  Indian passport of  the  Indian spouse/passport and OCI card of the OCI cardholder spouse shall also be uploaded  in  such  cases. These  documents  may be uploaded by the  OCI  card holder  foreigner  spouse  within  three  months of receipt of his/her new passport. This  service will be provided on gratis basis.

5.    Immediately on uploading of  the  documents  mentioned  in (3) and (4) above, an  email will  be  auto sent by the  system to the OCI cardholder  confirming  that  the documents  have been successfully uploaded.

6.    If nothing adverse about the applicant is found, the details will be updated in the system by authorities in India/Indian Mission. After this, an acknowledgement through e-mail will also be automatically sent  to  the  OCI  cardholder  informing that the updated details have been taken on record.

7.    There will be no restriction  on  the  OCI  cardholder  to travel to/from India during the period  from  the  date  of  issue  of new  passport  till  the  date of  final acknowledgement of  his/ her documents in the online system.

March 26, 2021

  • The timeline for re-issurance of OCI cards in respect of OCI card holders, who may be required to get their OCI card reissued has been extended until 31 December 2021.
  • Requirement of carrying old and new Passports along with the OCI card has been done away. Henceforth, the OCI card holders travelling on the strength of their existing OCI card bearing old passport number are not required to carry their old passport. However, carrying of new Passport is mandatory.


Guidelines to change PIO for OCI 

The PIO Card Scheme has been discontinued. International Civil Aviation Organization will accept only machine readable travel documents. The existing PIO cards which are handwritten will, therefore, become invalid travel documents. Hence, it will be necessary upon PIO cardholders valid as on 09/01/2015 and currently residing in Colombia and Ecuador to obtain machine readable OCI cards in lieu of existing handwritten PIO cards before 31/12/2017 on gratis basis. Registration for OCI is an online process. Only after successfully registering and uploading the relevant documentation to the platform, the applicant will be considered for registration as an OCI. The complete application must be presented at the Indian Embassy of Bogotá, along with the valid PIO card. For OCI registration, please visit https://ociservices.gov.in/

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: Persons registered as OCI are not Indian Citizens. This is a new category created under this statute with certain restricted rights as compared to Indian citizens. It is further clarified that the provision applicable to PIOs of those countries that allow dual citizenship in one form or other under their local laws, was kept primarily to ensure that they do not lose any of the rights conferred under the foreign law for being registered as OCI.

OCI benefits

1. A multiple entry, lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose.

However for undertaking the following activities, the OCI cardholder shall be required to obtain special permission as the case may be

  • To undertake research
  • To undertake any Missionary or Tabligh or Mountaineering or Journalistic activities
  • To undertake internship in any foreign Diplomatic Missions or foreign Government organisations in India or to take up employment in any foreign Diplomatic Missions in India
  • To visit any places which falls within the Protected or Restricted or Prohibited areas as notified by the Central Government or competent authority

2.  Exemption from registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay in India.

However, the OCI cardholders who are normally resident in India shall intimate the jurisdictional Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) by email whenever there is a change in permanent residential address and in their occupation.

3.  Parity with Indian nationals in the matter of 

  • Tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India, and
  • Entry fees to be charged for visiting national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India.

4.  Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of 

  • Inter-country adoption of Indian children subject to the compliance of the procedure as laid down by the competent authority of such adoption.
  • appearing for the all India entrance tests such as National Eligibility Test, Joint Entrance Examination (mains), Joint Entrance Examination (advanced) or such other tests to make them eligible for admission only against any Non-Resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat.

Provided that the OCI cardholder shall not be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens.

  • Purchase of immovable properties other than agricultural land or farm house or plantation property.
  • Pursuing the following professions in India as per the provisions contained in the applicable relevant statutes or Acts as the case may be a) doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists, b) advocates c) architects d) chartered accountants

5.   OCI cardholders are eligible for appointment as teaching faculty in IITs, NITs, IIMs, IISERs, IISc, Central Universities and the new AIIMS set up under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

6.   Use of OCI cards/booklets as Identification for any services rendered by State Governments.