Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cardholder

The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and Citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to register Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 as Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cardholder.

Persons registered as OCI Cardholder have not been given any voting rights, election to Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha/ LegislativeAssembly/ Council, holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc.

Registered OCI Cardholders shall be entitled to the following benefits:

  1. Multiple entry lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose

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

  3. Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial, and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agric

  4. ultural or plantation properties.

  5. Registered Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder shall be treated at par with Non-Resident-Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children.

  6. Registered Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder shall be treated at par with resident Indian nationals in the matter of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India.

  7. Registered Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder shall be charged the same entry fee as domestic Indian visitors to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.

  8. Parity with Non-Resident Indians(NRI) in respect of:-

  • entry fees to be charged for visiting the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;

  • pursuing the following professions in India, in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts, namely:-

(a) doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;

(b) advocates;

(c) architects;

(d) chartered accountants;

  • to appear for the All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts.

A person registered as an OCI Cardholder is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI Cardholder for five years and is ordinarily resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration.


 Source – Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

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