Overseas Citizenship of India

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 grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain categories as has been specified in the Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 are eligible for registration as OCI.

Application for registration as OCI can be made Online. We encourage you to visit http://mha.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html to get more details about the OCI card.  Before filling the application, Instructions may be perused so that there is no mistake in submission of application. Further, the details regarding Fee and Offices where applications have to be filed may also be perused by visiting the website of our outsourcing agency, BLS International Services Canada Inc  at www.blsindia-canada.com.

OCI Eligibility Criteria

A foreign national, who

  • was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950,    or
  • was a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.01.1950,  or
  • belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947

and his / her children and grandchildren, are eligible for registration as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), provided his / her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws. The minor children of such persons are also eligible for OCI.

Note:

i)    Minor children are NOT eligible for OCI in case both parents are Indian nationals.

ii)    If the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he / she will not be eligible for OCI.

Benefits to OCI

The following benefits will accrue to an OCI:

(i)    A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India.

(ii)   Exemption from registration with the local police authorities for any length of stay in India.

(iii)  Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

Any other benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Benefits an OCI is not entitled to

The OCI is not entitled

o   to vote

o   to be a member of a Legislative Assembly or of a Legislative Council or of the Parliament of India,

o   to hold Indian constitutional posts such as that of the President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court, etc.

o   He/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.

Information / clarification

o  Please note that incomplete applications will not be accepted.

o   Applicant will be responsible for any correction/omission in the application form. 

o   At the time of filling of application, please fill Vancouver station.

o   Name in the OCI application be indicated as per the name mentioned in the foreign passport.  However, if name in the foreign passport differs from the name in the  last held Indian passport, e.g. surname is added; or the spellings are changed, etc. ; the applicant shall have to submit an affidavit, duly notarized, stating that both the names are of the same person and that the applicant shall be self-responsible for any complication in future.

o   Full signature in the boxshould be provided in case of major. Thumb impression (left hand thumb for male & right hand thumb for female) or signature should be provided in case of minor.

o   Please note that acceptance of applications for this service has been outsourced to BLS International Services Canada Inc. Applications should be submitted to their centers located at Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary and Edmonton.

o   In addition to the prescribed fee, an applicant would be required to pay C$ 2.00 on account of Consular Surcharge + BLS service fee of C$ 7.40 (inclusive of applicable taxes.)  Please consult  them about the total cost and the exact procedure for remitting the fee.In case the application is sent by mail, the same should be forwarded to the Vancouver Center of BLS International.  For more details, please visit their website : www.blsindia- canada.com.

o   Non-Canadian passport holder should give residential address of the country in which he/she resided before, on a separate sheet of paper.  Such cases require more processing time. OCI cannot be applied on the basis of spouse's Indian origin.

o   After grant of registration, a registration certificate in the prescribed format will be issued and a multiple entry, multi-purpose life long OCI ‘U’ visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant.

o   OCI card holders traveling to India must carry the Passport containing Life Long Visa sticker as well as the OCI Card.  When the OCI card holder obtains a new passport, he/she MUST  carry the passport containing U Visa sticker, new passport and the OCI card {total three documents} for visiting India.  ALTERNATIVELY, he/she can apply for a new Life Long Visa sticker for the new passport under the OCI Misc Service.

o   If the documents, submitted along with the application, are not sufficient/satisfactory, applicant will be asked by the Consulate to provide more documentary evidence.

o   It is an offence to knowingly furnish false information or to suppress material information when applying for OCI.

Fee

With effect from 10th September 2012, an additional amount of $2.00 per application is being charged on each service on account of Consular Surcharge.  The fee for various categories are as follows : -

Applicant (adult/minor) applying for OCI for the first time

C$ 278 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge)

PIO Card holder who was above 18 yrs. of age at the time of issuance of PIO Card

C$ 26 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge)

PIO Card holder who was below 18 yrs. of age at the time of issuance of PIO Card

C$ 147 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge)

Re-issue of OCI Card / Transfer of ‘U’ visa sticker and change of personal particulars

C$ 26 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge)

Issue of duplicate OCI Card and ‘U’ visa sticker due to loss/damage of OCI Card or ‘U’ visa sticker

C$ 101 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge)

o   In addition to the prescribed fee+Consular Surcharge, an applicant would be required to pay BLS service fee of C$ 7.40 (inclusive of applicable taxes.)  Please consult them about the total cost and the exact procedure for remitting the fee.  For more details, please visit their website : www.blsindia- canada.com.

Cancellation of OCI registration

If it is found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact, or that the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted for entry into India.

OCI registration for PIO card holders:

PIO card holders who are otherwise eligible for registration as OCI may apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX and they will be considered for grant of registration in the same manner as other applicants. PIO card holders will have to pay a fee of C$ 26 + C$2/- (Consular Surcharge) instead of C$ 278 for a normal applicant. A PIO cardholder will have to surrender his/her PIO card after issuance of acceptance of the application and before the grant of the OCI registration certificate/visa.

OCI Misc. Services
[Change of name, issue of duplicate OCI, Transfer of OCI visa,Change of personal particulars etc.]

OCI Miscellaneous Services are available in the event of:

  1. issuance of new passport;
  2. change of personal particulars viz. nationality;
  3. loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa.
  4. erroneously entering wrong personal particulars while submitting online applications;
  5. change of address / occupation.

OCI registration certificate and visa have got to be re-issued each time a new passport is issued up to the completion of 20 years of age and once after completion of 50 years of age.

Re-issuance of OCI registration certificate and visa is not mandatory, each time a new passport is issued to a holder between 21-50 years of age. However, if the applicant wishes to obtain a new set of OCI documents, he/she can apply for the same.

FEES:  (With effect from 10th September 2012)
 

o   CAN$ 26 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge) for re-issue of OCI Card / Transfer of Visa sticker and change of personal particulars.

o   CAN$ 101 + C$ 2 (Consular Surcharge) for issue of duplicate OCI Card or U-Visa sticker.

In addition to the prescribed fee + Consular Surcharge, an applicant would be required to pay BLS service fee of C$ 7.40 (inclusive of applicable taxes.)  Please consult them about the total cost and the exact procedure for remitting the fee.  For more details, please visit their website : www.blsindia- canada.com.

Process

OCI Miscellaneous Services Application Form

MUST be submitted online on the  website https://passport.gov.in/oci/  at "Online Application" under ‘OCI Miscellaneous Services for registered OCIs’. Applicant should ensure that the registration is done by providing current Canadian passport. Further, in addition to the documents listed under ‘Application form and procedure’ indicated below, the following should also be submitted : -

 i) Police Report in case of loss of OCI Registration Certificate and/or Visa.   

ii) Documentary evidence – in case of change of personal particulars

iii) Change of Name Certificate – in case of change of name.

Application form and procedure

1.      Application form duly filled in online by each applicant at https://passport.gov.in/oci/ and by clicking "Online Registration".  The application must then be printed, dated and signed (signature should be within the box meant for that purpose) and submitted along with one photograph of the applicant / each applicant and with requisite documents. 

2.      A family, consisting of main applicant, spouse and up to two minor children, can apply in the same Form i.e. Form XIX. 

3.      The application form, complete in all respects along with enclosures, should be submitted to the Consulate General of India, Vancouver, through BLS International (www.blsindia-canada.com).

4.      The following documents should be enclosed with each application:

a. A copy of the current Canadian/foreign Passport which has validity of at least six months;

b. Previous Indian passports (in original) - the one on which the applicant entered Canada (with the Landing Stamp at the time of entry into Canada) and the last Indian passport issued (before acquiring Canadian citizenship).;

c.  Landing Paper (original and a photocopy(ies)) of the Applicant, and where applicable of Spouse and children/parents;

d. Citizenship Paper issued by the Canadian authorities and its photocopy(ies).

e. A copy of the Surrender certificate for surrender/cancellation of Indian passport on acquisition of foreign citizenship. 

f. One (51mm x 51mm) photograph in respect of each applicant for each applicant to be pasted on the application form. The photograph should be of good quality taken against a light coloured (NOT WHITE) background showing a shot up to shoulders with full frontal view of face. As the photograph is to be scanned for documents, the resolution of photograph should be high. Photographs that do not conform to these standards will be rejected..

g. Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card(s), if any.

h.Overseas Citizenship Certificate, if any, along with old and new Canadian passports – all the documents mentioned in this list are required in case of transfer of OCI U-visa from old Canadian passport to new Canadian passport or issue of duplicate OCI.

i. In the case of children born in Canada, if the applicant is claiming eligibility on the basis of the Indian citizenship of his/her parents/ grandparents, he/she will also have to submit proof of his/her relationship with such a person(s) (such as birth certificate mentioning name of parents) along with their original Landing Papers etc.   Please note that all minors who cannot sign their applications must put their thumb impressions (left for boys and right for the girls) in the space provided.

j.  Proof of the foreign citizenship of each applicant, such as Citizenship Certificate and a Canadian passport.

k. Evidence of self or parent(s) or grandparent(s)

     1)  having been eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of        commencement of the Constitution of India on 26th January, 1950; or

     2) belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or

     3) being a citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950.

l.  In case name of the applicant is not the same in all documents, [i.e. Indian Passport, Landing Certificate and Canadian Passport] Change of name Certificate issued by the concerned authorities should be submitted.

m.    Ensure that Place of Birth is the same in all documents, i.e. Indian Passport, Landing Certificate and Canadian Passport.

The above is a list of basic documents to be submitted in all cases. The Original documents will be returned after verification

The Consulate reserves the right to call for additional documents, as considered necessary.

Check status

After checking all the relevant details, the Consulate General of India, Vancouver, will issue an acknowledgement. Applicants are expected to track the progress of the OCI application at https://passport.gov.in/oci/OnlineOCIenquiry.jsp after 3-4 weeks of submission of application (to check the online status you have to mention your passport number along with Online Registration number or Reference / Acknowledgement number.