About Us Frequently Asked Questions

Untitled Document

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

OCI Related Matters

Q1: I am a person of Indian origin as my parents were born in undivided India before partition. After partition, they briefly held Pakistani citizenship before moving to the United States. Am I eligible for an OCI card ?


No. If the applicant, or his/her parents or grand-parents have ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for an OCI card.

Q2: I am a Person of Indian Origin currently living in a foreign country. Where should I apply for an OCI Card? What are the documents required? How long does it take for issue of the Card?


Applicants outside India can file applications to

     The Indian Mission /Post having jurisdiction over the country of which applicant is a citizen; or

     If he/she is not living in the country of his/her citizenship, to the Indian Mission/Post having jurisdiction over the country of which the applicant is ordinarily resident Irrespective of the fact that the same Indian Mission/ Post issued the original OCI documents or not.

For details of the documents required, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs: http://mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html . It normally takes about 6-7 weeks for issue of an OCI Card.

Q3: I hold a valid PIO Card. Am I required to convert this to an OCI Card? (The Prime Minister has announced that PIO Cards will be deemed to be equal to OCI Cards.) Will my PIO Card be valid beyond the conversion deadline of 30 June 2016?


It is not compulsory to convert your valid PIO Card to an OCI Card, as all PIO Cards are deemed to be equivalent to OCI Cards and have been declared valid for lifetime. However, you are advised to convert your PIO Card to an OCI Card in order to avoid any potential inconvenience at immigration check points, as all instructions and updates in the future will only relate to OCI Cards. PIO Card holders have been advised to apply for conversion of their PIO Cards to OCI Cards by 31 December 2016.

Q4: What is the procedure to convert a PIO Card to an OCI Card? How much time does this take?


Please apply online for conversion of your PIO Card to OCI Card at https://passport.gov.in/oci/capchaActionPIO for applicants already in India. In the case of applicants staying abroad, please apply at the concerned Indian Embassy/Consulate either directly, with the documents prescribed by the Embassy. It should be noted that this service will be rendered by the Embassy/Consulate free of charge (in the case of outsourced service providers, the service fee will apply).

Q5: Is a Renunciation Certificate compulsory before I apply for an OCI Card? What is the procedure to apply for a Renunciation Certificate? How long does it take to issue it?


Yes, a Renunciation Certificate (renouncing your Indian nationality and surrendering your Indian passport) is compulsory before applying for an OCI card.

Q6: Can I travel to India with just my OCI Card, or should I also carry the passport which contains the ‘U’ Visa (OCI Visa)?


Vide circular No. 26011/06/2015-OCI dated 29th January, 2015 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, all immigration authorities in India will not insist on production of the foreign passport containing the 'U' Visa Sticker in the case of OCI Cardholders while they enter/exit India and the immigration clearance will be granted based on production of just the OCI card, accompanied by a valid passport (which may not have the U visa sticker).

Q7: My spouse is a foreign national of non-Indian origin. I hold an OCI Card. Is my spouse entitled to an OCI Card? What about my children?


Yes, the spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder registered under section 7A and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application, can apply for an OCI card.

Minor children whose both parents are citizens of India or one of whose parents is a citizen of India are eligible to apply for an OCI Card.

Q8: Are foreign military personnel of Indian origin eligible for OCI cards?


No, foreign military personnel either in service or retired are not entitled for grant of OCI. No person who has earlier served in a foreign military organisation is eligible for an OCI card.

Q9: What are the situations for which re-issue of an existing OCI card is necessary?


     In case of issuance of new passport:

    • For an applicant who is 20 years of age or younger, OCI documents must be re-issued each time a new passport is issued.

    • For an applicant who is 50 years of age or older, OCI documents must be re-issued once after the issuance of a new passport. (If the OCI card is issued for the first time after the age of 50 years, then there is no need for re-issuance of OCI.)

    • For an applicant who is 21 to 49 years of age, there is no need to re-issue OCI documents each time a new passport is issued. However, if the applicant desires, he/she can request that the OCI documents be re-issued so that the OCI documents reflect the correct passport number.

     In case there is a change in personal particulars

     In case of loss/damage of passport and/or OCI booklet

     For correcting personal particulars entered wrongly while submitting online applications e.g. name, father’s name, date of birth, etc.

     In case of change of address/occupation

Please view the full requirements for OCI Re-issue for more information at the following link: http://mha1.nic.in/pdfs/GuidelinesOCI.pdf

Q10: What are the benefits available to an OCI Card holder?


An OCI card holder gets the following benefits:

     A multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India.

     Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.

     Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields as per the relevant Acts, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

     OCI can be used as identity proof for application of PAN Card and driving licence as well as for opening a bank account if the OCI card holder is residing in India.

Q: I have a valid OCI Card and a valid foreign passport. Is there any minimum validity specified for my foreign passport?


You will be allowed entry into India if you have a valid OCI Card and a valid foreign passport, with a minimum remaining validity of six months. You do not need to carry the old passport on which your "U” (OCI) Visa was stamped, if that happens to be different from your current passport.

Indian Visa Related Matters

Q1: When was the e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) scheme launched? To how many countries has this facility been extended? How many eTVvisas were issued in 2015?

A: The TVOA-ETA Scheme was launched on 27.11.2014. It was renamed as e-TOURIST VISA (e-TV) from 15.04.2015. Initially it was available for nationals of 43 countries and was later extended to more countries. Since 26 February 2016, e-TV scheme is available for holders of passports of 150 countries/territories. A total of 517,413e-Tourist Visas were issued in the year 2015.

Q2: What are the eligibility conditions for grant of a tourist Visa?

A: Please check the following link for details: http://mha1.nic.in/pdfs/ForeigD-FAQ-TVisa280710.pdf

Q3: How can I get e-Tourist visa? Which countries can avail the facility of e-Tourist Visa?

A: Please refer: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

Q4: What are the conditions for grant of a student Visa?

A: Please check the following link for details: http://mha1.nic.in/pdfs/OverviewStudentVisa2014.pdf

Passport Matters

Q1:  What are the various passport services and which form has to be filled in?

A:   The various passport services are:

  1. Issue of Fresh Passport: You can apply for fresh passport if applying for the first time.

  2. Re-issue of Passport: You can apply for re-issue of passport if you want another passport in lieu of an existing passport for any of the following reasons:

    • Change in existing personal particulars.

    • Validity expired within 3 years/ Due to expire.

    • Validity expired more than 3 years ago.

    • Exhaustion of pages.

    • Damaged passport.

    • Lost passport.

If you ever held a passport in the past, no matter how much long back or at what age, you should choose the Re-Issue category only.

  1. Miscellaneous Service: Issue of Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)


What is the definition of minor for issue of passport?


Applicants less than 18 years of age are considered as minor for issuance of passport.


I have a one-month old baby? Does the baby require a separate passport or his/her name can be endorsed in one of the parents passport?


Endorsement of child's name in parent's passports is not allowed anymore. As per the amended instructions , a minor should have a separate passport.


In case of minor's passport, whose father is abroad, is it mandatory to obtain father's consent to apply for the child's passport? If so, what is the procedure?


If parent(s) of the minor holds a valid passport, then attested photocopy of passport needs to be submitted along with the application form. Spouse name should be endorsed on the parent's passport. If parent(s) hold a valid passport, but spouse name is not endorsed, then they must get the spouse name added in their passport. For this, they have to apply for re-issue of passport and get the specified change done in personal particulars. If father is abroad, then a sworn affidavit attested by the Indian mission along with attested photocopy of passport needs to be submitted OR Annexure G can be submitted by mother (in case sworn affidavit cannot be arranged by the father). To see the format of Annexure G, please click on"Annexures/Affidavits" link on Home page.

Birth Certificate

Q: We are a couple with Indian passports. We have a child born to us in a foreign country. How do we get Indian citizenship for the child and an Indian passport for him/her?


In order to get Indian citizenship for a child born to Indian parent(s) in a foreign country, the birth of the child is to be registered at the nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate and thereafter (or at the same time) the parents can apply for issue of an Indian passport for the child. For more information, kindly contact Indian Embassy/Consulate in your jurisdiction or visit their website.

Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

Q: What is a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)?


Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is issued to Indian Passport holders in case they have applied for Residential Status, Employment or Long term visa or for immigration. PCC cannot be issued for persons going abroad on Tourist Visa.

Q11: What are the benefits to which an OCI card holder is NOT entitled to?


The OCI Card holder is not entitled:

     to vote;

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

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

     He/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government

Q12: Can an OCI Card holder renounce his OCI status?


Yes. He/she has to declare their intention of renunciation in Form XXII to the Indian Mission/Post where OCI registration was granted. After receipt of the declaration, the Indian Mission/Post shall issue an acknowledgement in Form XXII A. A separate application form is available for this purpose.