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Monday, September 25, 2006

Overseas Citizen of India-OCI-Simplified

OCI/PIO Some times known as dual citizenship. But its not. It’s basically multi entry visa. PIO is a card while OCI is a registration certificate booklet and with U visa sticker on your passport.

Most people are in confuse whether to go for “Person of Indian Origin” (PIO) Cards or “Overseas Citizen of India” (OCI) Cards.Both cards are available from Indian government for Indian origin people who lives abroad.

Here I list what’s the difference between PIO and OCI- PIO or OCI
(i) An OCI is entitled to life long visa with free travel to India
Whereas for a PIO card holder, it is only valid for 15 years.
(ii) A PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police
authority for any stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single
visit whereas an OCI is exempted from registration with Police
authority for any length of stay in India.
(iii) An OCI gets a specific right to become an Indian Citizen as in
31, whereas the PIO card holder does not have this.

OCI application form can be filled and submitted on line.
Part A of the application form can be filed online. Upon submission of Part A online, (use this link
Part B is downloaded instantly and it can be printed on computer or by hand in Block letters. Printed Part A and Part B of the application form has to be submitted to the Indianembassy.

Applicant need not to go in person to submit the application Sent by post is accepted

You need standard US passport size photo some numbers.

Documents to be submitted with the application?
1. Proof of present citizenship
2. Evidence of self or parents or grand parents, being a citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950
Like copy of the passport or school certificate, land ownership
certificate, birth certificate etc
3. Evidence of relationship as parent/grand parent, if their Indian
origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
4. Application fee by way of Demand Draft (US $ 275 for each
applicant or equivalent in local currency; US $ 25 or equivalent in
local currency for each PIO card holder)
5. PIO card holders should submit a copy of his/her PIO card.

All documents are to be self attested (means singnature of the applicant)though all the US based consulates want notarized (means get signature from a notary public person like from a bank)copies. Remember you have to send in two copies of each document. Most US embassies want one set to be notarized and the other can be a copy of the notarized set (a Xerox of the notarized Xerox).

Where to submit the application?
Local Indian embassy.
If you are in India, to the FRRO Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai,
Kolkota or Amritsar or to the Under Secretary, OCI Cell, Citizenship
section, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),
Jaisalmer House, 26, Mansingh Road, New Delhi-110011.

Maximum time expected for registration is 120 days.

If you are holding PIO currently, PIO card will have to be surrendered to the Indian
Mission/Post/MHA for grant of OCI registration certificate and an OCI ‘U’ visa sticker.

A registration certificate booklet and a multiple entry, multi-purpose OCI ‘U’ visa sticker will be pasted on the passport . For this , you have to send your original passport to the Indian Mission/Post after receipt of the acceptance letter/ verifying the status of the application online.Online status enquiry
In case of applications filed in India with FRRO, applicants should go to the concerned FRRO in person/ authorized person with passport. In case of applications filed in India with MHA, applicants should go to OCI Cell, MHA, New Delhi in person/ authorized person withpassport.

OCI Links
OCI vs PIO comparison chart
More Info

pio vs oci india citizen card

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