About Us Overseas Citizenship of India

Overseas Citizenship of India

At the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2003, the then Prime Minister of India had announced grant of dual citizenship to PIOs. In 2004, by an amendment to the Citizenship Act, the facility of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) was made available to PIOs in 16 specified countries.

At the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2005 held in Mumbai, the Prime Minister had announced Government’s intention to PIOs of any country (except Pakistan & Bangladesh) that allows dual citizenship. This has since been given legal backing by the Indian Parliament, which approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in August 2005. The erstwhile Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card scheme (started in the year 1999) was also merged with OCI cardholder scheme of 2015.

A foreign national -

  1. who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after 26th January, 1950; or

  2. who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January, 1950; or

  3. who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or

  4. who is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or

  5. who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or

  6. who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India

  • is eligible for registration as OCI cardholder.

Besides, spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder 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 is also eligible for registration as OCI cardholder.

However, NO person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.

OCI Registration

Application for registration as OCI can be made Online. 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.

The guidelines on OCI are available on the website of MHA (www.ociservices.gov.in). To apply for OCI Registration, please Click Here