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What is OCI Card and How to Apply for OCI Card?

Updated: Jul 10, 2023



The Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card is a travel document that enables foreign nationals of Indian origin and their families to stay, work, or study in India indefinitely. It offers several benefits, including visa-free travel to India and rights similar to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in various fields. In this blog post, we will explore what an OCI card is and provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply for one.


The OCI card is issued by the Indian government to individuals who were eligible to become citizens of India on or after January 26, 1950, or were citizens of India at any time after this date. It also applies to those who belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947. The OCI card allows holders to enjoy several benefits while visiting or residing in India.


Benefits of OCI Card:


1. Visa-Free Travel: OCI cardholders have a lifelong, multiple-entry visa to visit India at any time and for any purpose.

2. Exemption from Police Reporting: OCI cardholders are exempted from police reporting requirements, regardless of the duration of their stay in India.

3. Economic and Financial Rights: OCIs enjoy the same rights as NRIs in economic, financial, and educational fields, except for acquiring agricultural or plantation properties.


Here is a breakdown of the process to apply for an OCI card:


Eligibility:
  • To be eligible for an OCI card, you must have been eligible for Indian citizenship on or after January 26, 1950, or have been a citizen of India at any time after that date.

  • Minor children and spouses of eligible individuals are also eligible for OCI cards.

  • Individuals who have ever held citizenship of Pakistan or Bangladesh are not eligible for OCI.

Benefits:
  • The OCI card provides multiple-entry, lifelong visa-free travel to India.

  • It exempts cardholders from police reporting requirements during their stay.

  • Cardholders enjoy economic, financial, and educational rights on par with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), except for acquiring agricultural or plantation properties.

How to Apply:
  • All OCI applications must be submitted at VFS Center in The Hague or Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

  • You can schedule an appointment for in-person submission through the VFS Global website.Use this link to Book VFS Global Appointment

  • Alternatively, you can also send your application by post to The Hague VFS Centre.

  • Visit the VFS Global website for detailed instructions on the application process.

Required Documents:
  • Depending on the type of OCI application (registration, miscellaneous, or in lieu of PIO), specific documents are required. Check the respective checklists provided by VFS Global for detailed information.

  • Commonly required documents include the Dutch passport, surrender certificate (if applicable), and proof of Indian origin.



Processing Time:
  • The usual processing time for an OCI application is approximately three months.

  • It is advisable to refrain from making inquiries during this period to allow for smooth processing.

Fees:
  • The fees for OCI card applications vary based on the type of application and services required. - 230€ for Adults.

  • Refer to the fee chart provided by VFS Global for the latest information.



Important Notes:
  • Re-issuance of the OCI card is mandatory each time a new passport is issued for individuals up to 20 years old and once after completing 50 years old.

  • OCI cardholders need to upload a copy of the new passport and a recent photograph online within three months of receiving the new passport.

  • Foreign spouses of Indian citizens or spouses of OCI cardholders must upload a copy of the new passport, a recent photo, a declaration of marriage, and relevant passports and OCI cards.

  • The Embassy of India does not accept direct applications by walk-in or by post/mail.


How to fill the OCI form in English?


Reference: Indian Embassy in the Netherlands. "OCI - Overseas Citizen of India." Retrieved from https://indianembassynetherlands.gov.in/page/oci/


Applying for an OCI card opens up a world of opportunities, making travel to India hassle-free. Visit the VFS Global website, familiarise yourself with the requirements, and gather the necessary documents to begin your OCI card application today.


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