Indian Constitution does not provide for dual
citizenship. However, with approval from the High Level
Committee on Indian Diaspora the Government initiated the PIO
Scheme in 2002.
2003, dual citizenship to people of Indian origin in 16
countries was granted. These countries were: Australia,
Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus,
Sweden, Switzerland, U.K. and USA. The Government of India
announced in January 2005 the extension of an Overseas
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status can be applied for by
all overseas Indians who migrated after 26th January, 1950,
except those who are now settled in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
enjoyed by Overseas Citizens of India
visa to India for any number of visits, and for any purpose.
from registration with the FRRO.
the same benefits as NRIs in economic, financial and
educational fields except in purchase of agricultural
OCI status however does not confer any political rights, or
entitle him/her to enjoy the rights extended to an Indian
citizen under Article 16 of the Constitution. Persons
registered as OCI cannot stand for election to either House of
Parliament or state council or assembly or hold Constitutional
posts such as President, Vice President, and Judge of the
Supreme Court or High Courts.
OCI registration certificate, which is printed like the Indian
passport, carries an OCI visa sticker on the holder’s foreign
How to apply for
an OCI Card
can apply for the OCI card at all Indian missions outside
India and to Foreigners Regional Officers/CHIO
and OCI Cell in Foreigners Division of Ministry of Home
Affairs in India. Proof
to be submitted for registration:
proving applicant’s parents/grand parents migration from
India after 26th January, 1950
showing proof of residence in territories like Goa,
Pondicherry, Sikkim which merged with the Indian Union after
15th August, 1947.
of relationship with parents/grand parents, on whose basis
the applicant is seeking the OCI card.
application form will have to be accompanied with a demand
draft of USD 275 or equivalent in the local currency as
application fees. If the application is rejected, USD 250 or
equivalent in the local currency will be returned to the
applicant after deducting USD 25 as processing
who have been registered as PIOs by the
Government of India and wish to apply for an OCI status, may
submit their application with a fee of US$ 25 or equivalent in
the local currency.
normal application would be serviced within a month, but in
case of a criminal record, the processing could take 4 months.
Every case will be scrutinized by the security agencies of the
Central Government so that an OCI certificate acquired on the
basis of concealed information or falsification can be
cancelled. Such persons would be permanently blacklisted for
entry into India.