A foreign national,
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.
Foreign nationals cannot apply for OCI in India while on Tourist Visa, Missionary Visa and Mountaineering Visa. Moreover, the foreigner has to be ordinarily resident of India to be eligible to apply for OCI registration in India.
Note: 'ordinarily resident' will mean a person staying in a particular country or in India for a continuous period of 6 months.
As per the extant law, a foreigner of Indian origin or a foreign spouse of an Indian citizen or foreign spouse of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder, can be registered as an OCI cardholder. OCI card is a life-long visa for entry into and stay in India with a number of other major benefits attached to it which are not available to other foreigners.
The OCI scheme is operational from 02.12.2005.
The benefits include
To access the details of benefits of OCI cardholders, click here.
Application for registration as OCI can be made Online. To apply online, click here.
The applicants have to submit the application form online and upload all the requisite documents (self attested), photograph and signature (in the case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression) along with the application.
After submission of the complete application online including documents, photograph and signature, the original of the supporting documents have to be submitted to the Indian Mission/ Post/ Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) concerned for prior verification.
To get the list of FRROs, click here.
The OCI card is required to be re-issued each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age, in view of biological changes in the face of the applicant.
With a view to facilitate the OCI cardholders, from April 2021, it has now been decided by the Government of India to dispense with this requirement. A person who has got registration as OCI cardholder prior to attaining the age of 20 years will have to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after his/her completing 20 years of age, so as to capture his/ her facial features on attaining adulthood. If a person has obtained registration as OCI cardholder after attaining the age of 20 years, there will be no requirement of re-issue of OCI card.
With a view to update the data regarding new passports obtained by the OCI cardholder, it has been decided that he/she shall upload a copy of the new passport containing his/her photo and also a latest photo on the online OCI portal, each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age. These documents may be uploaded by the OCI cardholder within 3 months of receipt of the new passport.
However, in the case of those who have been registered as OCI cardholder as spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or an OCI cardholder, the person concerned will be required to upload on the system, a copy of the new passport containing the photo of the passport holder and also a latest photo along with a declaration that their marriage is still subsisting each time a new passport is issued. These documents may be uploaded by the OCI cardholder spouse within three months of receipt of his/ her new passport.
The details will be updated on the system and an auto acknowledgement through e-mail will be sent to the OCI cardholder informing that the updated details have been taken on record. There will be no restriction on the OCI cardholder to travel to/ from India during the period from the date of issue of new passport till the date of final acknowledgement of his/ her documents in the web-based system.
All the above services of uploading documents will be provided on gratis basis to the OCI cardholders.
Source : Online OCI services portal