Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)
Who is eligible to apply for OCI?
A foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26-01-1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15-08-1947 and his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known as ‘dual citizenship’.
Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) of certain category as specified in the Brochure who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws.
But please note that having OCI card is not really like having dual citizenship.
Obtaining OCI cards does not mean you have all the rights of Indian Citizen:
- You will not get Indian Passport.
- You will have no voting rights.
- You can not be a candidate in Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Legislative council or Legislative assembly or member of the house of the people or Council of states.
- You can not hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court, High Court etc.
- You can not be employed in the Government sector.
- You can not acquire or buy agricultural land but you can inherit them.