About Us OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) cards

Press Release:Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card - re-issue extension (26 March 2021)

OCI Card Reissue Guidelines

According to the recent relaxation in requirements for OCI Card Reissue:

(i)     Mandatory requirement of re-issuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued to a foreigner up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age, is dispensed with; 

(ii)     OCI cardholder is required to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after completing 20 years of age. (Applicants may refer to https://services.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ind/apply-oci-services for the process). The fees for this is US$ 25 and US$ 3 for Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF). You also need to pay US$ 15.90 to the Outsourcing Agency as service charge, and a fee for any Optional Services opted for like Shipping Labels;  

(iii) OCI cardholder is required to upload ONLINE a copy of the new passport and a recent photo each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age.  The uploading of these documents may be done within three months of receipt of the new passport; 

(iv)    Foreign spouse of an Indian Citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder is required to upload a copy of the new passport and a recent photo ONLINE each time a new passport is issued, along with a declaration on subsisting of marriage, copy of the Indian passport of the Indian spouse/passport and OCI card of the OCI cardholder spouse. 

(In case of (iii) and (iv), please visit https://ociservices.gov.in/welcome and select the option ‘OCI Miscellaneous Services’ for uploading copy of the passport, recent photograph and other documents. This does not involve any submission of documents through the Outsourcing Service Provider or the Embassy and will be Gratis).

2. Further, timeline for re-issuance of OCI card in r/o OCI cardholders who may be required to get their OCI card re-issued, has been extended till December 31, 2021.

3. The requirement of carrying old and new passports, along with the OCI card, has been done away with. Henceforth, an OCI cardholder traveling on the strength of existing OCI card bearing old passport number is not required to carry the old passport. However, carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory.

***

Please Note: 

(1) Many Applications are rejected due to poor quality of Photo and Signature upload. Please ensure only JPG format is uploaded and not renamed files.
(2) All Applications for OCI must be sent to the VFS Global Centre at 228 Grant Ave, Floor 5, San Francisco, CA - 94108.

VFS Global is the only authorized Service Provider for the Embassy of India and its Consulates across the USA for Visa, OCI, Renunciation of Indian Citizenship services from November 4, 2020. Applicants based on their jurisdiction can submit their applications to our 6 centers. Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco & Atlanta. VFS Helpline Number for OCI services: +1 800 320 9693

NOTE: EMBASSY/CONSULATES DOES NOT HANDLE DIRECT APPLICATIONS BY WALK-IN OR BY POST / MAIL.

Do not go directly to the Government of India website to fill the online application. You must go via the links on the VFS Global website provided below. You will be guided to the Government of India website to fill your online form/s at the appropriate step via the VFS Global website.

For USA applicants, the VFS Global website has been customized so that the supplementary documents, forms are as per the requirements of the Embassy of India in USA.

The VFS Global website will identify your passport category, type, duration, fees and help avoid errors. To assist you, further many forms and letters that have repetitive information will get auto populated and you only have to fill in the missing fields.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Editing of applicant's personal information WILL NOT be allowed after their applications are physically received at the VFS Global Passport Application Center.
  • The application will be REJECTED on technical grounds if there is a variance with information in passport.
  • The rejected application will be returned back to the applicant and they will have to redo the entire process.
  • You must submit your OCI application within 90 days from the date online application is filled. Your application may not be accepted if you use online application form which is filled 90 days ago.

Please Note:

  • Any variance in the data mentioned in the applicant's passport/OCI/PIO* and that mentioned in the online application form will be the sole responsibility of the applicant and they have to ensure that the data is validated correctly before sending their application to VFS Global Center. VFS Global will not undertake any 'Edits' in the applications.
  • In these cases VFS Global  Service fee, convenience fee (bank charges for online payment) and any shipping fee purchased through VFS Global will be non-refundable (which will be used to ship back the application to the applicant).
  • Information on the government online application form, your existing passport/OCI/PIO and all supplementary forms must be identical.

*dependent upon the application Category

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID

This is not an exhaustive list. You have to ensure data on visa application form is 100% accurate and correct. 

  1. NAMES DO NOT MATCH THOSE IN YOUR FOREIGN PASSPORT/OCI/PIO CARD: The names that you enter on the application on the application must match exactly that which is printed in your passport. Below is an example;

    Surname: Surname is the same as Family Name or Last Name. (The spelling must be exactly the same as the last name in the applicant’s passport)

    Given Name: On the Indian OCI application Form, Given Name is the same as First Name and Middle Name; please type in the First Name and any Middle Name(s); please type in the First Name and any Middle Name(s) here. (The name must be exactly as it is in the applicant’s passport)
     
  2. SIGNATURES: You must sign your name, exactly as in your foreign passport, on the first page and second page of the OCI application. There must not be any variation between signature on the passport and on the OCI application form.
     
  3. PHOTO AND SIGNATURE UPLOAD: You must upload most recent photograph which meets the photograph specifications. Photograph orientation should be vertical and signature orientation should be horizontal. Uploaded photographs and signatures are printed on the OCI card. Any deviation may lead to rejection of your application or this may also cause printing issue as well.
     
  4. PLACE OF BIRTH: City of birth on Govt. form must match with the place of birth stated in your passport. If place of birth on your passport is written as “INDIA” then both country and place of birth on Govt. form must be “INDIA” because place of birth is printed on OCI card.
     
  5. PLACE OF ISSUE OF PASSPORT: For US passport holders, it should be USA or USDOS only. For others – it should be exactly the same as stated in the Govt. form.
     
  6. SPOUSE/FATHER/MOTHER NAME: It must match with the applicant’s current OCI card or their own OCI/PIO/passport. No abbreviation or sequence change is acceptable. In case of changes – you must select appropriate Misc. services and submit documents as per the checklist.
     
  7. DOCUMENT UPLOAD: You must upload all required documents on the Govt. website as listed on the VFS Global website.
     
  8. CORRECT DATE FORMAT: Date format will always be DD/MM/YYYY and not MM/DD/YYYY.
     
  9. PASSPORT NUMBER: Ensure correct passport number is entered.
     
  10. PHOTOGRAPH: if photo is uploaded online then it must be identical to the photograph affixed on the form.
     
  11. CROPPED PRINTING: Make sure that your print the entire application. Some browsers will “crop” the top and bottom of them form. “Cropped” forms will be rejected.
     
  12. SINGLE SIDE PRINTING: Ensure that you print application or other forms / documents on single sided paper. Double sided printed application may lead to reject or delay in application processing.
     
  13. OTHER ISSUES: You are strongly recommended to read “How to apply page & sample form available on VFS Global website”.

 

How to Apply?

VFS Global

Get Started

VFS Global

Frequently Asked Questions

VFS Global

 

VFS Global Application Center (IPAC) 


228 Grant Ave, Floor 5, San Francisco, CA - 94108

Contact / Feedback

Click on VFS Global; you will get a reply within 24 hours.

 

For an existing applicant, VFS Global will only be able to assist you once you provide the following information.

 1.  Web Reference Number

 2.  Passport Number

 3.  Date of Birth

 

VFS Helpline Number for OCI services: +1 800 320 9693

 

Conversion of PIO card to OCI card

The Bureau of Immigration will accept PIO cards as valid travel document till 31st December, 2021, along with valid foreign passport. Indian Immigration Check Post(s) will continue to consider all PIO cards valid for exit/entry from/into India till 31st December, 2021. The extension of timeline is subject to the condition that in the meantime if any deadline is notified by the ICAO, thereby making hand written PIO cards invalid, then PIO cardholders would have to obtain appropriate visa from India Missions/Posts abroad.

All PIO cardholders are meanwhile advised to convert their PIO cards to OCI cards well in time. 

Any request for conversion of PIO card to OCI card will attract a fee of $100. The fees for issuance of fresh OCI cards will remain as US $275.

OCI in lieu of PIO card process detail is also available at VFS Global.

(a) OCI card is a smart card;

(b) Possession of an OCI card will facilitate quicker immigration clearance at the Immigration Check Posts;

(c) It will help in obtaining various Consular Services from the Indian Missions;

(d) For those who are resident in India, it will facilitate in availing various services in India.


Instructions to Convert PIO Card to OCI Card

In terms of the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 9th January 2015, all the existing PIO Cardholders as on 9th January 2015 shall be deemed to be OCI Cardholders. However, all persons having valid PIO cards as on 9th January 2015 are advised to apply for OCI Card in view of the following advantages in processing as OCI card:

  • OCI card is a machine readable smart card;
  • Possession of an OCI card will facilitate quicker immigration clearance at the Immigration Check Posts;
  • It will help in obtaining various Consular Services from the Indian Missions;
  • For those who are resident in India, it will facilitate in availing various services in India.

 


For detailed guidelines on submitting the applications, documentation requirements and fee etc., you may visit the following link: VFS Global 

The Consulate General of India, San Francisco, does not, directly accept applications, either in person or through mail for OCI card services.

  • OCI Card will not be granted to a child whose one parent is eligible for OCI Card, and if the other parent is or ever was a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
  • If you wish to seek any information regarding these services, or if you wish to ascertain status of processing of your application, or if you have any complaints/suggestions regarding the services, you must contact VFS Global.
  • ALL VISA/OCI APPLICANTS ARE HEREWITH ADVISED TO FILL UP THE ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS FORM ALONG WITH THE VISA/OCI/PIO APPLICATION FORMS. THIS IS MANDATORY, WITHOUT WHICH NO APPLICATION WILL BE PROCESSED.
  • Contact VFS Global San Francisco at: +1 800 320 9693
  • VFS Global Contact / Feedback: VFS Global Helpline: Tel nos: +1 800 320 9693

During Holiday/Peak Season (01 April – 31 August) please expect delays on processing the application due to heavy rush of Applications.

  • In case of OCI/PIO/Visa obtained by applicant by virtue of being a spouse of an eligible person of Indian origin, the applicant must submit a declaration by the spouse stating that he/she has no objection for issuance of OCI/PIO card/visa. In the    event of a divorce/separation between the two persons who obtained the OCI/PIO/Visa documents from the Indian Consulate, the OCI/PIO cards will be have to be surrendered. It is the duty of the applicants to report and inform such events to the Consulate General of India, San Francisco for further necessary action as per Government of India rules and regulations. Failure to disclose divorce/separation of the eligible spouse as mentioned above may result in disqualification of the spouse of Indian origin from holding OCI/PIO cards.

 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on OCI Card:

1. What are the Benefits for an OCI card holder:

An OCI card holder gets the following benefits:
i. A multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India.
ii. Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.
iii. Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
iv. OCI can be used as identity proof for application of PAN Card and driving   license as well as for opening a bank account if the OCI card holder is residing in India.

2. What benefits an OCI Card holder is not entitled to:

The OCI Card holder is not entitled:
i. to vote,
ii. to be a member of a Legislative Assembly or of a Legislative Council or of the Parliament of India,
iii. to hold Indian constitutional posts such as that of the President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court etc.
iv. He/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government

3. Can foreign nationals, who are not otherwise eligible for OCI, get OCI if they are married to persons who are eligible for OCI?

The spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder registered under section 7A 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.

4. Are Minor children eligible for OCI Card?

Minor children whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India are eligible for OCI Card. Except those whose parents are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin.

5. Is an applicant who had held nationality of Pakistan or Bangladesh, eligible for OCI?

No, If the applicant has ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he / she will not be eligible for OCI.

6. Can a person renounce OCI?

Yes. He/she has to declare their intention of renunciation in Form XXII to the Indian Mission/Post where OCI registration was granted. After receipt of the declaration, the Indian Mission/Post shall issue an acknowledgement in Form XXII A. A separate application form is available for this purpose.

Additional FAQs - OCI Services

Guidelines regarding OCI Card holders for travel to India

  1. Travellers holding OCI cards are required to carry their OCI card and current foreign passport for travel to India.
  2. Entry is NOT allowed, if travellers are not carrying OCI card along with their foreign passport.
  3. If the crew members of the scheduled flights who hold valid Indian visas including OCI/PIO cards may be cleared on the visas and filling up of Crew Landing Permits should not be insisted upon in such cases, however, names of all the crew members will remain on the GD. The Crew Landing Permit (CLP) needs to be granted only in cases where the crew of such scheduled flights does not have valid Indian visas.

NOTE:- Any change incorporated in above guidelines is updated/modified in the website of www.boi.gov.in from time to time.

Important Advisory:      The Government of India is pleased to inform vide Notification No.585(E) dated 23.03.2012, permitting use of OCI registration booklets of OCIs to be treated as their identification for any services rendered to them in India. It also allows OCIs to give an affidavit attested by a notary public stating that a particular specific address may be treated as their place of residence in India.