About Us FAQs on OCI

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Overseas Citizen of India

What are the working hours of the High Commission for Consular Services.

Monday to Friday.
Holidays: Weekly Saturdays & Sundays + Holidays as per List of Holidays
Submission Time: 0830 hrs to 1130 hrs
Collection Time: 1500 hrs to 1600 hrs on working days
General Office Working hours : 0830 hrs to 1700 hrs

What is Overseas Citizen of India Scheme?

A person of Indian origin possessesing a foreign passport, can apply for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder subject to fulfillment of criteria laid down in Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The OCI Cardholder is entitled to lifelong visa for visiting India and is not required to report to FRRO or local police authorities irrespective of length of stay in India. Besides, they are treated at par with NRIs in the economic, financial and educational fields except acquisition of agricultural and plantation land. OCIs are not entitled to hold public offices in India nor can they vote in elections in India. The details of the scheme and procedure for registration is available on the website of MHA i.e. www.mha.nic.in.

Who is eligible to apply?

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, 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.

Is the PIO scheme still valid?

No. The PIO scheme stands abolished from 09.01.2015.

What are the various benefits of OCI scheme?

A registered Overseas Citizen of India is granted multiple entry, multipurpose, lifelong visa for visiting India, he/she is exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreign Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay in India, and is entitled to general parity with Non-Resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties. The OCI registration booklets are treated as identification of the cardholders for availing any services rendered by the State Governments. OCI cardholders have also been allowed to file affidavit to declare their address in India for this purpose.

How do I apply for OCI card?

Procedure for registration under OCI scheme is explained on the website https://passport.gov.in/oci/.

What is the time taken for registration as OCI?

As per information on MHA’s website, it takes 30 days if there is no adverse information about the applicant.

Can a person renounce OCI?

Yes. He/she has to declare intention of renunciation in the prescribed form to the Indian Mission/Post where OCI registration was granted. An acknowledgement will be issued to the applicant by the Mission/Post or FRRO in India.

In what form should a person apply for an OCI and where are the forms available?

The OCI card can be applied online by following the link https://passport.gov.in/oci/.

How many copies of application have to be submitted?

Only one Set of Application has to be submitted for each applicant.

Whether applicant(s) have to go in person to submit the application (s)?

Yes. The applicant has to provide biometrics for the services.

Where to submit OCI Application in Malawi?

To the Consular Section of the High Commission of India in Lilongwe during the Consular hours in working days.

What is the fee for application for registration as an OCI?

The details can be accessed on http://www.hcililongwe.gov.in/page/oci/.

Will the applicant lose his citizenship after registering as an OCI?


Can a person registered as an OCI travel to protected area/restrictedarea without permission?

No. He/she will be required to seek PAP/RAP for such visits.

Would the Indian civil/criminal laws be applicable to persons registered as OCI?

Yes, for the period OCI is living in India.

Can a person registered as an OCI be granted Indian citizenship?

Yes. As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act,1955.

Will foreign-born children of OCI be eligible to become an OCI?


Is the OCI entitled to voting rights?


Is the OCI entitled to hold constitutional post in India?


Is the OCI entitled to hold Government posts in India?

If a person is already holding more than one nationality, can he/she apply for OCI?


Whether an OCI be entitled to apply for and obtain a normal Indian passport which is given to a citizen of India?

No. Indian Passports are given only to Indian citizen.

Whether nationals of Commonwealth countries are eligible for the OCI?

Yes, if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Can an OCI holder undertake Research work in India?

Yes, after getting prior approval/special permission from MHA.