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Overseas Citizen of India(OCI)
Helpful Tip! : Only follow the OCI checklist available on VFS website in order to complete your OCI application as per High Commission of India in Australia’s instructions.

Any other checklist instructions along with Application form or from other source may be generic and can result in your applications to be incomplete.

Brief Outline:

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 (PIOs) 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.

A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.

Benefits to an Overseas Citizen of India card holder:
A multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa for visiting India.
Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

Any other benefits to an OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Benefits to which OCI is not entitled to:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.

Renunciation / Surrender Certificate Guidelines for Persons of Indian Origin:

The renunciation / surrender certificate procedure and fee structure is based on the date, the Person of Indian Origin, has acquired Australian/Foreign Citizenship.

Please review the detail checklist on www.vfs-in-au.net on the effective date.

If the Date of Australian / Foreign Citizenship is on or before 31-May -2010 If the Date of Australian / Foreign Citizenship is after 31- May - 2010
If the Indian Passport is not cancelled or is lost/damaged and not in possession (the applicant will need to provide a statutory declaration attested by a JP): For OCI / PIO / VISA Applications Au$ 24.00 cancellation fee is payable Statutory declaration will be attested and given back to applicant as a proof of cancellation. If the Indian Passport is cancelled the applicant will need to submit a photocopy proof of the bio page of the cancelled passport and no cancellation fee will be applicable. If the Indian Passport is not cancelled or is lost/damaged and not in possession (the applicant will need to provide a statutory declaration attested by a JP): For OCI / PIO / VISA Application Au$ 147 is payable along with the submission of the OCI/ PIO/ VISA application and the surrender certificate will be issued along with the requested service. If the surrender certificate is already acquired only a copy of the same needs to be submitted and no additional fee will be applicable.

Penalty Rates may also apply and will be levied as per the schedule of penalties
Overseas Citizen of India Application

Step 1
Read the website and FAQ’s carefully to confirm your eligibility for an OCI.

Step 2
Confirm the OCI category you wish to apply for based on your individual situation. (e.g., are you converting from a PIO to OCI or are you applying for an OCI directly)

Step 3
Complete your application online

Step 4
Download & print the form/s, read and complete checklist as mentioned under “ Checklist & Additional forms”

Step 5
Check fees payable and payment options

Step 6
Sign form/s and checklist at all indicated places

Step 7
Ensure photos are as per specifications. Incorrect photos may be rejected by the Ministry and result in your application getting delayed.

Step 8
Check processing times to plan your travel accordingly.

Step 9
Attach all supporting documents required as per the checklist

Step 10
Submit your application based on jurisdiction by Express Post/Courier in person or through a representative (where you reside determines where you need to submit your application)

Step 11
Once your application has been successfully submitted you will receive an email providing you a file no to track your application

Step 12
Track your application online

Step 13
Once the status shows your document received from the Ministry into Australia, you will need to submit your foreign passport along with Printed copy of Online status to the application centre where your application was lodged. Check details on the track your application link on this website.

Step 14
Once you submit the passport/s your OCI card should be dispatched to you in 7 working days.