Who can apply for OCI - Eligibility criteria for OCI
Foreign nationals, who wish to register themselves as overseas citizens of India are eligible if they:
1. Were eligible to become a citizen of India on 6.01.1950, or
2. Were a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.01.1950, or
3. Belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947
4. Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders can also apply for OCI.
In addition to meeting the eligibility requirement for registration as an OCI, the
applicant's country of citizenship should also allow dual citizenship in some form, or
under their local laws. Those who have ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh are
not eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India.
Foreign spouse of Indian citizen
A foreign spouse of an Indian citizen cannot apply for OCI based exclusively, on the fact
that they are married to an Indian citizen. There is a requirement that to be eligible, to
apply for OCI, a foreign spouse must satisfy the eligibility requirements for OCI on their
To explain this further, to ascertain if a foreign spouse is eligible to apply for OCI, check eligibility assuming that the foreign spouse is not
married to an Indian citizen, and is applying as an individual. If they meet the eligibility requirements on their own, they are qualified to apply.
Example: Rajan renounces his Indian citizenship and acquires U.S. citizenship. He marries Nancy who is also a U.S citizen; Nancy had no links
to Indian origin until she married Rajan. In such a scenario, Raj can apply for OCI but Nancy cannot.
OCI rules for foreign born children of Indian citizens
There are often cases where parents who are both Indian citizens, are living abroad due to
employment etc. want to register their foreign born children as Overseas Citizens of India
(OCI). When it comes to minors, OCI has a rule that takes into consideration the citizenship of
the child's parents.
Foreign born minor children(Less than 18 years), where both farther and mother are both Indian
Citizens, are not eligible for OCI. At least one of the child's parents must be a foreign citizen for
a minor to be eligible to get OCI.
In case both parents are Indian citizens, the minor child can apply for OCI only after reaching
the age of majority which is eighteen years.
Example: Rena and Ravi are green card holders working in the United States for several years. They have a child born in the United States and
are considering registering the child as an OCI. The current OCI rules do not allow this. Their child cannot apply for OCI.
If both parents are Indian citizens, then their foreign born children cannot apply for OCI until they reach the age of majority. Had either Rena or
Ravi in the above example been U.S. citizens, then their child would have been eligible to apply for OCI. For a minor to get OCI at least one of
the parents must have foreign citizenship other than that of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
Basically, if a parent is eligible to apply for OCI, then their minor children are also qualified for the OCI card.
Eligibility restrictions for OCI
1. Former citizens of Pakistan or Bangladesh are not eligible for OCI.
2. A spouse of a person eligible to apply for OCI only if he/she is eligible in her/his own capacity.
Example: A US Citizen of Indian origin is married to a girl who is a Pakistani national. While he is eligible to apply for OCI, his wife is not
OCI REGISTRATION - LIFELONG VISA FOR INDIA
To apply for OCI now you MUST
have Surrender Certificate
Everyone applying for OCI now must have
proof of Renunciation of Indian citizenship
such as a passport ‘Surrender Certificate’
Detailed information on Renunciation and
Passport Surrender is provided here