What is Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)?

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India is in the process of cancelling the registration of more than a dozen Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card holders for carrying out pro-Khalistan activities and anti-India propaganda

About Overseas Citizen of India (OCI):

  • It is given to overseas Indians.
  • OCI Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955, in August 2005. 
  • It provides long-term visa-free travel and stay in India and gives the cardholders a host of privileges normally not given to a foreign national.
  • Who is eligible for an OCI card? As per the ministry's statement, a foreign national -
    • who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after 26 January, 1950;
    • who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January, 1950;
    • who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947who is a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of such a citizen;
    • who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above;
    • who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India - is eligible for registration as an OCI cardholder.
  • Entitlements:
    • A registered OCI is granted multiple entry, multipurpose, life-long visa for visiting India.
    • He/she is exempted from registration with the Foreign Regional Registration Officer or Foreign Registration Officer for any length of stay in India.
    • He/she 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.
  • OCI cardholder is NOT entitled to:
    • OCI is not to be misconstrued as 'dual citizenship'. OCI does not confer political rights to vote;
    • to be a member of a Legislative Assembly or of a Legislative Council or of the Parliament of India;
    • to hold Indian constitutional posts such as that of the President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court etc.;
    • He/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government;
    • to undertake any Missionary work, Mountaineering and Journalism work without prior permission of the Govt. of India;
    • OCI cardholder shall also require Protected Area Permit (PAP)/Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit any place which falls within the Protected/Restricted Area notified by the Government as in the case of any other foreigner.
  • Renunciation of OCI:
    • If any overseas citizen of India of full age and capacity makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his overseas citizenship of India, the declaration shall be registered by the Central Government, and; upon such registration, that person shall cease to be an overseas citizen of India.
    • Where a person ceases to be an overseas citizen of Indiaevery minor child of that person registered as an overseas citizen of India, shall thereupon cease to be an overseas citizen of India.


Q1) Who is a Non Resident Indian (NRI)?

A ‘Non-resident Indian’ (NRI) is a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India. An NRI is classified as an individual who has gone out of India, or who stays outside India for employment or for carrying on business or any vocation.An individual automatically acquires the status of an NRI, if he has resided in India for less than 182 days.

Source: As Centre plans to cancel OCI cards: here's what is Overseas Citizenship of India? Know its eligibility, benefits here