Frequently asked Questions
Can children of parents, where one of the parents is eligible for OCI, apply for OCI?
In what form should a person apply for OCI and where are they available?
A family consisting of spouses and upto two minor children can apply in the same form i.e. Form XIX, which can be downloaded from this website.
What are the consequences of furnishing wrong information or suppressing material information?
All the applications will be subject to pre or post enquiry depending on whether any adverse information is available or not. If the Government comes to the knowledge that any false information was furnished or material information was suppressed, the registration as OCI already granted shall be cancelled by an order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The persons will also be blacklisted banning his/her entry into India
Can a person registered as OCI be granted Indian citizenship?
Yes. As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, a person who is registered as OCI for 5 years and is residing in India for 1 year out of the above 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship.
Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals who are not eligible for OCI, but married to persons who are eligible for OCI?
Will any other benefit be granted to OCI?
Any other benefits to OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Whether the OCI is entitled to voting rights?
Whether the OCI is entitled to hold constitutional post in India?
Whether the OCI is entitled to hold Government posts in India?
No, except for the posts specified by an order by the Central Government.
If a person is already holding more than one nationality, can he/she apply for OCI?
Yes, as long as the local laws of at least one of the countries allow dual citizenship in some form or other.
What are the advantages of OCI when compared to PIO card holders ?
(i) OCI is entitled to life long visa free travel to India. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement in the US regarding the amendment of PIO Card Scheme providing for life-long validity and exemption from registration, Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a Gazette notification dated 30 September 2014 for this purpose.
(ii) PIO cardholder is required to register with local Police authority for stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.
Whether an OCI be entitled to apply for and obtain a normal Indian passport which is given to a citizen of India?
No. Indian Passport is given only to Indian citizen.
What is the fee for OCI in the case of minor applicants?
Fee for OCI in the case of minor applicants is the same as that for adults (SEK 3000/-)
Can a person hold both Indian and Foreign Passport at the same time?
You may like to refer the MEA’s circular dated March 24, 2009. A copy of which is given below:
Ministry of External Affairs,
New Delhi, Dated March 24, 2009
Subject: Imposition of penalty u/s 12 (1A) of Passport Act 1967 for not surrendering Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship.
Indian passport holders are required to surrender their passports to the nearest Indian Mission/post immediately after acquisition of foreign nationality (Para. 14.1’ chapter XVII of Passport manual 2001 refers). Indian Citizenship Act does not allow dual citizenship (there is sometimes misconception that OCI card is dual citizenship). However, it has bee observed that many individuals continue to retain their Indian passports and some travel on them; there are yet others who get fresh passports issued by suppression of information even several years after they acquired foreign citizenship. Such persons surrender their passports only when they need to take OCI cards, etc)
2. Since misuse of Indian passports as described above constitute offences under Section 12 (1A) of the Passport Act 1967 which states:
“whoever, not being a citizen of India-
(a) makes an application for a passport or obtains a passport by suppressing information about his nationality, or
(b) holds a forged passport or any travel document,
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than once year but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less that ten thousand rupees but which may extend for fifty thousand rupees,” it has been decided to impose penalty on a graded scale for such violations as per details given below:
|Passport not surrendered up to three years and not used for travel after obtaining foreign passport
|Passport not surrendered up to three years and traveled once after obtaining foreign passport
||No penalty for retention of passport but penalty of Rs 10,000/- for travel on Indian passport
|Passport not surrendered up to three years and travelled more than once after obtaining foreign passport
||No penalty for retention of passport but penalty of Rs 10,000/- for each travel 9on Indian passport (aggregate penalty on travel not exceed Rs 50,000/-)
|Passport not surrendered for over three years and used for travel after obtaining foreign passport
||Penalty of Rs 10,000/- for retention of passport and penalty of Rs 10,000/- for each travel on Indian passport (aggregate penalty on travel not to exceed Rs 50,000/-)
|Renewal/re-issue of Indian passport and travelling on it after acquiring foreign nationality.
||(i) Rs 25,000/- fr each renewal/re-issue and,
(ii) Rs 10,000/- for each travel on Indian passport(aggregate penalty on travel not to exceed Rs 50,000/-)
3. All Missions/Posts are hereby advised that when they issue visas first time to applicants who, hitherto, held Indian passports, they should ensure that Indian passports were surrendered by them. All PIAs in India and abroad may issue surrender certificates to those who approach for surrendering Indian passports after acquisition of foreign nationality, only after collection of the penalty as above, if applicable.
4. This service may be treated as miscellaneous service under the Passport Act, and miscellaneous fee, as prescribed may be charged.
5. A grace period of three months is allowed from the date of acquisition of foreign citizenship, for the purpose of travel on Indian passport. Therefore, no penalty will be leviable for travel on Indian passport within three months of acquisition of foreign passport.
(K.R. Rajan Pillai)
All Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad.
Which type of Visa would be granted to senior management personnel and/or specialists employed by foreign firms who are relocated to India to work on specific project/management assignment?
Which category of Visa will be granted to the foreign specialist Chefs?
Which category of Visa will be granted to the foreign language teachers/interpreters?
If the Indian organization/entity sponsors an Employment Visa, does this mean that the Indian organization/entity has to necessarily be the legal employer of the person?
Whether an Indian company/organization which has awarded a contract for execution of a project to a foreign company that does not have any base in India, can sponsor employee of foreign company for Employment Visa?
Whether a foreign company/organization that does not have any Project Office/subsidiary/joint venture/branch office in India can sponsor a foreign national/employee of a foreign company for Employment Visa?
Which category of Visa will be granted to family members of foreign nationals coming to India on Employment?
In respect of family members of a foreign national who is granted ‘E’ Visa, Indian Missions may grant an ‘X’ Visa [i.e. Dependent Visa]. The validity of the ‘X’ Visa could be co-terminus with the validity of the Visa of the principal Visa holder or for such shorter duration as may be considered necessary by the Indian Mission, subject to usual security checks provided the family members are otherwise eligible for grant of such a Visa.
Which category of Visa will be granted to family members of foreign nationals coming to India on Business Visas?
Indian Missions may grant an ‘X’ Visa [i.e. a Dependent Visa] to the family members of a foreign national granted a Business Visa at their discretion, subject to usual security checks provided the family members are otherwise eligible for grant of such a Visa.
Q13 Which category of Visa will be granted to family members of foreign nationals coming to India on Employment?
Can foreign nationals already in India for executing projects on Business Visas be allowed to convert their Business Visas to Employment Visas without leaving the country?
Can foreign nationals coming to execute projects in India be granted Business Visas?
No. A foreign national coming for executing projects/contracts will have to come only on an Employment Visa.
What documents are required to be submitted alongwith application for Employment Visa?
The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, if required under the law of the country concerned.
The foreign national must submit proof of his/her employment or contract or engagement by the company/organization, etc. in India.
The foreign national must submit documentary proof of his educational qualifications and professional expertise.
What is the duration of an Employment Visa?
A foreign national coming to India for employment may initially be granted an Employment Visa by the Indian Missions abroad upto one year. The first extension, if necessary, would be granted by MHA. Further extensions, if required, can be granted by concerned State Government/FRO upto maximum period of five years from the date of issue of the Visa. Foreigners coming on Employment Visa are required to register with concerned FRRO/FRO within two weeks from the date of arrival.
Who are eligible for Employment Visa?
Subject to the conditions enumerated in Question B5 above, the following will be eligible for Employment Visa:-
Foreign nationals coming to India for execution of a project/contract [irrespective of the duration of the visit].
Foreign nationals who are coming to India on short visits to customer location to repair any plant or machinery as part of warranty or annual maintenance contracts.
Foreign engineers/technicians coming to India for installation and commissioning of equipments/machines/tools in terms of the contract for supply of such equipment/machine/tools.
Foreign experts coming to India for imparting training for the personnel of the Indian company.
Foreign personnel deputed for providing technical support/services, transfer of know-how, services supplies for which the Indian company pays fees/royalty to the foreign company.
Foreign nationals coming to India as consultant on contract for whom the Indian company pays a fixed remuneration, (may not be in the form of monthly salary).
Foreign artists engaged to conduct regular performances for the duration of the employment contract given by Hotels, Clubs, other organizations.
(viii) Foreign nationals who are coming to India to take up employment as coaches.
(ix) Foreign sportsmen who are given contract for a specified period by the Indian Clubs/organizations.
(x) Self-employed foreign nationals coming to India for providing engineering, medical, accounting, legal or such other highly skilled services in their capacity as independent consultants.
What is an Employment Visa?
Employment Visa is granted to foreigners desiring to come to India for purpose of employment, subject to following conditions:
The applicant is a skilled and qualified professional or person who is being engaged or appointed by a company, organization, industry, or undertaking, etc. in India on contract or employment basis at a senior level, skilled position such as technical expert, senior executive, or in a managerial position, etc.
Employment Visa is not granted for jobs for which large numbers of qualified Indians are available.
Employment Visa is not granted for routine, ordinary or secretarial/clerical jobs.
The Employment Visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in that particular country is for more than 2 years.
The Indian company/organization engaging foreign nationals for executing projects/contracts would be responsible for the conduct of the foreign national during their stay in India and also for the departure of such foreign national upon expiry of Visa.
A foreign national will have to comply with all other requirements like payment of tax liabilities, etc.
What documents are required to be submitted alongwith application for a Business Visa?
The foreign national must have a valid travel document and a re-entry permit, if required under the law of the country concerned.
Proof of financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business.
What is the duration of a Business Visa?
A Business Visa with multiple entry facilities is granted for a period upto 5 years or for a shorter duration as per the requirement. A stay stipulation may be prescribed for each visit by the concerned Indian Mission.
Who are eligible for a Business Visa?
(i) Foreign nationals who want to visit India to establish industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture in India.
(ii) Foreign nationals coming to India to purchase/sell industrial products or commercial products or consumer durables.
(iii) Foreign nationals coming to India for technical meetings/discussions, attending Board meetings, general meetings for providing business services support.
(iv) Foreign nationals coming to India for recruitment of manpower.
(v) Foreign nationals who are partners in the Business and/or functioning as Directors in the company.
(vi) Foreign nationals coming to India for consultations regarding exhibitions, for participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business fairs, etc.
(vii) Foreign buyers who come to transact business with suppliers/ potential suppliers at locations in India, to evaluate or monitor quality, give specifications, place orders, negotiate further supplies etc., relating to goods or services procured from India.
(viii) Foreign experts/specialists on a visit of short duration in connection with an ongoing project with the objective of monitoring the progress of the work, conducting meetings with Indian customers and/or to provide some high level technical guidance.
(ix) Foreign nationals coming to India for pre-sales or post-sales activity not amounting to actual execution of any contract or project.
(x) Foreign Trainees of multinational companies/corporate houses coming for in-house training in the regional hubs of the concerned company located in India.
(xi) Foreign students sponsored by AIESEC for internship on project based work in companies/industries
Business Visa is granted to a foreign national who wants to visit India to establish an industrial/business venture or to explore possibilities to set up industrial/business venture, or wants to purchase/sell industrial products in India. This Visa is granted subject to following conditions:-
(i) The applicant is a person of assured financial standing and expertise in the field of the intended business.
(ii) The applicant is not visiting India for the business of money lending or petty trading, or for a full time employment in India involving payment of salary in India etc.
(iii) The facility of Business Visa will also be extended to senior executives of firms, experts, tour conductors and travel agents, etc., visiting India in connection with work related to projects of national importance, including those undertaken by public sector undertakings, and conducting business tours of foreigners or business relating to it, etc.
(iv) A foreign national will have to comply with all other requirements like payment of tax liabilities etc.
(v) The grant of Business Visa is subject to any instructions issued by the Government of India on the basis of reciprocity with other foreign countries from time to time.
(vi) The Business Visa must be issued from the country of origin, or from the country of domicile of the foreigner provided the period of permanent residence of that applicant in that particular country is for more than 2 years.
What is the format for applying for Business Visa or Employment Visa?
The application forms for Business Visa and Employment Visa are available on the website and/or offices of the Indian Missions in respective countries.FAQs clarifying details in respect of these types of visas can also be viewed either on the Indian Mission’s website or on Ministry of Home Affairs website: www.mha.nic.in.
In case of any difficulty relating to obtaining a visa, the applicant may contact the Indian Mission concerned or Joint Secretary(CPV). Ministry of External Affairs on the e-mail address: email@example.com.
For general queries or clarifications regarding visa issues, the applicant may (where necessary information is not available with the Mission) also contact Deputy Secretary(Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs onthe e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.