India OCI Card Requirements

India now offers an OCI card to foreign passport holders and PIO card holders. Except for Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizens, anyone can get an OCI card as long as they provide proof of Indian origin.

In this article, we have mentioned everything you need to know about an OCI card, including its requirements, processing fee, and processing time. As a bonus, we have also provided an alternative to an OCI card if you are not eligible for it.

So, without further ado, let's get into it!

OCI Card - A Brief Introduction

Let's start with the most basic question: what is actually an OCI card?

The Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card is a lifelong visa that allows a holder to enter India whenever they want! It is a multiple-entry, multi-purpose travel document that can be used to live or work in India. An Overseas Citizen of India cardholder enjoys all the privileges a normal citizen of India enjoys.

All OCI card holders are exempted from having to report to police authorities for the length of stay in the country. In addition, an OCI cardholder is eligible to purchase plantation or agricultural properties.

Following are the individuals eligible for an OCI card:

  • Anyone with proof of Indian origin

  • Foreign nationals belonged to a land that became Indian territory after the independence.

  • Applicants who were eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950

  • Individuals who had Indian citizenship on or after 26th January 1950

Documents Required for an OCI Card

To get an OCI card, applicants are required to fill out the OCI card application form and submit the required documents. You need to provide both original and photocopies of your documents.

Here are some of the most important documents required for OCI registration as OCI cardholders:

Mandatory Documents

All applicants, foreign passport holders and former Indian nationals, are required to provide the following documents:

  • Naturalization Certificate

  • Foreign passport

  • Two recent photographs

  • An OCI application form

Documents for Applicants Born in India

If an applicant was born in India, he/she needs to submit:

  • An affidavit explaining how they traveled to a foreign country

  • Surrender certificate

  • Renunciation certificate

  • Indian passport

  • Agricultural land documents

  • School leaving certificate

  • Birth certificate

  • Domicile certificate

Documents for Applying on the Basis of Spouse/Parents/Grandparents

In case an applicant wants to obtain an OCI card on the bases of their spouse, parents, or grandparents, they are required to have:

  • Birth certificate of parents

  • Marriage certificate of spouse

  • Grandparent's proof of Indian origin

  • Domicile

  • Indian passport

Spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder or citizen of india can get an OCI card as well!

Requirements for Minor Applicants

If a minor applicant wants to obtain an OCI card, he/she needs to provide all the above-mentioned documents. In addition, parents have to self-attest those documents. In case one of the parents of minor children is not eligible for an OCI card, the minor cannot get Indian citizenship as well!

OCI Card Processing Time and Fees

Once you have all the above-mentioned documents, you can apply for an OCI card. There are numerous service providers out there that can help you out. You'll need to submit your application and pay the processing fee. On approval, you'll get your OCI card from the embassy.

On average, the processing time for an OCI card can fall anywhere between 7-11 weeks. This is because your card will be from Delhi, India. Afterward, the Indian embassy located in your country will match the document with the card, which can take an additional 1 week.

The OCI card fee depends upon your selected service provider. You'll need to pay the Indian embassy fee, which is $275, and the ICWF fee, which is around $3. In addition, you might also have to pay the service fee, which can vary from service provider to service provider.

Better Alternative to an OCI Card

Indian OCI card is undoubtedly an excellent pick for those who want to visit India. It is a lifelong visa that can be used for multiple purposes. However, if you are not eligible for an OCI card or don’t want to wait for 7-11 weeks, your best bet is getting an Indian e-visa.

India offers e-visas for different purposes. You can get an e-tourist visa and an e-business visa. The best thing about an e-visa is that you don’t have to visit the Indian embassy. You can apply for this from the comfort of your home. All you need to do is:

  1. Fill out the visa application form

  2. Pay the visa processing fee

  3. Submit your application

That's it! Afterward, you'll get your visa via email. Unlike an OCI card, an applicant can get an e-visa within 3-5 days.

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.