Is the OCI Card an India visa?

Is the OCI Card an India visa?

Is the OCI card an India visa? This is one question many people ask because OCIs are travel documents, just like visas.

To answer this question, it is better to understand the history of the OCI card and the purpose for which it was introduced.

For starters, the OCI card is not a visa, even though it grants the holder access to India for an infinite period of time. This document may give you the right to live and work in India, like a visa, but it doesn't allow entry for non-citizens.

What Is The OCI Card?

An OCI card is called the Overseas Citizenship of India card. This document is issued to a foreign national of Indian descent. Holders of this card can live and work in India for as long as they want because there is no time barrier on the documents.

Due to the large number of foreign nationals of Indian descent who don't have Indian passports, the Indian government introduced the OCI initiative to meet the travel needs of Indians with dual citizenship.

An OCI card Is called the Overseas Citizenship of India card. This document is issued to a foreign national of Indian descent. Holders of this card can live and work in India for as long as a want because there is no time barrier on the documents

The need for this type of document became a necessity because India's immigration law does not allow for dual citizenship; you are either Indian or you are not.

So in 2005, the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed, which was a watershed moment in the creation of OCI.

After its passage, NRIs who live abroad were able to apply for the document to gain easy access to India.

Eligibility For OCI

Any foreign national who has Indian parents and can become an Indian citizen after 1950 or who is a native of a territory which became a part of the country after 1947 is eligible for OCI. Minors whose parents fall into the above category qualify for Overseas Citizen of India.

Benefits of Obtaining OCI

There are several benefits to enjoy if you have an OCI card. Besides the travel convenience you enjoy, there are a few more.

Live & Work India While Retaining Your Foreign Citizenship

There are millions of Indians and children of Indian descendants who are citizens of other countries but have to apply for an Indian visa to visit India simply because they can't hold two citizenship at the same time. An OCI card affords the privilege of retaining their foreign Citizenship while living and working in India. This is one advantage that non-OCI cardholders do not have.

Multiple Entries

The Citizenship Act of Section 7 B allows cardholders multiple entries into India at any time and for any purpose. Once the card is issued to you, it grants lifelong access to India so you can visit at will.

No Foreigner Registration

You don't have to register as a foreigner in India like foreign nationals are expected to. Furthermore, you can stay in India for as long as possible since the card doesn't expire like a visa.

Ideal For Intercountry Adoption

OCI offers similar holder benefits to what NRIs enjoy. They also enjoy similar domestic airfare charges to Indian nationals.

Professional Opportunities

OCI card holders who are professionals can pursue career opportunities in the country, like Indian nationals in any field. They can be Nurses, Engineers, Architects, Accountants, Doctors, and any professional field you can think of.

 How To Apply For An OCI Card

To apply for an OCI card, you first need to be sure that you have a direct Indian lineage. If you are sure, then follow these steps.

Visit The Portal To Complete The Application Form

Visit the application portal to fill out and sign the OCI application form. Ensure that you only provide accurate information.

Proof Of Current Citizenship

The next stage is to provide proof of your current citizenship. This may be any document, like a passport issued by your home country.

Proof Of Indian Ancestry

You then need to prove your Indian ancestry by uploading documents to prove your identity or those of your parents or grandparents whit are citizens of India. The more documents you provide, the higher the chances of getting your application approved.

Relationship Proof

You also need to provide evidence as proof of your relationship with members of your family.

For Spouse

Applicants whose spouse is a foreign citizen of India must show proof of their relationship.


The applicant's current passport with a thumb impression with the form duly signed.



If you are a foreign citizen of Indian descent or already have Indian citizenship, having an OCI card confers certain advantages to you. Is the OCI card an India visa? No, it is not, but it offers even more advantages than an Indian visa.

Your travel destination  
Visa type
Your citizenship
Living in
    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.