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OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India): Scrutiny of applications, Cancellation & Advantages

(1) After preliminary scrutiny, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant, the authority shall register the person as an overseas citizen of India as soon as possible but not later than two weeks and the case shall be placed for post verification of the antecedents.

If there is any adverse information against the applicant, prior approval of the Central Government in the Ministry of Home Affairs shall be required before grant of registration and the Central Government may approve or reject the grant of registration within a period of three months from the date of receipt of application.

Certificate of registration to be granted to persons registered under section 7A as below:

(a) Every person who is registered as an overseas citizen of India under section 7A shall be issued a certificate of registration in Form XX, duly signed by an officer not below the rank of an Under Secretary to the Government of India or by such other officer as may be specified by the Central Government, by a notification in the Official Gazette.

(b) When a certificate is issued under sub-rule (1), a duplicate copy thereof shall be prepared and preserved for record by the issuing authority.

(c) There shall be kept by the issuing authority, a register containing names of the persons registered as overseas citizen of India under section 7A in Form XXI.

(d) The issuing authority shall transmit the details in Form XXI to the Ministry of Home Affairs in the first week of every subsequent month.

Declaration of renunciation of overseas citizenship

(1) A declaration of renunciation of overseas citizenship under section 7C shall be made in Form XXII.

(2) The declaration shall be registered in the office of the issuing authority.

(3) On receipt of such declaration, the issuing authority shall issue an acknowledgement in Form XXII A and strike off such name from the register in Form XXI.

Cancellation of OCI Registration:
If it has been found that the registration as an OCI was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship Act, the registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted from visiting India.


According to the OCI, there are many advantages compared to PIO cardholders.

• An OCI is entitled to life-long visa with free travel to India whereas for a PIO cardholder, it is only valid for 15 years.

• A PIO cardholder is required to register with local police authority for any stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit whereas an OCI is exempted from registration with Police authority for any length of stay in India.

• A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.

OCI is not to be misconstrued as ‘dual citizenship’. OCI does not confer political rights. The registered Overseas Citizens of India shall not be entitled to the rights conferred on a citizen of India under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

An online OCI miscellaneous service is now available for re-issuance /issuance of duplicate OCI documents, in case of issuance of new passport, change of personal particulars, viz, nationality, name, change of address/occupation, etc. and loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa.

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About the Author

Pravin Gupta, IndiaNet Consultants
D-19, NDSE-1, New Delhi
New York, NY 10007

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