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Who is an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)?

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An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a citizen of any other country (except for Bangladesh and Pakistan) who is allowed to live or work in India for an indefinite period.

To be eligible to apply for OCI registration which allows life-time free visa-free travelling to India, the foreign citizen needs to qualify as an ordinary resident of India by staying for a continuous period of 6 months.

An OCI card is given to a foreign citizen who:

  • was a citizen or eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after 26th January 1950;
  • belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August 1947;
  • is a child or a grandchild or a great-grandchild of such a citizen;
  • is a minor child of such persons mentioned above;
  • is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India.
  • Is a spouse of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder and foreign origin of a citizen of India as per section 7A, Citizenship Act 1955.

OCI restricts the person from the right to vote, hold constitutional offices, and right to buy agricultural properties in India.


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