The Overseas Citizenship of India Scheme has become operational with effect from December 2, 2005. The salient features of the scheme are given below:
A foreign national, who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at any time after January 26, 1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947 and his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).
Minor children of such person's upto the age of 18 are also eligible for OCI. Moreover, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
Application Form and Procedure
Applicant is required to fill his/her details online in the website http://passport.gov.in/oci/ and the application form generated online with an unique registration number has to be downloaded and submitted in the Embassy along with the following documents:
- Proof of present citizenship - a copy of passport / citizenship certificate.
- Evidence of self or parents or grandparents being eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of commencement of the Constitution; or belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or being citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950. Evidence could be a copy of the passport or copy of the domicile certificate issued by the competent authority or any other proof.
- Evidence of relationship as parent/grandparent, of their Indian origin, if claimed as basis for grant of OCI.
- Two copies of applicant's latest passport size photograph
- If you are a PIO Card holder, should submit a copy of your PIO card.
- All the documents enclosed with the application should be self attested.
- The applicant will have to submit his/her application at the Indian Embassy Muscat in person and sign a declaration in the presence of Consular Officer in the Mission.
- If you are in India, then submit the form to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Amritsar or Chief Immigration Officer (CHIO), Chennai or Under Secretary, OCI Cell, Citizenship Section, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs.
Full text of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and the Citizenship (Second Amendment) Rules 2004 is available on the http://www.mha.nic.in/citi.htm.
- Registration Fee as OCI – R.O. 107.700/- (including ICWF charge of R.O 1.000/-)
- Registration Fee as OCI for PIO Card holders –R.O. 56.900(including ICWF charge of R.O 1.000/-) for Minors. R,O.10.000/-(including ICWF charge of R.O 1.000/-) in adults above 18 years.
- Transfer of Universal Visa (from the old passport to the new one) – R.O.10.000/-(including ICWF charge of R.O 1.000/-)
Note: - In case the application for Registration as OCI is rejected for any reason, the fee will be refunded after deducting an amount of R.O.9.700 /- as processing fee.
All Indian expatriate community living in the Sultanate of Oman is hereby advised that they should start the procedure of surrender of Indian passport/renunciation of Indian citizenship once they obtain citizenship of another country. In this context it may kindly be noted:
- Indian Government does not allow dual citizenship, though there may be some countries like USA, Canada, Portugal etc who recognize dual citizenship and dual passports;
- A person who applies for another country’s nationality/citizenship, becomes citizen of that country from the date of issue of such certificate (naturalization/accession) by that particular country and ceases to be Indian citizen from that date;
- A grace period of three months is available to use Indian passport from the date of getting certificate of citizenship/naturalization from that country during which all efforts should be made to get passport of that country within the shortest possible time;
- It may be noted that the three months’ grace period start from the date of naturalization of that country irrespective of the date of getting passport from that country. Any travel beyond three months from the date of naturalization/certificate of accession to that particular country will result in levy of penalty amount as per Government of India rules
- All Indian nationals residing in Oman, who have obtained passport of another country should surrender the Indian passport at the earliest in the Embassy of India Muscat for pre-approval and then submit the same to BLS International LLC in Wattayah, Muscat.
- After obtaining surrender certificate, they can apply for PIO/OCI card, as the case may be.
The time for processing an application, from the date the application is received at the Embassy, complete in all respects, would be a maximum of 30 days.
Period of Validity
The Registration Certificate will be valid for life unless renounced or cancelled.
- An Overseas Citizen of India will enjoy all rights and privileges available to Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agriculture and plantation properties.
- Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India.
- There would be no visa requirement for travel to India. The person would have to carry his/her existing foreign passport along with Registration Certificate.
- The person so traveling would not be required to register with the FRRO/Police authorities for any length of stay in India.
- All facilities as available to children of NRIs for getting admission to educational institutions in India including Medical and Engineering Colleges, Management Institutes etc. under the general category and membership of various housing scheme etc. will be open to holders of Certificate of Registration.
The Overseas Citizens, however, will not enjoy the following Rights:-
- Right to Vote;
- Right to hold Constitutional Offices (Member of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly or Council, offices of President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court & High Court etc.)
- Appointment to Public Services (Govt. Services)
Persons with Dual Passport
Persons having the passport of the country concerned, (one of the sixteen countries listed) and that of a third country, can also apply for a Certificate of Registration.
Overseas Citizenship is not Dual Nationality
It may kindly be noted that Overseas Citizenship is not a full citizenship of India and, therefore, does not amount to dual citizenship or dual nationality.