OVERVIEW

Helpful Tip! : Only follow the OCI checklist available on VFS website in order to complete your OCI application as per High Commission of India in Australia’s instructions. 

Any other checklist instructions along with Application form or from other source may be generic and can result in your applications to be incomplete. 

Brief Outline:
The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws. Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India OR of an OCI cardholder and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application, can also apply for OCI Card’.

No foreign military/police/defence personnel either in service or retired including civil servants working in Ministry of Defence as IT engineers/civil contractors will be registered as OCI cardholder.

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.

Benefits to an Overseas Citizen of India card holder:

  • A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India.
  • Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
  • Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

Any other benefits to an OCI will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Benefits to which OCI is not entitled to:
The OCI is not entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he/she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.

Renunciation / Surrender Certificate Guidelines for Persons of Indian Origin:

Renunciation of Indian citizenship is mandatory once you acquire foreign citizenship.

The renunciation / surrender certificate application will be processed separately and fee will charged accordingly.

The renunciation / surrender certificate procedure and fee structure is based on the date, the Person of Indian Origin, has acquired Australian/Foreign Citizenship.

Please review the detail checklist on www.vfsglobal.com/india/australia on the effective date.