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Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

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vin123
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Post by vin123 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:39 pm

So i don't really see (personally) any benefit in taking a OCI card, especially when we have to deal with this ugly "photographs rejection" obsession of this OCI visa department of India.
All your points and justifications taken but I still don't understand one thing.

Assuming you are eligible for both OCI and PIO,
For a life long OCI card, you pay £165.00 where as, for a 15 year PIO card you gotto shell £220.00.

So, why not win that life-long lottery with one discounted ticket rather than taking tickets every 15 years ? :D Thats why I went for an OCI.
Last edited by vin123 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

vin123
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Post by vin123 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:06 pm

boylove wrote:I believe once you go through these online, you still need to visit Indian embassy to submit the OCI applicaton. There is no postal application in London as per the official website. Could you please confirm that? Thx!!
I applied by post as suggested over the telephone by OCI London cell. So I went by their word. They have accepted and finally approved the application after a series of letters over “photo complication”, but I have not received the OCI card yet.
To be on the safe side, make sure you call the OCI cell and confirm that you can apply by post. Also, I understand there is 15-ticket quota for personal appointments per day so better make it a point to reach there early.
I don't think all this information are in one source, unfortunately.

British
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Post by British » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:21 pm

Hi vini,

the savings of 220*4 - 165 = £715 (in my entire life time) is very very small cost to me vis-a-vis
1. going through the frustration of "photo rejection" phobia of Indian govt.
2. Losing the British consular protection while in India ( I know that may not be of any practical use in our life, but still.... :-))
3. Confusing ourselves and all immigration authorities in the entire world wherever we go with our "Indian Citizenship" "visa sticker" (I have never heard of such a thing like a "citizenship visa" anywhere in the world in my life time :-) - its so humiliating)
4. Also having to go through the humilitating experience of queing up in the Foreigner's immigration queue when entering India (although one may hold a "Citizenship" (well Visa) :-))

I can only think of OCI as a humiliating proposal to ex-Indian citizens, now foreigners.

No Thanks, I am OK with a PIO card.:-)

vin123
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Post by vin123 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:30 pm

Losing the British consular protection while in India
How is that applicable to OCI ? I didnt know this.
I thought dual citizens get recognition no matter which country they are in.

British
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Post by British » Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:47 pm

Nope. In one of the recent news item, British government had announced that one would lose British consular protection if he had any form of citizenship of the country that he/she was in at that time.

Unfortunately, even though Indian govt. clearly says the OCI Citizenship is only a lifetime visa sticker and not a full citizenship for any practical purpose, the British govt. clearly accepts this OCI as Indian citizenship - at least as far as teh British consular protection is concerned.

That is one of the reason why i thought there was no point in ending up confusing any govt. with this "almost equal to the PIO card" OIC visa sticker and hence decided i will never go for this - just in case if in future other countries too denied any good advantages accruing to a EU/British citizen just because one also had this OCI citizenship of India. I am not taking that risk! :-)

PIO card is good. I have visited India with my PIO card twice in the past 4 months, and its a Breeze :-)

jaihind
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Post by jaihind » Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:31 pm

[b]British[/b] wrote:Nope. In one of the recent news item, British government had announced that one would lose British consular protection if he had any form of citizenship of the country that he/she was in at that time.

Unfortunately, even though Indian govt. clearly says the OCI Citizenship is only a lifetime visa sticker and not a full citizenship for any practical purpose, the British govt. clearly accepts this OCI as Indian citizenship - at least as far as teh British consular protection is concerned.

quote]
I have written to the consular general about this quoting him the Home Office website that says this. The matter is now being discussed with the Indian Overseas Affairs ministry I gather.

An OCI visa is NOT Indian citizenship in any form (even if the Consular staff tells you so) as the Indian constitution does not permit it (Article 9). They are probably confused about its status just as you and me. No govt. anywhere in the world accepts a 'form of citizenship'. One is either a citizen (single/dual/etc...) or not. If one is a citizen, one necessarily has the right to the passport of that country, unless ofcourse it is denied for serious reasons (crime, etc..).
As soon as one embraces the nationality of another country, one loses Indian citizenship. Since India does not allow persons to hold an Indian passport alongwith a foreign one, one CANNOT be a citizen of India if one holds a foreign passport - although one can call himself/herself a dual national. In reality one is NOT. Just because one calls himself Julius Ceaser, he does not become the famous person you and I know. So the UK govt. will have to correct its own understanding of this OCI visa sooner or later.

Just imagine, if for some reason the UK govt. decides to withdraw your UK citizenship. According to its current understanding you will then effectively be STATELESS as you won't have either a UK or an Indian passport prove your nationality. This is NOT acceptable under International law and hence the UK Home Office present understanding will fail in court. So if you already have UK citizenship - good for you - it is for LIFE and cannot be taken away unless you voluntary renounce it and pick up Indian citizenship simultaneously (according to the 5 year rule for OCI holders) OR have citizenship of a third country too.

Hence the OCI scheme is definetely the better option afforded to persons of Indian origin. The PIO card makes sense only to people of countries, (like some gulf countries) where Indians can never gain their citizenship.

British
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Post by British » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:11 pm

Hi Jaihind,

"I have written to the consular general about this quoting him the Home Office website that says this. The matter is now being discussed with the Indian Overseas Affairs ministry I gather. "

I will not hold my breadth on that :-) - especially anything that Indian govt. may pick up for discussion!

In fact if you read this document here, http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/intro.pdf even the Indian govt. themselves are using these words: OCI commonly known as "dual citizenship".

Also if you read through fruther, you see that OCI is granted to only those eligible people from the eligible countries which allow some form of dual citizenship.

If as you say if Indian govt. intends OCI to be a visa, then why would the Indian govt. want to insist on those words. Why can't they saimply say all eligible people from the eligible countries can be given this visa. But they insist on saying that opeople from only those countries that allow "dual citizensip in one form or other" can apply for OCI.

Think about this (Just like the UK govt. does) : Why would the Indian govt. need to say that the other country will have to allow "Dual citizenship in one form or other", if all it was doing was issuing a lifetime VISA to the eligible applicant? I can clearly say they are saying this visa sticker is a citizenship status, no matter, if it is accompanied by a "passport" or not (although I agree to your point on that "passport document not being issued" along with the OCI document, effectively makes it only a Visa!)

That is a grey area - to me!

With these specific words of requirement, i am not surprised that the UK govt. or any govt. for that matter can defenitely be confused and will have every right to call OCI as another / dual citizenship status, irrepspective of how much ever discussions one may initiate with Indian HC or govt.

All that i want to express here in this post is that all the above looks like a grey area (in my view/interpretation) and so i would not risk it by putting my status under confusion later on, as to whether I am a Dual citizenship holder or not, especially with governments other than India - because if they decide i am holding dual citizenship for any of their procedural purposes, there is nothing that i can argue. And i am sure I cannot call Indian govt. at that point, to help me to provide an argument too to sort out any issue (if any!) ;-)

PIO takes away all of these confusions.

But if the Indian government clearly does something in public domain confirming to all that OCI is not a citizenship in any way, then i might go for it in future! :-) But maybe, not until then! :-)

jaihind
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Post by jaihind » Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:18 pm

British wrote:
Also if you read through fruther, you see that OCI is granted to only those eligible people from the eligible countries which allow some form of dual citizenship.

Think about this (Just like the UK govt. does) : Why would the Indian govt. need to say that the other country will have to allow "Dual citizenship in one form or other", if all it was doing was issuing a lifetime VISA to the eligible applicant? I can clearly say they are saying this visa sticker is a citizenship status, no matter, if it is accompanied by a "passport" or not (although I agree to your point on that "passport document not being issued" along with the OCI document, effectively makes it only a Visa!)
The UK govt. is merely repeating what the GOI has told them about the OCI. As you rightly say, it's the Indian govt. that is confused and uses terms like Dual nationality and OCI visa loosely and synonymously. Even the consul general could not explain it to me when I went to see him about it, hence my letter to him to be forwarded to the Overseas Indian ministry.

The GOI must re-qualify these terms in light of what the International community understands by them and not what they imagine the terms could mean.

I do not think for a moment any other nation has something equivalent to an OCI. This is because if Article 9 of the Indian constitution has to be ammended then all States in India have to give their consent. This is a VERY complex business and hence I gather the GOI have come up with this OCI formula in response to the vociferous request by the diaspora.

The test though will be if the nationality of a UK national who acquired it from an Indian one is withdrawn (for whatever reason) and then the matter comes to court. I can bet my last pound the court will grant the case in favour of the affected person OR ask the UK govt. to ensure that the person has his original nationality restored before it finally revoks the UK one.

Whether you accept a PIO or OCI is your prerogative, but I'm convinced that the OCI is not citizenship in any form even though the sarkaris imagine it to be so and hence I have just the UK nationality. The OCI at best is just something equivalent to the UK 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' visa / US Green card but without the clause that one cannot be abroad beyond a stipulated period.

I rest my case.

mhunjn
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Post by mhunjn » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:25 am

I do remember seeing a update thing on the IND website mentioning about the OCI. Basically British law considers OCI as dual nationality and that they had informed the relevant Indian authority about the same, with no objection.

So, OCI holders will not be covered by British Consular protection when in India: Fact.

PS: I have to say that 'British' makes a very sound and practical case for going for PIO card!...

It's all the doing of the totally incompetent politicians and civl service in India (or should we say, extremely shrewd)... that this confusion has started.
They could have just called it an Indian 'ILR' or 'PR', hence avoiding all possible cofusions, but still achieving the same objective.

OCI
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Post by OCI » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:48 am

Hi chaps, long time!!
perhaps this is the wrong forum but i'll be mucho obliged if someone could sort me out.
I'm applying for my wife's PIO card (on the basis that I'm now a proud OCI card holder). Can someone help me filling in the form? (i know !!..D-uh)
The problem. The first question it asks on the form is "Name of Applicant" then goes on to ask "Surname at birth (if any)"..So the million dollar question is ..where do i put her current surname?? Under Name of Applicant (i.e. give the full name there) or under Surname at Birth (but that would be her maiden name!!!). I asked HCI and i got a very Yoda like response. Very cryptic !!
Appreciate any help. Ta

British
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Post by British » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:12 am

Hi OCI,

If you have your wife's surname changed after she was married to you, then use that as her surname and use her earlier surname (her father's name??) as her "surname at birth".

In my case, my wife did not change her surname (i.e. her last name, which is her father's name) after our marriage, and hence she continues to have her father's name in all her documents (incl. her passport) as her surname even now.

OCI
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Post by OCI » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:38 am

Hi British,
Yes her surname has changed (including on her passport). so where should i put her new surname (i.e. my surname)? In the "Name of Applicant" field? I can't think of where else to put it coz as you say "Surname at Birth" will be her dad's surname (i.e. maiden name). If anyone who's wife has applied for a PIO card (and whose surname has changed since her marriage) can also help it'll be great.
Thanks

British
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Post by British » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:44 am

Hi OCI,

Yes, if the changed surname is reflected in her passport, then use the new surname in the "Name of the applicant" section - i.e. [Her first name] [her new surname]

And use her earlier surname (her father's maiden name) as her "Surname at birth".

That looks OK to me. You might want to wait for others to comment.

What i would do in these scenarios is that i would do as above and attach a cover letter explaining what and why i did so, giving my reasons for the same (i.e. of course only in case of ambiguous questions). That should sort out any future issues.

I am doing the same (i.e.a cover note!) for applying for my daughter's British passport in India - its such a nightmare set of requirements to complete, for something she is entitled to by birth! :-)

dabar
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Post by dabar » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:54 am

Hi OCI,
The best thing would be to write the Name of Applicant as it appears on her/his British passport.
The PIO card issued will have the same name and it will be identical to the name on passport. This certainly will avoid any harassing questions at the Indian Immigration.
Also you need to submit the PIO application in duplicates. It is clearly mentioned on the form, but I have seen many people missing it.

Good Luck.

sheetaxml
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Two different spec about photos for OCI.

Post by sheetaxml » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:04 am

Two different spec about photos for OCI.

Please see these two links
Requires white as background. - http://hcilondon.net/Overseas-Indian-Ci ... exnew.html

Requires light colour as background but not white. http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/OCIForm.pdf

Does any one knows which one is correct? Which one got changes for rejection?


Typical desi style confusing people!! Any help would be appreciated.

dabar
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Post by dabar » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:13 am

British wrote: the savings of 220*4 - 165 = £715 (in my entire life time) is very very small cost to me
Just a little correction in the above calculation.
The correct one is:
(215*4) - (165*4) = £200

British
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Post by British » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:32 am

"(215*4) - (165*4) = £200"

Well, are you saying that an OCI visa holder will have to renew the OCI visa every 15 years as well, like the PIO card holder???

Or are you saying its because one will have to pay a £165 fees to transfer the OCI visa to the holder's renewed British passport (since the British passport will have to be renewed every 10 years)?

If that is the case, even that cost advantage factor is "getting out" from the possible few "advantages of OCI" list that i had talked about earlier, all in all making PIO as the best candidate (for now, until all of hte grey area issues are sorted out by Indian govt.!) :-)

Also dabar: I prepared two applications last year when i applied for PIO card (i.e. as required by the PIO requirements). When i handed over the two applications, the lady at the PIO counter literally laughed at me and asked me why i gave her two applications with same data in it ;-) I felt like an idiot there, but i pointed out to her that in the application itself (on its top area), says i need to submit application in duplicate. But she said they did not have any such requirement in their list of checks that they need to make when accpeting applications for PIO card. :-) and she said my application in duplicate was only confusing her! :-) and she immediately gave the second application back to me, accepting the other one only!

dabar
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Post by dabar » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:09 pm

Hi British,
After going thru your previous posts, now I realise that the 4 in your 220*4 is for no. of renewals.
I mistakenly read it as the no. of applicants. :)
The 4 in my formula (215*4) -(165*4) is for no. of applicants. Sorry for any confusion.

Anyway, the fee for PIO card is £215.
And I won't go in the topic of whether PIO card or OCI card is better. A lot has been said about that on this board. Just FYI I have taken OCI.

And when one of my friends went to HCI, London last month for PIO card with one application, the lady at the counter asked him for the second copy of the application, which he didn't had. Then she said to him that she will photo copy the only first page of the application. Then she gave him a blank second page of application form. My friend had to fill and sign the second page on the PIO counter.
Therefore I would advise anyone going for PIO card to take two copies of application as they might have changed the rules from the time when you submitted your application.
:(

sheetaxml
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Re: Two different spec about photos for OCI.

Post by sheetaxml » Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:09 pm

Any comments?
sheetaxml wrote:Two different spec about photos for OCI.

Please see these two links
Requires white as background. - http://hcilondon.net/Overseas-Indian-Ci ... exnew.html

Requires light colour as background but not white. http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/OCIForm.pdf

Does any one knows which one is correct? Which one got changes for rejection?


Typical desi style confusing people!! Any help would be appreciated.

OCI
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Post by OCI » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:50 pm

Hiya,

Thanks for your replies chaps.

some more to engage your little grey cells with!!

Speaking of PIO app forms being submitted in duplicate, exactly how many photos in TOTAL does one person have to submit? Because the photo section in the form says "Please affix 4 passport size photos" but if that is in duplicate then it becomes 4 x 2=8. So is it 4 photos or 8 photos in total?

Secondly, if just 4 photos in total did you staple them onto one form or 2 photoson each form or did you just hand them in loose (i.e. without actually affixing them to the forms)

Thanks

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