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Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

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sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:05 pm

Overseas Citizenship of India - Not a Dual Citizenship of India


Overview
Despite all the news coverage and excitement over this issue, please
understand clearly that the Constitution of India does NOT allow dual
citizenship, i.e., holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign
country simultaneously.

Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) which most people mistakenly refer as 'dual citizenship'. Persons of
Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category 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.

If you get OCI, it is NOT same as being a regular Indian citizen:

You do not get an Indian passport.


No voting rights.


Can not be candidate for Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative
Assembly/Council


Can not hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President,
Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc.


Cannot normally hold employment in the Government.


As OCI, you get following benefits:
Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India;


Exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in
India; and


Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in
the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
Any further benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas
Indian Affairs (MOIA) under section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply by the Ministry of
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. However, such
person would have to renounce foreign citizenship.

OCI scheme is being operational from Dec 2, 2005. It has been decided that
formal launching of scheme will be done by Prime Minister at Pravasi
Bharatiya Divas on Jan 7, 2006 at Hyderabad by symbolically handing over
the first OCI certificate to a person of Indian origin.

It is anticipated that a large number of Indian Diaspora will be benefited
by this scheme for a hassle free travel to their motherland. They will
bring economic value and benefits to Indian economy and contribute to the
development process.

PIO vs. OCI
Compared to PIO card, OCI offers following benefits:
OCI is entitled to life long visa free travel to India whereas for PIO
cardholder, it is for 15 years.


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

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:17 pm

legin wrote:Did take some researching to find that a Visa like this even existed..

Its issued only to persons of Indian Origin and is also called,

Entry Visa / Long Term Visa / Settlement Visa
(Quite confusing)

But the sticky point would be if it doesn't allow the person to work??
Sundeep are you sure that one cannot work with this Visa.. I tried searching FAQs and Visa notes on this issue but didn't find any
confirming the same..

Can someone share light on this?
It is entry visa. AFAIK it is a kind of business visit / tourist visa only difference is the period of validity is 5 years.

Look at this on HCI website

Entry Visas are issued to persons of Indian origin for duration of up to five years. These can be obtained, depending on the purpose of visit and eligibility, on a case-by-case basis.

http://www.hcilondon.net/visa/entry-visa.html

Entry Visas are issued to persons of Indian origin for duration of up to five years. These can be obtained, depending on the purpose of visit and eligibility, on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that persons holding long-term visas (having validity exceeding six months) are normally not expected to stay in India more than six months during each visit. Please refer to the link further down for requirement to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO)/Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

I would be extremely carefull before stepping into India with this visa for employment.

legin
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Post by legin » Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:51 am

Having looked at the below hcilondon website, I understand there are 2 visa types,

1) Entry Visa
2) Long term/Settlement visa

I think with Long-term/Settlement Visa one will be allowed to work.. But doesn't say anywhere... I'm not able to find the guidance(if there is one) notes or seperate application form for the above Visa types..

http://www.hcilondon.org/visa.htm#Visa%20fees

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:15 am

Here comes the form - http://www.hcilondon.net/services/visa- ... t-visa.pdf

I dont think this is a visa that you can use to be on and off work like PIO. You need to really be looking to return to India for settlement. This visa is for people who want to genuienly go back and settle in India.

This convinces me more that taking OCI to be the best option (at least for me).

The beauty of PIO (even more for OCI since it is for lifetime and no registration required) is that there is no stay requirement in India, no need to move funds to India etc.

This settlement visa looks to be even more qmbiguious than PIO / OCI. For me OCI is an excellent option - I had a PIO which I upgraded to OCI. Today I dont have any worries and for all it is worth I wont have to see Indian High Commission for my life time. UK citizens Indian origins are priviledged to have OCI since UK allows dual natioanality.

global
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Post by global » Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:22 pm

actually in India no one cares ....PIO / OCI / Visa / no Visa - you can do anything :lol:

it is only after staying here in Western World the Indian people get very anxious about all the admin and legal processes in India.

One needs to worry about what will happen in the UK because UK is so strict on law not about what will happen in India

cybergeek
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Requirements for an OCI Application at London HCI

Post by cybergeek » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:07 am

Trying to compile a checklist of requirements for an OCI Application at London HCI.

1. Completed application Forms A (printed from website) & B in duplicate.

2. Two Full copies of Indian Passport

3. Two Full copies of Foreign (eg British) Passport

4. All copied pages should have:-

Self Attested
signature
[Name]
date

5. 4 spare 35X35 Passport Photos (Is it 4 or 8?) excluding the two stuck on the two Form A's. (Check Photo specifications.)

6. Fee of 165 pound sterling (Cash or Demand Draft) per applicant.


7. In case of a family application (OCI) do all applicants physically need to be present at the counter at the time of filing the application?

Is there anything else? Also please mention whether it is 4 or 8 spare photos.


Many thanks.

sudeep_n
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Posts: 72
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Post by sudeep_n » Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:20 pm

Please go thru the link below and this thread thoroughly before asking further questions.

http://www.immigrationportal.com/showth ... p?t=209468

jaihind
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UK Home Office update

Post by jaihind » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:25 am

Finally the UKHO have made sense of the babus understanding of Dual Nationality with respect to India and have clarified this.
You may want to check this out.

http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/applyi ... itizenship


The Ministry of Home Affairs, India, has recently provided further information on a number of points of Indian citizenship law. The effect of this is that a number of individuals that we believed to be dual British/Indian nationals are in fact solely British.


PS: This webpage is often fussy and does not show up details - but keep checking.
Good news for those who have considered applying for an OCI visa :D - Too late for those who have gone in for a PIO card recently :cry: .

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:01 pm

well it was only a matter of time.....

This was to come some day or the other. I never thought / believed for a second that OCI would stand as dual citizenship in any court in this world.

Anyway good that they have cleared that in black & white - lot of people who had unreal fear about it would be reprieved.

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:08 pm

even for PIO applicanrs / holders - for 25 USD u can upgrade to OCI any time.

jaihind
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UKHO - OCI visas

Post by jaihind » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:33 pm

I just feel vindicated in that my contribution to this thread on 4th June has indeed been correctly understood by the UK Home Office now. I hoped that the Indian govt. home ministry would have been clear right at the very start ... but maybe I was hoping for too much. Once a babu .... always a babu I guess. :wink:

vin123
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Post by vin123 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:48 pm

What a mess this OCI thing is !. Especially reading the last 3 pages in this thread.
By the way, I got my OCI issued last month. It looks like a one page rationcard (not to mention, made of cheap quality stuff)

Thanks Jaihind for the clarification and the eye-opener link about OCI. I kind of understood that OCI is just a visa when they asked for my British Passport for "printing the visa". Don't be amazed, yes, if you don't have a visa then then you don’t have OCI. That’s how I see it. Complicated...isn't ?

Hey, by the way has any one seen a country issuing visa to its own "citizens"?.
Forget politicians, I wonder what training programs those IAS/ IFS guys in the civil service go thru to get internationally publicity of this kind for utter their stupidity on their definition of the word “citizen”?

We can recommend Oxford press to add the following entries, because here the word "citizen" truly is different from the rest of the world.

Indian citizen - one requires no visa, but Indian passport to enter a port in India.
Overseas Indian citizen - Requires OCI visa, a british/foreign passport, and an overseas passport showing "registration". Very funny

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:34 am

Since the webpage is often fussy (it took me 20 attempts and 3 hours to get to the page) I am reproducing the text below for ease of reference

New information on Indian citizenship laws - implications for eligibility for British citizenship
A number of provisions under British nationality law require applicants for British citizenship to hold a form of British nationality, such as British Overseas citizenship, but no other nationality or citizenship.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, India, has recently provided further information on a number of points of Indian citizenship law. The effect of this is that a number of individuals that we believed to be dual British/Indian nationals are in fact solely British.

A summary of the main provisions of Indian citizenship law, as now set out by the Indian authorities, can be found in Annex H of Chapter 14 of the nationality instructions.

This means that there may be a number of people of Indian origin who have an avenue to British citizenship who have either:

not previously applied because they believed they did not meet the eligibility criteria; or
been refused British citizenship in the past on the basis of information from the Indian Government that people in their position continued to hold Indian citizenship
The affected provisions of British nationality law are:

Section 1(1) of the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997 - available to individuals who were and continue to be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong
For full details of the requirements under this provisions
Section 4B of the British Nationality Act 1981 - for British Overseas citizens, British Protected persons and British Subjects who hold no other nationality or citizenship.
For full details of the requirements under this provision.
If after checking the criteria for registration and the new information on Indian citizenship law you feel you now qualify for British citizenship and would like to apply you should either:

A. For people who have not made a previous application - follow the instructions given in the relevant guides (Guide EM or Guide B(OS)); or

B. For people who now feel that an earlier application may have been wrongly refused - write to the following address to request reconsideration of the earlier decision. You will need to provide full details of your name, address, place and date of birth. If your name has changed since your earlier application please provide also the name under which you applied. If possible please also include a copy of your original refusal letter.

For UK based applicants

Managed Migration
Nationality Group
PO Box 12
Liverpool
L69 2UX

For applicants in Hong Kong

The British Consulate General
1 Supreme Court Road
Admiralty
Hong Kong

If you have any queries about this notice you can contact

Nationality Group in the UK:
By telephone on 0845 010 5200. Our lines are very busy, particularly at peak times (9.00 - 10.00; 12.00 - 1400)
By email at nationalityenquiries@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
By writing to:
Nationality Group, General Enquiries Team
Managed Migration Directorate
Home Office
PO Box 306
Liverpool L2 0QN


Or the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong in writing at the above address or by calling 2901 3050

sudeep_n
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Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:18 am

Post by sudeep_n » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:38 am

Chapter 14 Annex H Indian citizenship law

http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/docume ... iew=Binary

1. The following summary reflects the provisions of Indian citizenship law and
statements made by the Ministry of Home Affairs, India by letter to the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office on 27 January 2006. It does not aim to be, nor should be
taken as, definitive. Only the Indian authorities can provide definitive advice on their
citizenship law. However, the information should normally be sufficient to determine
an applicant's eligibility for British nationality where this turns on his/her possession,
or not, of Indian citizenship.
2. The principal legislation is the Citizenship Act 1955, as amended by the
Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1986, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1992 and
the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003.
3. Indian citizenship by birth
Birth in India prior to 3 December 2004
3.1 Under the 1955 Act, and prior to the commencement of the 1986 Act on 1 July
1987, any person born in India was a citizen of India by birth. A person born in India
on or after 1 July 1987 was a citizen of India if either of the parents was a citizen of
India at the time of the birth.
Birth in India on or after 3 December 2004
3.2 From 3 December 2004 any child born in India will only be an Indian citizen if
either of the parents is a citizen of India and the other parent is not:
a. an illegal immigrant; or
b. a foreign diplomat or envoy (who is not a citizen of India); or
c. an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under enemy occupation
4. Indian citizenship by descent
Birth outside India prior to 3 December 2004
4.1 Prior to the commencement of the 1992 Act on 10 December 1992, a person
born outside India could normally only be a citizen of India by descent if the father
was a citizen of India otherwise than by descent at the time of the birth. A person
born outside India on or after 10 December 1992 but before 3 December 2004 is
normally a citizen of India if either parent was a citizen of India otherwise than by
descent at the time of the birth. Citizenship of India acquired in this way is citizenship
by descent.
4.2 However, a person born outside India to a parent who was a citizen of India by
descent at the time of the birth (as described in paragraph 4.1) is also a citizen of
India by descent if:
• the birth is registered at an Indian Consulate or High Commission abroad; or
• the parent was in Indian Government service

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:41 am

Birth outside India on or after 3 December 2004
4.3 Any child born outside India to an Indian parent on or after 3 December 2004 will
continue to be eligible for Indian citizenship on the same basis as 4.1 & 4.2 above.
4.4 However acquisition of Indian citizenship will not be automatic. These
children will not become Indian citizens unless and until the child’s birth is registered
at an Indian Consulate (by virtue of S.4 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003,
which came into force on 3 December 2004).
4.5 When considering cases where a child potentially has a route to Indian
citizenship via registration we should ask for evidence that the child has not been
registered.
5. Renunciation
5.1 If an adult makes a declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship, any minor
child of that person also loses Indian citizenship from the date of renunciation.
6. Dual nationality
6.1 Indian citizenship cannot normally be held in combination with any other
citizenship. Section 9 of the 1955 Act provides that
"Any citizen of India who by naturalisation, registration or otherwise voluntarily
acquires.....the citizenship of another country..... shall, upon such acquisition,.....
cease to be a citizen of India".
6.2 This means that no adult (18 and over) can hold Indian citizenship in conjunction
with any other nationality or citizenship. This applies irrespective of whether the
person holds any passports (either Indian or that of their other nationality/citizenship).
6.3 Further, if an Indian minor obtains another nationality or citizenship (for example
by registration as a BN(O)) the child will automatically lose its Indian citizenship. This
applies even where the registration is made by the parents/guardian on behalf of the
child.
6.4 The only exception to this general ban on dual citizenship is where a child is a
dual national by birth. In such cases that child can remain a dual citizen until either:
a. they obtain a passport in their other citizenship (while under the age of 18); or
b. they reach the age of majority (18)
6.5 If a child who is a dual national by birth fails to renounce their other citizenship
prior to reaching the age of majority or acquires a passport in their other nationality
before reaching the age of 18 they will lose Indian citizenship.
7. Indian Overseas Citizenship
7.1 The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003 introduced a new status, Overseas
Citizenship of India (OCI), which can be held in combination with any other
citizenship (excluding Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizenship)
7.2 The scheme was formally launched on 2 December 2005 and acquisition is by
application only. (The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003 introduced the necessary
legislation.)
7.3 OCI will only be granted if the laws of the country of the applicant "home country"
also permit dual citizenship.
Eligibility for OCI
7.4 Any foreign national (except those who are or have been citizens of Pakistan and
Bangladesh) who:
a. Was eligible to become or was a citizen of India on, or at anytime after 26 January
1950 (see paragraph 3 above and Indian MHA website - http://www.mha.nic.in/ocifaq.
pdf); or
b. Belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947; or
c. Is the child or grandchild of a person described at a. or b. above.
7.5 For the purposes of British nationality law, OCI is considered to be citizenship of
another State. This will be relevant where British law requires the person to be
stateless (as, for example, in Schedule 2 to the British Nationality Act 1981) or to
have no citizenship or nationality apart from a qualifying form of British nationality
(as, for example, in s.4B to the 1981 Act). In these cases, confirmation of nonacquisition
of OCI should be sought where the applicant appears to satisfy the
criteria in paragraph 7.4 above.

sudeep_n
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Post by sudeep_n » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:44 am

That means that they have not yet changed the chapter 14 Annex H to reflec that OCI is not dual citizenship (at least as yet). So even British HO is not that efficient (not so surprising anyway http://www.epolitix.com/EN/News/200607/ ... 81dac9.htm )

jaihind
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Post by jaihind » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:57 am

vin123 wrote: Hey, by the way has any one seen a country issuing visa to its own "citizens"?.
Forget politicians, I wonder what training programs those IAS/ IFS guys in the civil service go thru to get internationally publicity of this kind for utter their stupidity on their definition of the word “citizen”?

We can recommend Oxford press to add the following entries, because here the word "citizen" truly is different from the rest of the world.

Indian citizen - one requires no visa, but Indian passport to enter a port in India.
Overseas Indian citizen - Requires OCI visa, a british/foreign passport, and an overseas passport showing "registration". Very funny
Good sense of humour ... Keep it up.
:lol:

jaihind
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Post by jaihind » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:02 pm

sudeep_n wrote:That means that they have not yet changed the chapter 14 Annex H to reflec that OCI is not dual citizenship (at least as yet).
I think this may take some time as the Home secretary is presently dealing with a larger mess than just errors on a webpage. Annex H was last updated on 16/05/06, before the present home secretary took charge. It may help to write to the UKHO directly, as I did, to remind them about correcting the error on paragraph 7.5 of Annex H.

But at least they have now accepted that all OCI holders are in fact single nationals of the UK and not dual ones as previously thought.
http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/applyi ... itizenship

AmitabhOz
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Post by AmitabhOz » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:28 pm

^^^^^

This refers to the previous post. OCI holders are not Dual citizens?

So as an Australian citizen and an OCI holder, I can also hold a British passport if I choose to take British citizenship?

(Since both Australia and UK allow dual citizenship)

Can someone clarify this for me please?

Thanks

AmitabhOz
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Post by AmitabhOz » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:45 pm

Hi and thanks to everyone (especially sudeep_n) for all the information regarding OCI. I have recently been granted the OCI as per the online website inquiry form.

The status shows "GRANTED",
the photo/signature "SCANNED"
documents "PRINTED"
documents "DESPATCHED" from Delhi.

I think this implies that my photos are ok and I don't need to send it again. Also, I haven't received any email acknowledgement from them. I guess I will just turn up at the FRRO office (where I applied) after 10 days from the dispatch date.

I am pretty excited about the OCI. Although there still appears to be a hurdle for me: I have just finished my PhD in Australia and want to come back to India to do my post-doc at IIT Bombay (don't ask me why. I have my reasons to return to India). However, since IITs are mostly "government" organizations, am I allowed to hold a post-doc / faculty position in them as an OCI ?

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