The Home Ministry has simplified the rules for issuing OCI (overseas citizen of India) cards; a person who has been registered as an OCI cardholder after turning 20 no longer requires a new card when a new passport is issued.
Many OCI cardholders will no longer be confused about the method of renewing their cards at the ages of 20 and 50, and they will not have to go through the whole OCI card renewal process again," said Dr Thomas Abraham, chairman of the Global Organization told PTI.
According to the new regulations, cardholders under the age of 20 must upload a copy of their passport as well as an up-to-date photo of themselves to the OCI portal if they obtain a new passport.
Who is an OCI cardholder?
The Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards, which are extremely common among overseas Indians, allow for long-term visa-free travel and stay in India, plus a handful of other benefits not available to foreign nationals.
Persons from the following countries (except Pakistan and Bangladesh) are entitled to apply for OCI:
- Who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of the constitution's inception, or at any time afterwards.
- Who is a citizen of another country, but was qualified to become a citizen of India at the time of the constitution's inception.
- Who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of the constitution's inception.
- A person who is a minor child of one of the individuals mentioned in the clause.
- A person under the age of eighteen whose both parents are Indian citizens or one of the parents is an Indian citizen.
- Foreign-born spouse of an Indian citizen or foreign-born spouse of an Indian Overseas Citizen Holder of a card issued under section 7A of the Citizenship Act of 1955.