OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India)

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is for the residents of India and their spouses, allowing them to live and work in India. OCI card is valid for 10 years after being issued and gives a cardholder the right to multipurpose, multiple entries, lifelong visa permitting them to visit India at any time, for a preferable duration, and any permitted intent. However, OCI does not give an applicant the right to dual citizenship but gives them a right to stay, work or buy a residential or commercial property in India. Connect with easyILA to know how you can apply for the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI).

Many citizens of India who are current lawful permanent residents of the United States may be surprised to learn that India, contrary to popular belief, also does not have dual citizenship.

In fact, it is prohibited by the Indian Constitution to retain Indian citizenship if one voluntarily acquires citizenship in another country. There is something called “OCI” which stands for Overseas Citizenship of India. However, this is not the same as retaining your Indian Citizenship.

Limitations of OCI:

A person who is a US Citizen, as well as an OCI of India, does not have the following rights to vote or hold some of the highest public offices in the country including President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court, etc.

Benefits of OCI:

However, the benefits may outweigh the limitations. According to the Indian Embassy, some of the privileges accorded to OCI holders are:

  • Multiple entries, multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India
  • Exemption from local police registration requirements
  • “Parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.”

For most Indian people who have become naturalized citizens of the US, the motivation of being an OCI is the unfettered ability to visit and stay in India for extended periods of time without the necessity of having to apply for a visa or register with the local police after staying there for more than 180 days.

And obviously, if one is a U.S. Citizen, one never has to worry about re-entry problems back into the States after extended periods abroad, whether for work or for pleasure.

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