OCI Application Procedure
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GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR OCI REGISTRATION

Before proceeding further to complete your OCI application, please read the following guidelines/instructions carefully:

Web link for submission of online application: https://passport.gov.in/oci/

Track status of your application: https://passport.gov.in/oci/statusEnqury

(Please note that once the OCI is received and sent to BLS, the online status on the GOI website says 'received at Mission'. In this case applicants are advised to approach BLS for collection of their OCI).

Courier service- Please note that the courier service provided by BLS is an optional paid service for  return of documents and OCI. There is no compulsion for the applicant to pay for the service.

Outsourced Agency: The Consulate General of India, Toronto has outsourced consular services, including OCI services to BLS International. Their offices covering the jurisdictions of this Consulate are located at Lawrence, Brampton and Winnipeg. Their office addresses, timings, phone numbers and e-mail addresses are available at http://www.blsindia-canada.com

IMPORTANT: India does not allow holding of dual citizenship to its nationals. It is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967  to hold and travel on an Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship. Therefore, an Indian national upon acquiring Canadian or any other foreign nationality is required to renounce his/her Indian citizenship by surrendering Indian passport to the nearest Indian Consulate/ High Commission/ Embassy immediately.

WARNINGCancellation of OCI card: If it is found that the registration as an OCI cardholder was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact or the registered OCI cardholder has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India or comes under any of the provisions of Section 7D of India’s Citizenship Act, 1955, the OCI registration of such person will not only be cancelled forthwith but he/she will also be blacklisted preventing his/her future entry into India.

Who is eligible – Following categories of foreign nationals are eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder:  (1) who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution of India i.e.  26.01.1950; or (2) who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950; or (3)  who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947; or (4) who is a child or grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or (5) who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or (6) who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or (7) spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder registered under section 7A of India’s Citizenship Act, 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the OCI application.

Who is not eligible -  No person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Government of India may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an OCI Cardholder.

BENEIFTS TO AN OCI CARDHOLDER  (indicative list)-

-     Life long visa for visiting India for any purpose;

-     Aadhar Card is not required by OCI cardholders, instead OCI or PIO card can be used as proof of their Indian origin; OCI card will be treated as their identification for any services rendered to them.

-     Exemption from registration with FRRO for any length of stay in India;

-     Parity with NRIs in respect of facilities available to them, except in matters relating to the    acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

-     Parity with NRIs in matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children;

-     Parity with NRIs in matters of tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India;

-     Parity with NRIs for entry fee to visit national parks, wild life sanctuaries, historical sites and monuments, etc

-     Parity with NRIs for pursuing following professions – doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, advocates; architects; chartered accountants and to appear for AIPMT or such other tests.

Benefits to which OCI cardholder is NOT entitled to

-     Right to vote;

-     Cannot become a Member of Parliament, Legislative Assembly, Council and cannot hold any Constitutional Post such as President, Vice-President, Judge of High Court or UPSC, Election Commission, etc.

-     Further, OCI cardholders cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India.

I. PROCEDURE FOR A FRESH OCI REGISTRATION –

General Instructions: 

Please note that it is mandatory for applicants applying for OCI-Card to upload his/her image and signature image in jpeg or jpg format, specifications are given in succeeding paragraphs. Kindly be ready with both images before starting the registration process.

The applicants have to submit the application form online (please log on to https://passport.gov.in/oci) and upload all the requisite documents (self attested) in a PDF file, photograph and signature (in case of minors who cannot sign, left hand thumb impression for male and right hand thumb impression for female in black or blue ink) along with the application.

After submission of the complete online application, the applicant is required to take a print out of the application and submit the same along with the originals and self-attested copies of the required documents and fee at the nearest BLS center. The originals are returned to the applicants after verification in about 2 weeks.

Specifications of the photograph:

Photograph to be affixed on the application should be of square shape of size not less than 51x51 mm (the image must be in jpg or jpeg with max size 200 KB - minimum dimension 200 pixels (width) x 200 pixels (height); maximum dimension 900 pixels (width) x 900 pixels (height)  with 80% coverage of face) in matte finish as is given for the Canadian passport. It should have plain light color background (not white) without the border with front view of person’s head and shoulders showing the full face in the middle of the photograph. It should not be stapled and should not have any signature. (Note: Photographs that do not conform to the above standards will be rejected and may cause delay in processing of the applications).

Applicant’s signature/ thumb impression of minor who cannot sign:

The height and the width of the signature photo must have the aspect ratio 1:3.

The minimum dimensions are 200 pixels (width) x 67 pixels (height). The maximum dimensions are 900 pixels (width) x 300 pixels (height).

Documents uploading instructions:

Document-upload section of online registration has 4 categories. Scanned copy of self-attested documents relevant to your application has to be uploaded in one pdf file with maximum file size of 500 KB.

Affidavit All personal particulars of the applicants such as name, DOB, place of birth, parents names, appearance, etc. must be the same as in their passports. If there is any change, an affidavit is required to be submitted.

Fee- C$ 282 (to be paid by bank draft made in the name of Consulate General of India, Toronto) + BLS charges

Processing time:  The processing time for fresh OCI applications is 6-8 weeks from the date of submission of papers at the BLS Centre.

Documents to be submitted with application:

1.    Proof of present citizenship (Canadian or foreign) – copy of current passport with a validity of at least 180 days or 6 months at the time of submission of application; Foreign Passport holders (non-Canadians) are required to submit a duly filled in reference form (Click here to download) along with application at the BLS. 

2.    Canadian Citizenship Certificate;

3.    Landing paper issued by the Canadian Immigration Authority (CIC);

4.    If landing paper at column 19 shows FC (family class) category, then letter from Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board and a notorized affidavit pleading that neither the applicant nor the sponsor has sought Refugee status in Canada;   

5.    Evidence of self or parents or grandparents or great grandparents being citizens of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution i.e. 26.01.1950; or being eligible to become citizen of India; belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. These could be – Indian Passport (first & last page and observation, if any to be uploaded online) or Nativity Certificate or Domicile Certificate issued from the concerned District Administration (First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate) or OCI Card/ PIO Card of parents / spouse or certificate of residence or place of birth of self/ parents/ grandparents from First Class/ District Magistrate (DM) of the concerned place.

6.    Evidence of relationship as parents/grandparents/great grandparents, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for registration as OCI cardholders – the document of relationship could be “birth certificate” issued from competent authority mentioning both parents name. In case the birth certificate is issued by a foreign authority, it is to be Apostled or endorsed by the concerned Diplomatic Mission and thereafter by the Indian Mission abroad;

7.   Surrender Certificate issued by the Indian Consulate/High Commission/Embassy stating that you have surrendered Indian passport upon acquiring foreign citizenship (OCI applicants, if surrendering their Indian passport now, can apply for OCI and Surrender Certificate simultaneously).

      Note: Applicant can provide his/her latest Indian passport that was held prior to acquiring Canadian or Foreign citizenship. (Hope you have surrendered your Indian passport on acquiring the Canadian citizenship, if not please do it immediately).

8.    Marital Status:

-Married applicants have to provide marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages or District Administration. Please note that the Consulate does not recognize marriage certificates issued by Village Panchayats, Wakf Boards, Gurudwara and Churches in India unless these are attested/authenticated by the concerned District Administration and the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

- Unmarried applicants have to submit a self-declaration addressed to the Consulate General of India stating that their marital status is single and have never married.

- Divorcee applicants are required to submit their divorce certificate. Please note that in normal circumstances if marriage is solemnized in India, the divorce should also be taken in India (not in Canada), however, if both applicants who are seeking divorce have acquired Canadian or foreign citizenship, can obtain divorce in Canada, provided the decision is with mutual consent and not  ex-parte.  Ex-parte divorce certificate will not be accepted.

- Widow/widower applicants are required to submit death certificate in respect of his/her spouse from the Municipality or Registrar in India if death has taken place in India. In case the death of spouse has taken place in Canada, the certificate from Government of Service Ontario or concerned Province will be needed.    

       9.  Applicant whose spouse is of Pak origin is also required to submit an affidavit attested by the Consulate General of Pakistan stating that, they have not acquired Pakistani citizenship nor do they posses  a valid Pakistani passport.

10.     All the Documents (mentioned at S. No. 1-7 above) of the spouse in case of married applicant will also be required.

DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED -  Documents mentioned at S.No. 1, 3, 5 and 8 above in one PDF file.

I (2) .  APPLICATION BY MINOR APPLICANTS:

               Process will be the same as mentioned above. Documents required are as follows:

1.   Copy of applicant’s birth certificate (statement of live birth certificate) issued by the  Canadian/Foreign   Authority; in case the applicant is born in India, then birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Birth or   Municipality concerned and landing paper of the applicant;

2.    Copies of Indian passports of both parents;

3.    Copies of landing papers of both parents;

4.    Marriage Certificate of parents issued in India, Canada or any other foreign country;

5.   Joint self-declaration signed by both parents with their photographs, mobile numbers and email   IDs mentioned on it, expressing their no objection to acquire OCI card for their minor child except in cases where parents are divorced.

6.   If parents are divorced, court order of dissolution of marriage, which specifically mentions that the legal   custody of the child is with the parent who is applying for the OCI card.

DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED -  Documents mentioned at S.No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 or 6 above in one PDF file.

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II. APPLICATIONS BY FOREIGN SPOUSE OF INDIAN CITIZEN OR OCI CARDHOLDER

Process will be the same as for fresh OCI application mentioned above. Documents required are as under :

1.    All the documents (mentioned at S.No.1-7 above for fresh OCI) along with OCI card or Indian passport of the spouse and registered marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages from the concerned Indian State Government. If the Marriage Certificate is issued by the Canadian Authorities (longer version), it should be first Apostled by the Ministry of Ontario and Consumer Services or the concerned Province Authorities and thereafter by the Consulate General of India, Toronto. In case of Marriage Certificate issued by other Foreign Governments, it should be Apostled/endorsed by the concerned Diplomatic Mission and thereafter by the Consulate General of India, Toronto. After the attestation is over, it should be uploaded online with other documents.

2.   Written declaration that in the event of dissolution of marriage or death of the Indian spouse, the applicant shall notify and return the OCI card to the Consulate General of India, Toronto.


DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED -  As mentioned for fresh OCI application at S.No. 1, 2, 3 and OCI card or Indian passport of spouse and marriage certificate in one PDF file.
 

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR RENEWAL OF OCI CARD

1. The OCI card is required to be got reissued each time a new passport is issued to the applicant up to the age of 20 years and once after completing 50 years of age in view of biological changes in the face of the applicant. (However, in emergency cases, the applicant can perform the journey and apply for OCI renewal upon his/her return).

2. Reissuance of OCI card is not mandatory each time new passport is issued between 21 and 50 years of age. However, if applicant wishes to avail this service, he/she can apply for the same.

3. In connection with OCI Miscellaneous services, guidelines are given below separately.     

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III. OCI MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES (renewal, etc)

OCI Miscellaneous Services can be availed of only by the registered OCI cardholders for reissuance/issuance of duplicate OCI booklet in the following circumstances:

(i)             In case of issuance of new passport;

(ii)            In case of change of personal particulars, nationality etc;

(iii)           In case of loss/damage of OCI booklet;

(iv)          In case of filing wrong personal particulars while submitting online applications, namely, name, father’s name, date of birth, sex, marital status, etc. 

Please note that affixing of U visa stickers on the passport has already been discontinued. Now, only a four-page OCI booklet is issued to the applicants.

For OCI Miscellaneous Services, application form must be submitted on the Ministry of Home Affairs website: www.mha.nic.in at the link https://passport.gov.in/oci under miscellaneous services.

After successful registration of the online application and uploading the pdf copy of the eligibility documents, the applicant is required to submit a print out of the duly signed application form at the BLS Centre along with one photograph; self-attested copies of current passport, existing OCI booklet (First and Last pages) and marriage/divorce certificate (if applicable), and screenshot of the photograph, signature uploaded; and required fee. [Original of these documents will also be required, which will be seen at the BLS and returned to the applicant]. 

Note: Joint self-declaration signed by both parents with their photographs, mobile numbers and email   IDs mentioned on it, expressing their no objection to acquire OCI card for their minor child except in cases where parents are divorced.

Fee: C$30 + BLS Services Charges

Lost/Damaged OCI Card:  In case of loss of OCI, the applicant is required to follow the same process as above except that he/she needs to also submit an FIR from the Canadian Police Authority mentioning the loss of OCI card  with its number mentioned on the FIR and a notarized Affidavit with same details. For damaged OCI, an affidavit with OCI details is required to be submitted.The fee charged for this service will be C$105 + BLS Service Charges.

Change of address/occupation –  In this case no new OCI documents shall be issued and accordingly, payment of fee does not arise. Applicant may apply online and application form be submitted on the Ministry of Home Affairs website: www.mha.nic.in at the link https://passport.gov.in/oci  under miscellaneous services. Data shall be captured and new address/occupation shall be printed by the applicant which may be kept in the OCI booklet for record purpose.

Processing time for OCI miscellaneous applications:  The processing time for OCI miscellaneous applications is 3-4 weeks from the date of submission of papers at BLS Centre.   

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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IV. CONVERSION OF PIO TO OCI:

PIO Card scheme has been withdrawn vide Gazette Notification No.25024/9/2014F.I dated 09.01.2015. Henceforth, applicants may apply for OCI card in lieu of their PIO card, as PIO card scheme is no longer in existence. It is advisable that PIO cardholders obtain machine readable OCI cards in lieu of the existing PIO cards. 

Please note that PIO cards are valid for travel to India only till validity date mentioned on the card.  However, hand-written PIO cards will be valid till 31 October 2018 (as International Civil Aviation Organization will accept only machine readable travel documents thereafter).

PIO card holders are requested to submit their application through the PIO conversion link provided at  https://passport.gov.in/oci/

After the successfully completing the registration of online OCI application and uploading the pdf copy of current passport and PIO card, the applicants are required to submit the print out of the duly signed application form with one photograph, original PIO card ,self-attested copy of current Canadian Passport along with required fee.

Note: Joint self-declaration signed by both parents with their photographs, mobile numbers and email   IDs mentioned on it, expressing their no objection to acquire OCI card for their minor child except in cases where parents are divorced.

Fee: C$ 157 + BLS service charges

Processing time:  The processing time for conversion of PIO to OCI applications is 3-4 weeks from the date of submission of papers at BLS Centre. 

HELP DESK AT CGI TORONTO –  For any clarification / query w.r.t OCI, please write to Mr. Hoti Lal, Consul (OCI) at – oci.toronto@mea.gov.in





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