Last Updated on Oct 30th, 2023 by Priyanka Jadhav, Leave a Comment
Did you know that more than 15 million people of Indian ancestry have been residing outside of India as a result of Indian emigration? The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) immigration status allows such Indians to travel or return to India. Anyone with Indian ancestry can seek OCI status. This article aims to assist such persons with all the information they need to apply for an OCI card. Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) – a smart card given to the Persons of India (PIO) who have immigrated from India and acquired the citizenship of a foreign country, like the United States. There are many benefits of the OCI card, such as
Howbeit, an OCI cardholder is not permitted to cast a vote or become a member of the Legislative Assembly/ Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts like that of President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court, or High Court. Neither are they allowed to hold employment in the Government sector.
It is required to send all OCI applications to the respective VFS Global Centers as per your jurisdiction. In-person applications have not been permitted until further notice. Applicants can submit their application to a center based on their jurisdiction such as – Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, and Atlanta.
The following are the OCI classifications:
Select the correct OCI services by clicking on the Online Application Services, the applicant will be directed to the Government of India’s Online OCI Services website. There must be no more than 180 days between the applicant submitting the form and the submission of three forms to the Embassy, or it won’t upload in the system. In order to prevent committing mistakes, the applicant can print a sample form for assistance and beware of common mistakes such as:
The form must have complete and accurate information. It is important that you keep a record of your ‘File Reference Number’ after completing the form on the Online OCI Services website and uploading photographs, signatures, and documents. Return to the VFS website to continue with the subsequent steps.
NOTE: While filling or submitting an online form on the Government website, you face a problem and cannot complete the process, then you must submit the physical application to the VFS India Consular Application Centre.
Opt for the correct VFS Indian Consular Application Centre. After the online form is filled, prepare for the physical application with the required documents to send by post to the VFS Indian Consular Application Centre based on your state of residence. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, applications can only be accepted via courier.
If the applicant is part of a family or is traveling with a group, he needs to create an individual profile for each member.
Indian Embassy USA can help you determine the center you must submit your application to. The VFS Indian Consular Application Center will accept physical applications that are filled out in black ink only. Select the postal method during the registration process. OCI applicants applying at the Mission, outside of the jurisdiction of their state of residence must use their own pre-paid courier labels.
Upon receiving the receipt of your application the VFS system will be updated, and you will receive an email on your registered email id. The application needs to meet the requirements of the Mission/ Post, so a review process is initiated. In lieu of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it must be noted the VFS staff will attend to packages 48 hours after receiving them at the location hence, the applicant must begin tracking the status of their applications 3-4 days from the day the documents were delivered to the VFS Indian Consular Application Centre.
All applicants are required to pay a charge in US Dollars. The fee does not waiver for anyone.
|Service Type||Consular Fee||ICWF Fee||Service Fee||Total|
|New OCI Card||$275||$3||$15.90||$293.90|
|OCI in lieu of PIO Card||$100||$3||$15.90||$118.90|
|OCI in lieu of Lost PIO Card||$200||$3||$15.90||$218.90|
|OCI in lieu of Damaged PIO Card||$200||$3||$15.90||$218.90|
|Applied from another jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction of residence applicants must apply for OCI in lieu of a PIO card|
|OCI Re-issue (New Passport)||$25||$3||$15.90||$43.90|
|OCI Re-issue (Lost/ Damaged)||$100||$3||$15.90||$118.90|
|OCI Misc.Change of ParticularsChange of AppearanceCorrection of OCI Online FormChange of Address/ Occupation|
|Renunciation of OCI||$25||$3||$15.90||$43.90|
When the PIO to OCI conversion application status changes, the applicant is notified through email or SMS. To track one’s PIO to OCI conversion application status, they must enter the tracking ID number found on their receipt from the VFS Indian Consular Application Center together with their date of birth.
In addition to that, you can also use the VFS Global SMS service to receive updates on your PIO to OCI conversion application status. This SMS service is paid.
Once the Embassy of India/ Consulates of India has assessed your application and come to a decision, they will send it to the VFS Indian Consular Application Center, who will then inform the application about the status of the application via the preferred mode of communication.
The time duration to OCI card application process is between 8 and 19 weeks. The procedure of obtaining an OCI card consists of several steps. Due to incomplete application, the processing time may be prolonged even further. The following can help you assess the general processing time and the necessary steps involved in applying for an OCI card.
Once the application is sent to process by the Embassy/ Consulates, and the final card is sent from Delhi, India. Then, the process takes approximately 60 days.
Once it reaches the Consulate, the applicant must send their original US passport. Once the passport is received by the VFS Global Center, the processing resumes. It takes up to 3 days for the Consulate to match the passport.
The Consulate requires at least 7 days to identify the US passport with the OCI card.
The VFS takes up to 3 days to ship the US passport with the OCI card.
There are a variety of factors that come into play when it’s time to process the card and the passport, including the number of business days and time taken by the courier companies to deliver the passport.
The VFS Global Center in the applicant’s jurisdiction can be used to apply for an OCI card. It is also possible to get an OCI Card while you are already in India on a long-term visa (for more than a year).
|VFS Global Center||Timings(Monday to Friday)||Address||Consular Jurisdiction||Processing Time|
|Washington DC||Submission Timing: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PMCollection Timing: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||1025, Vermont Ave NW Floor 2, Washington DC 20005||Bermuda, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia||Minimum 3 weeks and maximum 6 weeks if clearance required.|
|New York||Submission Timing: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PMCollection Timing: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||145 W 45th St 4th floor, New York NY 10036||Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Vermont||Additional 10 days|
|Chicago||Submission Timing: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PMCollection Timing: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||142 E Ontario St #1700 Chicago, IL 60611||Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, and Wisconsin||Minimum 4 weeks and maximum 6 or more weeks if clearance is needed.|
|Houston||Submission Timing: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PMCollection Timing: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM||2425 W Loop S #330, Houston, TX 77027||Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nebraska||Minimum 3 weeks and maximum 6 weeks or more if clearance is needed.|
|San Francisco||Submission Timing: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PMCollection Timing: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM||VFS Global Center, 5 floors, 228 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108||Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming||2-3 weeks|
|Submission Timing: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PMCollection Timing: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM||100 Peachtree St floor 2 suite 225, Atlanta, GA 30303||Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Virgin Islands||6-8 weeks and 4 weeks additionally required if passport clearance is needed.|
Indians of a foreign land, due to the OCI card, are at a major advantage as multinational companies are more inclined to hire you. OCI application process have skyrocketed as a result of their increasing utility, and certain Indian consulates now have a long waiting list. OCI cards are easier than ever to get, and the eligibility standards aren’t particularly stringent. If you are a person of Indian descent there’s a good chance you are eligible for an OCI card.
India is one of the most diverse countries and has the largest democracy in the world with a variety of traditions, cultures, castes, and creeds living together. The country rich in heritage is also known for having the highest number of official languages and is popularly known for the saying ‘unity in diversity.’ Tourists from across the globe visit India annually. Nowadays, the number of OCI applicants has increased, and thus, it is highly recommended to know how to apply for an OCI card holdership.
If you are living in the United States of America, wishing to visit India or settle in India, make sure to read this article by MyTicketsToIndia. The leading travel portal – MyTicketsToIndia wishes to provide its customers with the best flight deals and discounts, blogs from credible sources, and the latest information on everything related to flights to India and return flights to the USA.
Q. Would I need to apply for the re-issue of OCI card when I acquire a new passport?
A. As per the following guidelines, the OCI applicants are required to re-apply for the re-issuance of their OCI card after acquiring a new passport:
Q. What documents qualify for evidence of self, parents, or grandparents being eligible for grant of an OCI under “any other proof”?
A.“Any other proof’ of documentation evidence can either be a school certificate, agricultural land ownership certificate, or birth certificate. This helps in achieving the proof of eligibility.
Q. Can we expedite OCI card processing?
A. No, the process of OCI card generation cannot be expedited. However, the OCI card processing time is around 5-6 weeks. Hence, one must plan accordingly in advance to avoid inconvenience at the last moment.
Q. How can I convert PIO to OCI in the USA?
A. Follow the following easy step to convert PIO cardholders to OCI in the USA:
Q. How long does it take to get OCI card in USA?
A. With its elongated proceedings and numerous applicants, the OCI card generation takes around 8-10 weeks in the USA.
Q: How to apply for OCI card in New York?
A. While the process remains the same for all US cities, the post address varies which for New York is 145 W 45th St 4th Floor, New York, NY, 10036.
Q. How to apply for an OCI card from Hyderabad?
A. Here are five easy steps to apply for an OCI card from Hyderabad:
Q. Can we travel to India on PIO card?
A. Yes, You can travel to India on a PIO card. However, it is considered a valid document only if the flyer is carrying a valid foreign passport.
Priyanka Jadhav is a travel writer, who is inclined to explore different cultures and countries. When she is not writing, she is either reading fiction novels or surfing the internet for the next best place to add to her bucket list. Her interests piqued at a young age when she traveled across India and witnessed a variety of cultures, languages, foods, and people. If you're craving for an adrenaline rush, or need an instant travel update - Priyanka has a way with words to help you in every aspect possible. Bring quirky articles and the latest travel updates your way through MyTicketsToIndia, she aims to provide travelers with the necessary information possible.