OCI - Overseas Citizenship of India (NOT a Dual Citizenship)
 Overview
Despite all the news coverage and excitement over this issue, please understand that the Constitution of India DOES NOT allow dual citizenship, i.e., simultaneously holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country.

The Government of India has decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI), which most people mistakenly refer to as 'dual citizenship.' Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) of certain categories who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country, other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible to be granted an OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws.

If you get an OCI, it is NOT the same as being a regular Indian citizen:
  • You do not get an Indian passport. There is no such thing as an OCI passport.

  • You have no voting rights.

  • You cannot be a candidate for Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council or a member of the House of the People or of the Council of States.

  • You cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court, etc.

  • You cannot normally hold employment in the Government of India.

  • Can not acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India. However, such a person can inherit such properties.

OCI Benefits

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

Cancellation of OCI Registration
If it is found that registration as an OCI was obtained by fraudulent means, false representation or concealment of any material fact, or that the registered OCI has shown dissatisfaction towards the Constitution of India or under any of the provisions of section 7D of the Citizenship act, the registration of such applicants will not only be cancelled forthwith, but he/she will also be blacklisted for future visits to India.

Traveling on OCI
When you are registered as OCI, a lifelong 'U' visa sticker used to be placed into your passport and you will get an OCI registration booklet. However, starting sometime in 2015, they started putting 'U' visa sticker in the OCI registration booklet itself and not in the passport.

Effective January 29, 2015, you don't need to show the foreign passport containing the 'U' visa stick in the passport while entering/exiting India and you need to present only OCI card. If you are outside of the age 21 to 50 years, even though OCI is being claimed as lifelong visa, they need to apply for OCI all over again every time they get a new passport if they are under 21 years of age and once if they are over 50 years of age.