OCI Eligibility
Any foreign national
  • who was eligible to become a citizen of India on January 26, 1950,
  • or was a citizen of India on or at any time after January 26, 1950,
  • or belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947,
  • and their children and grandchildren,
provided their country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such persons are also eligible for OCI registration. However, if the applicant has ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or has an adverse record, they are not eligible for OCI.

Any person who themselves, or either of their parents, or either of their grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who was ordinarily residing in any country outside India was eligible to become citizen of India on Jan 26, 1950.

The following territories became part of India after Aug 15, 1947:
  1. Sikkim from April 26, 1975
  2. Pondicherry from August 16, 1962
  3. Dadra & Nagar Haveli from August 11, 1961
  4. Goa, Daman and Diu from December 20, 1961
The spouse of the eligible person can apply for OCI only if they are eligible in their own capacity.

Foreign nationals who are not eligible for an OCI, but married to persons who are eligible, still cannot be granted an OCI.

Foreign-born children of PIOs are eligible to become OCI provided one of the parents is eligible to become OCI. That means if both parents are Indian Citizens (holding Indian passports) and the minor child is a foreign citizen, the child is not eligible to apply for OCI. For example, both parents are on H1/H4 visa or on a Green card in the U.S., but the minor child is a U.S. citizen because he/she was born in USA. In such a scenario, the child is not eligible to apply for OCI. They can apply for the PIO card instead. However, once they become at least 18 years old , they can apply for OCI.