Procedure for Granting OCI Registration
Processing at the Consulate
In the order of their receipts in the consulate, applications are scrutinized to ensure the completeness of all required documents and information for deciding the eligibility of applicant(s) for granting OCI status. Regular processing time is 60 days from the time the application is sent from BLS International to the Indian Embassy or Consulate. If there is adverse information found against the applicant, the decision to grant or otherwise will be made in approximately 60 days. In some cases, the application can be delayed after OCI is granted if an improper photograph was provided.

Incomplete applications will be returned. They can be resubmitted again with required documents, but you will have to wait for the entire processing period again.

During normal processing times, applicants are requested to refrain from making telephone/written/email inquiries regarding the status of their application.

Online Status Inquiry
(Please enter your Online Registration No USA.... and click go.)
The status report will show dates of "Registration Status," "Documents Printing Status," "Documents Printed On," "Documents Dispatched to concerned Mission/Office," and "Documents Received at."

For those getting processed at BLS International, there is a separate tracking provided by them.

Processing at MHA
After preliminary scrutiny, if there is no adverse information available against the applicant, the Indian Mission/Post shall register a person as OCI within the processing time of the application and the case shall be referred to MHA for post verification of the antecedents of the applicant. If during the post verification, any adverse information comes to the knowledge of the MHA, the registration as OCI already granted by the Indian Mission/Post shall be cancelled by an order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The persons will also be blacklisted, banning their entry into India.

After preliminary scrutiny, if there is any adverse information against the applicant, prior approval of MHA shall be required before granting of registration. MHA may approve or reject the grant registration within 120 days from the date of the receipt of the application. If the grant of registration as OCI is approved by MHA, the Indian Mission/Post shall register the person as an OCI.

If the application is filed in India, registration shall be granted by MHA by following the above procedure.

If the registration as OCI is not granted, an amount of U.S. $250, or equivalent in the local currency, shall be refunded if registration is refused. There is a non-refundable processing fee of U.S. $25.

Photo Problem
This procedure has been described only by Chicago. Procedures at other Consulates are not known.

Once your OCI application is granted, you will receive an email for the same. However, OCI documents still need to be printed at New Delhi and sent to the Consulate.

Through Online Status Inquiry, if you find that the OCI documents do not show the status "Documents Printed On" in four working days after the granting date, it means that the printing machine has rejected your photo at New Delhi.

In this case, please follow this procedure:
  1. Visit the Ministry of Home Affairs' web site and click on 'Online registration' and complete the form (Part A) online.

  2. Take a print out of the form. Sign or put your thumb impression (as applicable) in the box near the space for photo. Sign or put thumb impression (as applicable) by thick pen (blue or black ink), do not spill over signature/thumb impression out of the signature box. Do not paste photo on the part A. Scan only the first page of the form in JPEG format.

  3. Get your photo in JPEG format which has a minimum resolution of 300 x 300 DPI and meets the specifications. Do not use the same photo as it previously had problems.

  4. Submit the scanned copy of the first page of the form and the photo as separate attachments to the Consulate using their online form. Make sure to mention your name and both online registration numbers (new as well as old).

Once they receive your documents, they will be processed again. You should check the status with the new online registration number.

Sending Documents for OCI
Only after checking the OCI application status at Online Status Inquiry, after it indicates the documents have been received at the consulate from New Delhi, India, you should either mail the passports and other documents to the consulate (or FRRO if you are in India) or visit it in person. Documents are to be mailed or submitted in person only to the consulate where your application is getting processed or to the FRRO if you are in India. No letter will be sent regarding the OCI status. There is no need of further confirmation by phone/fax/email.

You need the following documents:
  • In case you have acquired a new U.S./Foreign passport since you applied for OCI, provide an expired U.S./Foreign passport and a photocopy of the new U.S./Foreign Passport. The "U" visa sticker will be pasted on the passport with which the application was made.

  • Print out of the Status Page from online status inquiry (indicating the date of receipt of OCI document in the Consulate)

Processing Times:
  • 3 days for Indian Visa Application Center to receive and send the passport to the Consulate for match up.

  • 7 days for the Consulate to match up the passport with the OCI card

  • 3 days for Indian Visa Application Center to ship the passport and the OCI card

There is no procedure or requirement of taking an oath before the Consulate of India for getting the OCI.

Receiving OCI Documents
By Mail:
Along with the documents mentioned above, write a cover letter and mention the file number(s) in it. Clearly mark the envelope "COLLECTION OF OCI DOCUMENTS" and send to BLS International.

Receiving in Person:
You can visit BLS International in person to collect the OCI documents. One adult person in the family can collect OCI documents of all the family members. However, this person must bring an authorization letter that includes the name of the person authorized, his passport number and applicant's name along with his on-line registration number and signature. You need to show your passport to the Consulate official and bring the following:
  • A print out of the status page (indicating the date of arrival of OCI document in the Consulate.)


Application Filed In India:
If you have filed the application in India with FRRO, either you or your authorized person should go to the FRRO office. If you have filed the application in India with MHA, either you or your authorized person should go to OCI Cell, Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26 Man Singh Road, New Delhi.

Collection of OCI Documents in India:
This procedure has been described by the Indian Consulate in Chicago. It is not known whether other consulates allow this.

If you applied for OCI at the Indian Consulate and if your OCI documents are ready, but you want to collect them in India instead, you can send an email to the Consulate. Please state your name, online registration number and the name of the FRRO where you would like to collect your OCI documents. Once your email is received, the consulate will forward your documents to the FRRO and email you regarding it. You should contact the FRRO only after 6 weeks of you receiving the confirmation via email from the Consulate.

New Passport While OCI in Process:
In case you have acquired a new U.S./Foreign passport since you applied for OCI, kindly send a photocopy of first page of new U.S./Foreign Passport. The U visa sticker has to be pasted on the Passport with which application was made.

Final Process:
A multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong OCI "U" ("U" for Universal) visa sticker will be pasted on the foreign passport of the applicant. A registration certificate will also be issued. The registration certificate is printed like an Indian passport, but in a different color.

These two documents will have the photograph of the individual and all necessary security features. A separate OCI passport will NOT be issued.