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Will becoming an Australian Citizen affect my British/OCI status?

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  • Will becoming an Australian Citizen affect my British/OCI status?

    I was born and raised in the UK (a British Citizen).
    My parents are from India.
    About 14 years ago I got an OCI card, which gave me a lifelong visa for when I visit India.

    I moved to Australia 4.5 years ago on a Prospective Marriage Visa.
    After I got married, I applied and was granted the temporary Partner Visa (820), then after two years I applied for the permanent Partner Visa (801).
    The 801 visa was granted just over 1 year ago.

    As I've been residing in Australia for 4 years and have held a permanent visa for over 1 year - I am now eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship.
    Before I do so, I just wanted to check whether or not having dual citizenship (UK and Australia) will affect my OCI status.

    My understanding is that India does not consider OCI status to be status of citizenship.
    Also the OCI is registered with my UK passport, so I will only be able to travel to India using my OCI with a valid UK passport.

    I would prefer to become an Australian citizen, but only if it doesn't affect my OCI status.
    If it does, then I guess I'll just have to renew my Permanent Visa status every 5 years.

    Any help/advice on this subject will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    You will first need to make sure that Australia and the UK accept dual citizenships. If yes, you can maintain both passports.
    The OCI card only has place for one citizenship on it. So entering and exiting India will have to be on the UK passport.
    OCI is granted based on your indian roots and does not have an impact on gaining another citizenship (unless of course it is Pakistan)
    Opinion only. Cannot be construed as legal advice.


    • #3
      From what you've described, becoming an Australian citizen shouldn't mess with your OCI status. OCI isn't the same as full Indian citizenship, and it's tied to your UK passport, not your Aussie citizenship. You'll still use your OCI for travel to India. If you're unsure, a quick check with the Indian consulate could give you the peace of mind you need.