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New OCI Application - Questions regarding mailing original US passport

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  • New OCI Application - Questions regarding mailing original US passport

    Hello,

    I completed my application for new OCI on 4/24 (for Atlanta center). I see conflicting information in the document checklist and the application confirmation regarding the US passport. It has been so hard to get a response from VFS. I wrote a detailed email asking the question and I got a generic response asking for me to elaborate on my query. I tried calling them (as suggested in the generic response) but the automated message says I will be charged $$ after first five minutes. This has been the worst application experience. I am wondering if someone can help me with my query regarding whether to send my original US passport or not

    Document checklist says that I have to send a self-attested photocopy of passport. However, the general notes in the application confirmation letter says "If applying for new OCI then please send your original US passport along with a clear notarized photocopy. The original passport will be returned by VFS INDIA CONSULAR APPLICATION CENTER after verification. If you have not purchased the additional courier for the return of your US passport from VFS, please ensure you have provided your own pre-paid label (Please do read guidelines on shipping) in your application pack or it may delay the return of your passport. Only UPS pre-paid labels accepted. If you use any other, please arrange for the courier service to collect the shipment when you receive an alert."

    Based on this info, here are my questions:
    1) Do I need to send my original US passport?
    2) Do the photocopies need to be notarized or is it asking for self-attestation?
    3) I purchased the FedEx label for shipping the documents. I don't see an option to purchase additional courier for return of my US passport. Is there a way to purchase VFS provided service for return of my passport?
    4) If I purchase the label directly from UPS, do I need to mail an envelop along with the label for VFS to return my passport?
    5) Guidelines for shipping says that if I use my own pre-paid labels, I need to schedule a pick up from VFS application center. So, if I purchase a label from UPS, how do I schedule a pickup from VFS center and how do I know when to schedule this pickup?

    I hope I can find answers to some of these questions.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by nvnvcha View Post
    Hello,

    I completed my application for new OCI on 4/24 (for Atlanta center). I see conflicting information in the document checklist and the application confirmation regarding the US passport. It has been so hard to get a response from VFS. I wrote a detailed email asking the question and I got a generic response asking for me to elaborate on my query. I tried calling them (as suggested in the generic response) but the automated message says I will be charged $$ after first five minutes. This has been the worst application experience. I am wondering if someone can help me with my query regarding whether to send my original US passport or not

    Document checklist says that I have to send a self-attested photocopy of passport. However, the general notes in the application confirmation letter says "If applying for new OCI then please send your original US passport along with a clear notarized photocopy. The original passport will be returned by VFS INDIA CONSULAR APPLICATION CENTER after verification. If you have not purchased the additional courier for the return of your US passport from VFS, please ensure you have provided your own pre-paid label (Please do read guidelines on shipping) in your application pack or it may delay the return of your passport. Only UPS pre-paid labels accepted. If you use any other, please arrange for the courier service to collect the shipment when you receive an alert."

    Based on this info, here are my questions:
    1) Do I need to send my original US passport?
    2) Do the photocopies need to be notarized or is it asking for self-attestation?
    3) I purchased the FedEx label for shipping the documents. I don't see an option to purchase additional courier for return of my US passport. Is there a way to purchase VFS provided service for return of my passport?
    4) If I purchase the label directly from UPS, do I need to mail an envelop along with the label for VFS to return my passport?
    5) Guidelines for shipping says that if I use my own pre-paid labels, I need to schedule a pick up from VFS application center. So, if I purchase a label from UPS, how do I schedule a pickup from VFS center and how do I know when to schedule this pickup?

    I hope I can find answers to some of these questions.

    Thanks
    Hi there - I'm also preparing the OCI application hand have the exact same questions. Was wondering if you got any information for your queries from somewhere. Pls advise. thank you

    Comment


    • #3
      Not Atlanta, but I've recently applied at San Francisco and did not send my original US passport. I just sent them self-attested copies of US passport as mentioned in the checklist and no complaints from VFS. The application has already been forwarded to the consulate without any issues.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CC80 View Post
        Not Atlanta, but I've recently applied at San Francisco and did not send my original US passport. I just sent them self-attested copies of US passport as mentioned in the checklist and no complaints from VFS. The application has already been forwarded to the consulate without any issues.
        thanks. this helps...i also need to send to sfo.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CC80 View Post
          Not Atlanta, but I've recently applied at San Francisco and did not send my original US passport. I just sent them self-attested copies of US passport as mentioned in the checklist and no complaints from VFS. The application has already been forwarded to the consulate without any issues.
          when did you send to sfo?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by we-shall-overcome View Post

            when did you send to sfo?
            Here is my timeline so far,

            1. Application mailed: 04/21/21
            2. Received at VFS: 04/22/21
            3. "Under process" at VFS: 04/22/21
            4. "In-transit" to consulate: 04/23/21
            5: Date of Acknowledgment: 04/27/21

            Comment


            • #7
              I am preparing to apply for my OCI and had the same doubts. But it looks like you do not have to send in your US passport anymore - that is a great improvement to the process.

              VFS website has an update that says:

              Update for New OCI applicants – With effect from 12 April 2021, new OCI card applicants are not required to submit their original US passport along with their applications. Please enclose a clear self -attested US passport copy along with your application, notarized copy is not required. If you have applied after this change went into effect and the system charged you for an additional courier, you will need to submit a refund request.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, it's confusing - looks like they haven't updated the instructions in the application confirmation! But I sent new OCI (for minor) application to NY CGI on 03-MAY without original passport and it was accepted with no issues. Currently showing acknowledged at consulate as of 07-MAY. For self attestation of passport, I let my child (just over 5 yr old) write his name on passport copy, and I added my signature as parent on the same page. Hope this helps!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by arkaa View Post
                  I am preparing to apply for my OCI and had the same doubts. But it looks like you do not have to send in your US passport anymore - that is a great improvement to the process.

                  VFS website has an update that says:


                  https://visa.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/in...I%20applicants

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How to self attest Passport copy for New OCI - Minor application (< 5years)? Given the new update says no need to send original passport or notarized copy.

                    Comment

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