Any foreign national who satisfies any of the following eligibility criteria:
- a citizen of India at the time, or at any time after, the commencement of the Constitution (January 26, 1950)
- eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution (January 26, 1950)
- belonged to any of the following territories that became part of India after August 15, 1947
- Sikkim from April 26, 1975
- Pondicherry from August 16, 1962
- Dadra & Nagar Haveli from August 11, 1961
- Goa, Daman, and Diu from December 20, 1961
- a child or grandchild or great-grandchild of a person that meets the criteria 1 through 3 above
- a minor child of a person mentioned in the criteria 1 through 4 above
- a minor child, both of whose parents are citizens of India
- a minor child whose one of the parents is a citizen of India
For example, both parents are on an 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 the USA. In such a scenario, the child is eligible to apply for OCI, which was earlier not allowed when the PIO card scheme existed.
- spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India and who has been married for at least two years immediately before applying
- spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder registered under section 7A and who has been married for at least two years immediately before applying
Note: Such a spouse shall be subjected to prior security clearance from a competent authority in India.
For spouse based OCI, if the marriage is dissolved or spouse passes away, they must notify and return the OCI card to the Indian Embassy/Consulate.
OCI card can not be granted to any of the following categories:
- A person who is/was and/or if their parents, grandparents or great grandparents are/were citizens of Pakistan or Bangladesh. Please note that this list may change from time to time.
- Foreign military personnel either in service or retired
- Civil government servant working in the Ministry of Defense as IT engineers / civil contractors.
- Minor foreigners who are born out of a live-in relationship and their parents subsequently either got married or continued with the live-in relationship
- Surrogate baby
- Child of single parents who other parent’s personal particulars about nationality are unavailable
- Foreign-born children whose one parent is Indian, one is foreign and the Indian parent has deceased, or the parents are divorced
- Foreign origin spouse when naturalized Indian origin spouse is not an OCI holder or Indian spouse does not hold an Indian passport
- Non-US passport holders temporarily on a B1/B2 visa in the US
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