Washington: The Overseas Citizens of India card holders, while travelling to India, must carry the OCI booklet and their passport having 'U' visa sticker, the Indian Embassy has said. While the OCI card provides its holder a multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India, in many cases its holders are required to apply for its re-issuance, including re-issuance of new passport for those below 20 and above 50.
"For an applicant who is 21 to 49 years of age, there is no need to re-issue OCI documents each time a new passport is issued. However, if the applicant desires, he/she can request that the OCI documents be re-issued so that the OCI documents reflect the correct passport number," the Embassy said.
For an applicant who is 50 years of age or older, OCI documents must be re-issued once after the issuance of a new passport, the statement said. One should apply for re-issuance of OCI card in case there is a change in personal particulars, loss or damage of passport and/or OCI booklet, for correcting personal details entered wrongly while submitting online applications.
However in case of emergency, the OCI card holder can continue to carry the old passport wherein OCI 'U' visa sticker is pasted along with the new passport and the OCI booklet for visiting India. "It is important for the OCI card holder to carry the OCI booklet along with the passport having U visa sticker. Both these documents should always be in the possession of the OCI card holder while travelling to India," it said.
Minor children of OCI card holders are not eligible for OCI cards, it said adding that they can apply for PIO (People of Indian Origin) card. An individual who has ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, is not eligible for OCI card.
OCI exempts from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India and is at parity with Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
"OCI can be used as identity proof for application of PAN Card and driving license as well as for opening a bank account if the card holder is residing in India," the Embassy said. At the same time, the card holder is not entitled to vote, to be a member of a Legislative Assembly or of a Legislative Council or of the Parliament, to hold a constitutional post and cannot normally hold employment in the Government.
OCI card holder is entitled to life-long visa free travel to India while in the case of PIO card holders it is for 15 years only. PIO card holder is required to register with local authorities for any stay longer than 180 days in India on any single visit, while OCI is exempted from registration with local authorities for any length of stay in India.