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Indian-Americans welcome revised OCI card rules

3 min read
OCI Cardholders

According to a change in law, Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders are longer required to have their OCI cards re-issued each time they receive a new passport.

Earlier, it was compulsory for OCI cards to be re-issued each time a cardholder 20 years old or younger obtained a new passport. Also, at least once after the cardholder got a passport after the age of 50.

Cards issued before holder turned 20

As per the new relaxed rule, those with OCI cards gave before the cardholder turned 20 years old only need to get a re-issued OCI card once. When they acquire a new passport after reaching 20 years old.

Cards issued after holder turned 20

OCI cardholders who got their OCI card after they turned 20 years of age no longer need to obtain a re-issued OCI card. And can continue to utilize their current card.

New passports obtained after holder turns 50

OCI cardholders who acquire new passports after the age of 50 are no longer required to have their OCI card re-issued.

New government notification requirements

  • OCI cardholders 20 years old or younger should upload copies of their new passports. With recent passport size photos to the OCI online portal each time a new passport is given, and once after reaching 50 years old.
  • OCI cardholders married Indian residents or other OCI cardholders who acquire a new passport. Should upload a copy of their passport with a new photo and a declaration that they are still married.
  • Updated documents and photos might be uploaded by OCI cardholders within three months of receipt of the new passport.

Travel restrictions: There are no travel restrictions from the date the new passport is given until new details are recorded on the OCI portal.

Impact | Indian-Americans welcome revised OCI card rules

The relaxed OCI card re-issuance rules reduce the administrative burden of having to apply for another OCI card frequently. And indicate the government’s relaxed approach following recent restrictions for OCI cardholders.

The new rules for OCI cardholders to update their data on the OCI online portal. Reduce the administrative burden on OCI cardholders, who recently expected to apply for new OCI cards.

OCI Cardholders Benefits

OCI is a permanent residency category available to individuals of Indian origin and their spouses that allows them to live and work in India indefinitely. An OCI cardholder’s profit from visa-free travel to India and exclusions from formal registration rules. With the FRRO/FRO as needed for other visa holders, among other advantages.

Recent rule changes for OCI cardholders

In March, the government began enforcing the rule for certain OCI cardholders. To acquire special permission from the relevant government authorities and executed a new rule for OCI cardholders residing in India. To notify the government of changes in their residential address and/or occupation.

[May 2021 Visa Bulletin | Predictions From State Department]

Beforehand, in 2019, the government implemented a rule for new OCI card candidates. Requiring residence in India for a half year instead of immediately after arrival in India. Because of increasing non-compliance incidents, the Indian government has generally been reiterating the enforcement regulations for OCI cardholders.

Despite this current relaxed rule, OCI cardholders can expect stricter implementation of regulations and checks at ports of arrival. Because government aims to monitor such foreign nationals’ movements and maintain updated records.

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