My Experience with OCI card

Recent update – New OCI application process is effective from Jan 25, 2016.

I recently applied for OCI card for my son. There is some confusion around the process and who should apply. I will try to clear some of them in my post today.Lets see first what is OCI and who are eligible to apply. What is OCI? OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) is a lifelong visa for Non-resident Indian.It gives you unlimited entry to India and you do not need to apply visa ever in your lifetime.

You can get it if yours spouse, parents or grandparent stay in India or have an Indian passport.With OCI card, you can get your education and employment in India without any visa. Though you may not have a right which a normal citizen have like Voting, participate in election etc. Remember India does not have dual citizen concept and you cannot carry Indian citizenship with other any other citizenship. Who can apply? So if you are of India origin and is a citizen of any other country, you can apply for OCI. A newborn child in other country but if their parents are from India, they can apply for this card.Also, if you give up Indian citizen and passport and become a citizen of other country, you can apply for OCI.There is some exception for citizen belonging to selected country, please find it here:

My Experience with OCI

Benefits of OCI?

  • Lifelong visa to India
  • Lifelong validity (You still need to update passport number on OCI every time you renew passport)
  • No need to appear before police or any authority during your stay in India
  • Can be submitted as proof when NRI quota is used at India
  • You can study and work in India with this card

How to Apply?

I will explain the process to apply OCI in the US, for another country more or less process is same.There is two way to apply, in person or by post.I will highly recommend applying by post as the duration for both will be same. Also in person will create more hassle for you.Before applying you must check nearest Indian embassy website to make sure you are applying at your jurisdiction.

  • By Post – There are 2 stages for this; Submission and match up the passport. At submission, you will submit a form online, take a printout of it and submit with all relevant document.Here is a link to start: There are two part A and B, you need to fill both.

What you need to take care:

Know correct category you are applying and submit document as mentioned:

Make sure your notarized document as per the instruction and use courier method as mentioned in the website. Use mode of sending courier as Fedex document. You can make online payment for fees and courier through the website. Yoy can make both incoming and outgoing courier payment by the website. Do not use the prepaid envelope as it is confusing. You can also use USPS to send your document. One thing which is required but not mentioned in the website is marriage certificate of the parent in case the child is minor. Once you have all the document, use the checklist to make sure they are in order and send it by 2 or 3 days delivery with tracking.

Source : Wikipedia


Once you submit the document, you can track the document on CKGS (Third party vendor manages visa application for Indian embassy) website using your web tracking number which was generated after submitting the form online. Once your document is Fully Verified CKGS will send your application to New Delhi to get your OCI card. Remember to keep checking the status on website or email with sender to make sure you get updates. They send email only for notification.It will take roughly 3 weeks to get your OCI card from New Delhi to the respective Indian embassy. After that, the process of match up passport will start.

Passport match up process – 

Once your OCI card arrives from Delhi, the next step is to send your original passport and PIO card(If applicable) to CKGS for verification. This process will take approx 10 days to complete.Embassy will ask you to send the original passport to match up with the application.Make sure you send it by 2 days delivery with tracking.Once the process is complete, you will receive your OCI card with your original passport. You can see below status in tracking once you receive OCI card.

Image: CKGS
  • Send application by person – In-person appearance will have very much the same process except you need to book the appointment after submitting the form online. You need to appear in person and show all original document at submission. My recommendation is to submit your application by post. Also, you have to send your passport for the match up the process.

Important updates to remember – 

  • PIO (Person of India origin) card is withdrawn as per Jan 9, 2015. So going forward you cannot apply for PIO card. You have to apply for OCI card. PIO card was earlier applied for Kids under 19.
  • Mar 31, 2016, is the last date to apply for OCI card in lieu of PIO. That means if you will not apply for OCI (If you have already PIO card) you have to pay full fees for OCI. The current fee for OCI card is $295. If you apply before Mar 2016, you only have to pay $20 to replace PIO to OCI card. Please find price chart below.
  • Indian embassy is not accepting any changes in PIO card. If you want to make any modification like citizenship changes, name changes etc you have to apply for OCI card
  • In case of lost PIO card, apply for a fresh OCI card
  • What will happen after Mar 2016 is still not clear whether PIO card is valid after that? But it is strongly recommended to apply for OCI in lieu of PIO card before Mar 2016.
  • Always keep all receipt safe as most of H1 or other visa sponsored company reimbursed fees charged for OCI


I hope I have cleared some of your doubt regarding OCI card, their process, and the recent update. Please do write to me in case you have any confusion.I would love to help you.




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  • Informative and helpful. Iam planning to apply OCI card for my son this month. May i know how many days it would take to complete all the process from day of application.

    • Thank you for your the comment Hari. I applied OCI at the US and it took my nearly 1 month. SO you can check your local Indian embassy for the duration. But on an average, it will take at least 3-4 weeks.

  • Do i need to send original indian passport of parents for US born baby? for Newyork jurisdiction?

    Also, i am yet to ship the documents but i am not able to track my application or setup a account.
    will that be active only after sending the docs?

    • Thank you for your comment Manohar. Yes you have to send original passport of yours and spouse if applying by post. You can track application by using acknowledgement number they send once you submit online form.

  • Thanks Ravi for the detailed write up. Very informative and helpful. I have one query regarding parents original passport submission requirement for the final passport match up process. My wife and I, both are currently residing in US as permanent residents along with our new born kid. We are planning to submit OCI application for our new born within a few days. However, I have accepted an academic position at an IIT in India and planning to join the institute by early June. My wife will stay in US along wife my in laws (who are currently visiting us in US) until we get OCI card for our baby. Once we get OCI card, I will take 2-3 days leave from my job and visit US to bring everyone back to India permanently. However, I was not aware of parents original passport submission requirement for the final passport match up process. It would have been very difficult for me to take long time leave immediately after joining the institute in middle of the semester. Do you think my wife ‘s original passport alone should suffice that OCI card passport match up requirement? I could certainly enclose a self-attested copy of my passport and an affidavit stating the reason why my original passport is not available for matchup process. Please let me know your opinions! Thanks!

    • Thank you Raj for posting the question. In my opinion to apply OCI you have to submit passport of both parents. Sending an attested copy of your passport will not work. Also to match passport , it will take 5-7 business days. After that, they will return you the passport. So you have to adjust your traveling time to India accordingly. Let me know if you have any other question.

      • Hi Ravi, I guess its based on judirication, at SFO I didn’t sent the original passport for parents and it is ready for match up also in the match up process they are not asking for original passport of parents.

        • Akv, It is always a pain to send original passport. I think you are lucky to be in SFO jurisdiction. For Texas, you have to send passport for your kid and parent also.


    I had applied OCI for my daughter, the packet is received by ckgs. But the document is pending with the above remarks… I do not understand what this means.

    Pls help

  • Hi Ravi,
    Thank you for this post. I have two questions. I need to send passport and PIO for match up. I had paid around $30 for shipping while submitting application. I believe $15 was for return shipping. Question is, do I need to pay return shipping again while sending document for match up? do they return documents separate from OCI card? if yes, then I guess answer to my first question is also yes.

  • Thank you for the detailed post! This is definitely very helpful. Only thing I have on my mind is, is it possible to apply for renunciation and OCI together? If yes, there doesn’t seem to be any option yet.

  • Hi,
    In your post you didn’t specify informations regarding surrender certificate or its importance. Is it required for new Oci applications? If so, how?

  • I am applying for my daughter 2yr OCI card. When through the website but cldn’t find the OCI checklist for minors to take a printout to submit it to the ckgs. I really appreciate If someone can guide me with the checklist for printout
  • Hi Ravi,
    Thank you for this informative blog!
    I have submitted our new OCI application and docs and they were accepted and processing started in the Houston Indian Consulate on April 27th. I need to leave for India on June 19th and their processing time says 45 business days. If I go by that, we will not get it in time for our departure.
    1. Do you think we will get in time? My previous emails to CKGS enquiring this have not been satisfactorily answered.
    2. If I dont get it in time, is Visa on arrival my only option?
    Thank you!

  • Hi!
    Your post is very helpful in knowing things related to OCI, thank you!!
    We are in chaos in applying OCI for our 5 months old kid, actually our Visa is getting expired by July 2017 and henceforth we have applied for the extension, but status is not known still as of approved or rejected. We are on H1B and H4 visa. Now our questions are, 1) Should we get OCI or Indian visa for our kid in this situation? Which is safe and good?
    2) Holding H4 visa, can I travel to India without knowing visa status? Is that good?
    3) Since it’s hurricane season, people say there will be delay in getting OCI, is that right?
    4) What could we do in sudden if our visa gets rejected with the kid if we have applied for OCI?
    5) We have paid the OCI fee, incase if we need to cancel that, whether money will be refunded back?

    Thank you!!

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