Thursday 15 April 2021 7:21 PM UTC
NEW DELHI April 15: In a move to simplify the process of reissuing Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, the Indian government has decided to do away with the requirement of having to reissue these cards after a person completes 50 years of age.
At the same time, OCI cardholders will now need to get the card reissued only once on attaining 20 years of age.
As per earlier rules, an OCI card needed to be reissued each time a new passport was issued up to 20 years of age and once on completing 50 years to capture the biological changes in the face of the applicant.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said that it has now been decided to dispense with this requirement.
Under the new rules, a person who has got registration as an OCI cardholder before attaining the age of 20 years will have to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after completing 20 years of age. This will help in capturing his or her facial features on attaining adulthood.
If a person has obtained registration as an OCI cardholder after attaining the age of 20 years, there will be no requirement of re-issue of OCI card, the MHA said in a statement explaining the changes.
According to Indian law, a foreigner of Indian origin or a foreign spouse of an Indian citizen or foreign spouse of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder, can be registered as an OCI cardholder.
The OCI card is a life-long visa for hassle-free entry into India and unlimited stay in the country with a number of other major benefits attached to it which are not available to other foreigners.
According to official data, nearly 37.72 lakh OCI Cards have been issued till now.
Simpler process to update OCI cardholder information
The Ministry of Home Affairs explained that an OCI cardholder would need to upload a copy of a new passport with photo and also a latest photo on the online OCI portal. This shall be done each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age.
In the case of those who have been registered as OCI cardholder as spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or an OCI cardholder, the person concerned will be required to upload on the system, a copy of the new passport containing the photo of the passport holder and also a latest photo along with a declaration that their marriage is still subsisting each time a new passport is issued.
According to the new MHA guidelines, these documents may be uploaded by the OCI cardholder or the spouse within three months of receipt of a new passport.
The details will be updated on the system and an auto acknowledgement through e-mail will be sent to the OCI cardholder informing that the updated details have been taken on record. There will be no restriction on the OCI cardholder to travel t and from India during the period from the date of issue of new passport till the date of final acknowledgement of his/her documents in the web-based system.
All the above services of uploading documents will be provided on gratis basis to the OCI cardholders, the home ministry said.
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