Saturday 6 March 2021 8:29 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI March 6: The Indian government has issued a notification specifying some rights to Overseas Citizen of India Cardholders. There are several updates and clarifications on certain rights enjoyed by the OCI cardholders. It is important for an OCI holder to be aware of these rules.
Reading the notification it is clear that it is intended at putting several new restrictions to the existing rights of OCI card holders. For example, it says special permission is required by OCI card holders for undertaking certain activities in India such as missionary, journalistic and other which wasn’t there previously. Previously OCI cardholders were on par with Non Resident Indians and enjoyed the same rights NRIs held while enjoying economic, financial and educational rights.
Each update is detailed as below.
The updated notifications comes into effect from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette (4th March 2021), namely:
(1) Grant of multiple entry lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose:
Provided that for undertaking the following activities, the OCI cardholder shall be required to obtain a special permission or a Special Permit, as the case may be, from the competent authority or the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Indian Mission concerned, namely:-
(i) to undertake research;
(ii) to undertake any Missionary or Tabligh or Mountaineering or Journalistic activities;
(iii) to undertake internship in any foreign Diplomatic Missions or foreign Government organisations in India or to take up employment in any foreign Diplomatic Missions in India;
(iv) to visit any place which falls within the Protected or Restricted or prohibited areas as notified by the Central Government or competent authority;
(2) Exemption from registration with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or Foreigners Registration Officer for any length of stay in India:
Provided that the OCI cardholders who are normally resident in India shall intimate the jurisdictional Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Foreigners Registration Officer by email whenever there is a change in permanent residential address and in their occupation;
(3) Parity with Indian nationals in the matter of:
(i) tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India; and
(ii) entry fees to be charged for visiting national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, the national monuments, historical sites and museums in India;
(4) Parity with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of:
(i) inter-country adoption of Indian children subject to the compliance of the procedure as laid down by the competent authority for such adoption;
(ii) appearing for the all India entrance tests such as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, Joint Entrance Examination (Mains), Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) or such other tests to make them eligible for admission only against any Non-Resident Indian seat or any supernumerary seat:
Provided that the OCI cardholder shall not be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens;
(iii) purchase or sale of immovable properties other than agricultural land or farm house or plantation property; and
(iv) pursuing the following professions in India as per the provisions contained in the applicable relevant statutes or Acts as the case may be, namely:-
(a) doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists;
(d) chartered accountants;
(5) In respect of all other economic, financial and educational fields not specified in this notification or the rights and privileges not covered by the notifications made by the Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999), the OCI cardholder shall have the same rights and privileges as a foreigner.
The OCI Cardholder (including a PIO cardholder) is a foreign national holding passport of a foreign country and is not a citizen of India.
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