Foreign-origin spouses of Indian nationals, NRIs can get OCI card: MHA

Foreign-origin spouses of Indian nationals, NRIs can get OCI card: MHA

Courtesy : Agencies27/10/2018 09:00

New Delhi, Oct 24: The privileged Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card would now be issued to the foreign-origin spouses of India nationals and non-resident Indians, the Home Ministry has said.

A registered OCI is granted multiple entry, multi-purpose, life-long visa for visiting India. He or she is exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer or Foreign Registration Officer for any length of stay in India.

In a notification, the home ministry said a foreign-origin spouse of an Indian citizen or of an OCI cardholder, and who fulfil the laid down conditions shall be eligible to apply for registration as OCI card-holder.

Until now, the card was only issued to NRIs, and not their spouses of foreign-origins. Despite repeated pleas, they were not allowed to apply for it.

This resulted in the registration of visas for foreign-origin spouses of Indian nationals living in the country quite frequently. 

The OCI card scheme was launched during the 2006 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Hyderabad.

The scheme provides for registration as Overseas Citizen of India of all Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who were citizens of India on January 26, 1950 or thereafter or were eligible to become citizens of India on that date except those who were or had been a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Apart from issuing a notification on OIC cards, the Home Ministry also amended the Citizenship Rules, 2009, allowing the NRIs and OCI card-holders to easily renunciate their Indian citizenship to obtain a foreign passport.

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