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LAST DATE OF APPLICATIONS FOR GRATIS (FREE OF CHARGE) CONVERSION OF PIO CARDS TO OCI CARDS HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL 31st DECEMBER, 2017

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR PIO-OCI CONVERSION

  

FAQs for OCI Card

 

1. Who is eligible for an OCI Card?

 

A foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.1.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.1.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.8.1947 and his / her children and grand children, provided his / her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he / she will not be eligible for OCI.

 

2. Who was eligible to become Citizen of India on 26.1.1950?

 

Any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grand-parents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who was ordinarily residing in any country outside India was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.1.1950.

 

3. Which territories became part of India after 15.8.1947 and from what date?

 

The territories, which became part of India after 15.8.1947 are:
- Sikkim from 26.4.1975
- Pondicherry from 16.8.1962
- Dadra & Nagar Haveli from 11.8.1961
- Goa from 19.12.1961

 

4. Can the spouse of the eligible person apply for OCI?

 

Yes, if he /she is eligible in his / her own capacity.

 

5. Can children of parents, wherein one of the parents is eligible for OCI, apply for OCI?

 

Yes. They are eligible.

 

6. In what form should a person apply for OCI and where are they available?

 

For registering please visit the website www.passport.gov.in/oci/. The form should be filled in online and when registered, application form(s) should be printed and its hard copy(one set) with photo (5.0 cm x 5.0 cm) affixed thereon, should be handed over in person at the Counter of the Embassy of India, Brussels on any working day between 0930hrs and 1130 hrs. Please keep a copy of the OCI application (also note down the reference number) before submitting the OCI application at the Embassy. Hand written application form of OCI is not acceptable. For photo specifications please visit the link https://passport.gov.in/oci/Photo-Spec-FINAL.pdf.

 

7. Is prior appointment required for submission of OCI applications?

 

No prior appointment is required for submission of any type of OCI applications. They can be submitted on any working day, on the counter of the Embassy of India, Brussels between 0930 hours and 1130 hours

 

8. What documents have to be attached with the application?

 

For FRESH OCI CASES

 

The following documents are required to be enclosed with each application:

 

(1) Proof of present citizenship (Copy of current passport and Copy of resident card of Belgium / Luxembourg).
(2) Evidence of self or parents/grandparents/great grandparents :-
(a) Being eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January, 1950; or
(b) Belonging to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or
(c) Being citizen of India on or after 26th January, 1950.

 

These could be:-

 

(i) Copy of the Indian passport; or
(ii) Copy of the domicile certificate issued by the Competent authority; or
(iii) Any other proof as deemed fit.

 

(3) If the applicant was himself / herself holding an Indian passport, copy of surrender certificate from an Indian mission is to be enclosed with the application. If a surrender certificate has not been taken previously please present the Indian passport for cancellation and for acquisition of a surrender certificate (click here for form for surrender certificate) before applying for an OCI Card. In addition, if foreign nationality has been acquired on or after 1st June, 2010, a declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship is required to be submitted (click here for form for declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship) before applying for an OCI Card. If the applicant who was previously holding an Indian passport has not taken a surrender certificate from any Indian mission in the past and is unable to present the last held Indian passport due to any reason (lost or misplaced or surrendered to an Indian mission without getting a surrender certificate etc.), he / she is required to submit an affidavit in the prescribed proforma (available at the Counter of Embassy of India, Brussels) before applying for an OCI Card. Similarly, if an applicant never possessed an Indian passport (eg. a minor born outside India), he / she or the minor’s parent is required to submit an affidavit in the prescribed proforma (available at the Counter of Embassy of India, Brussels)
[Erstwhile Indian nationals, who have not collected a surrender certificate from any Indian Embassy in the past may do so on payment of € 20 + € 3 ICWF surcharge, if foreign nationality was acquired prior to 1st June, 2010. If foreign nationality was acquired on or after 1st June, 2010, surrender certificate and declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship may be taken on payment of € 183 + €3 ICWF surcharge.

 

(4) Evidence of direct link to parent / grandparent, if their Indian origin is claimed as basis for grant of OCI Card (Copy of passports, birth certificates etc.)

 

(5) Hard copy (Print Out) of the OCI application form already registered online.

 

(6) Evidence of applicant living/residing in Belgium or Luxembourg.

 

For Foreign Spouse cases apart from the above requirements copy of following documents have to be submitted:

 

  1. Marriage Certificate.
  2. Proof of being married for at least 2 years prior to date of application.
  3. Proof of Spouse being of Indian Origin viz Copy of Indian Passport etc.
  4. Any other document as required by the Embassy of India, Brussels.

In these cases OCI will be granted only after approvals from appropriate authorities in New Delhi, hence time limit of 60 working days may not apply.

 

9. How many copies of application have to be submitted?

 

A single copy of the application duly signed with Picture pasted at the right places has to be submitted.

 

10. Whether applicant(s) have to go in person to submit the application(s)?

 

Yes. The applicant(s) based in Belgium / Luxembourg have to submit the application(s) in person at the Counter of Embassy of India, Brussels on any working day between 0930 hrs and 1130 hrs. Applicants based in Luxembourg have the option to submit the OCI applications at the Luxembourg Hon Consulate office and for applicants living close to Antwerp they may submit applications at Antwerp Office details can be found by visiting the following link:
http://www.indembassy.be/pages.php?id=119

 

11. Can a person apply in the country where he is ordinarily residing?

 

Yes. Indian Embassy, Belgium will accept applications of only those applicants who are residents of either Belgium or Luxembourg.

 

12. What are the consequences of furnishing wrong information or suppressing material information?

 

All applications will be subject to pre or post enquiry, depending on whether any information is available, pointing to false material is provided. If the Government comes to know that any false information was furnished or material information was suppressed, the registration as OCI already granted shall be cancelled by an order under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The persons will also be blacklisted banning his/her entry into India.

 

13. What is the fee availing OCI services?

 

i. For Fresh OCI (New/1st Time OCI) – Fee- Euro 219. (Fee 216+3 ICWF).
ii. For Miscellaneous Service on OCI – Fee – Euro 23.00 (Fee 20 + 3 ICWF).
iii. Lost OCI – Fee – Euro 82.00 (Fee 79 + 3 ICWF).
iv. Prescribed fee for Surrender Certificate (€ 20 + € 3 ICWF surcharge / Renunciation Declaration (€ 183 + € 3 ICWF surcharge). The fee is not to be paid in case the applicant is already in possession of a Surrender Certificate / Renunciation Declaration / Affidavit.
CONVERSION OF PIO TO OCI IS CURRENTLY BEING DONE GRATIS I.E NO FEES IS BEING CHARGED BY GOVT OF INDIA.

 

14. Processing times for OCI Card services

 

Ordinarily it takes approximately 60 working days from the receipt of hard copy of the application and completion of file, and if there is no adverse information available against the applicant, for issuing a Fresh OCI Card, subject to approvals. In case any adverse information is available against the applicant, the decision to grant or otherwise is taken within 4 months from the date of receipt of the application.
Miscellaneous service takes approximately 20 working days.
Once the online status shows as “granted and reached Embassy of India, Brussels†(also the file number will be updated in Arrival details of OCI Card) please enquire only over telephone 02-6451850 Ext 163 for OCI Card Services on any working day of the Embassy between 0930 – 1130 hrs

 

Only Telephonic intimation will be given to applicant once OCI is received by the Embassy.

 

15. What documents are required to be presented before collection of the OCI Card?

 

(i) A valid passport
(ii) PIO Card (if any)
(iii) Old OCI Card and old passport (if applying for OCI Miscellaneous service)

 

16. How can OCI Card be collected?

 

An OCI Card can only be collected in person from the Embassy of India, Brussels on presentation of the documents listed at Serial No.15above. However, in case of minors either one of parents can collect on their behalf along with documents listed at Sl No 15 above. For collection of OCI Card please visit Embassy of India, Brussels, on any working day, during collection hours 1600 hrs to 1645 hrs

 

17. If the registration as OCI is not granted, what amount will be refunded?

 

An amount of € 25 will be charged as processing fee, and the balance amount of € 191 only shall be refunded.

 

18. What will be issued after registration as OCI?

 

OCI registration certificate i.e. OCI Card.

 

19. Will a separate OCI passport be issued?
A separate OCI booklet will be issued.

 

20. Is carrying of OCI Card sufficient for entry into India?

 

No. The OCI Card holder must carry the following documents:-

 

- OCI Card
- National Passport
- For those between ages 21 and 50 possessing an OCI card but who have acquired a new national passport subsequently, can opt to travel with (i) & (ii) above plus their current national passport.

 

21. Will a duplicate certificate of registration as OCI be issued?

 

Yes. Please see the procedure for OCI Miscellaneous services.

 

22. Will a new OCI visa sticker be issued on the new national passport after the expiry of the old passport?

 

W.E.F September, 2015, new series of OCI booklets have been enforced which have done away with U Visa sticker on the national passport. Henceforth, only new OCI booklets would be issued without the sticker. However, it is mandatory for those under 21 and above 50 to apply for MISCELLANEOUS OCI. For details, please see under “OCI Miscellaneous servicesâ€

 

23. Will the applicant lose his / her citizenship after registering as OCI?

 

No. Only citizens of the country, which allows dual citizenship under the local laws in some form or the other, are eligible for applying for registration as OCI.

 

24. Can a person holding OCI travel to protected area / restricted area without permission?

 

No. He / She will be required to seek Protected Area Permit (PAP)/ Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for such visits for which online portals have been made by respective State Governments for processing such cases as a direct interface between applicants and respective agency. The applicants may use the services of such portals themselves.

 

25. Would the Indian civil/criminal laws be applicable to persons registered as OCI?

 

Yes, during the period that the OCI holder is living in India.

 

26. Can a person registered as OCI be granted Indian citizenship?

 

Yes. A person registered as OCI (i.e. having an OCI Card) is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he / she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.

 

27. Will OCI be granted gratis to certain categories of people?

 

As per current rules of Government of India, applicants holding valid PIO cards will be issued gratis (Free of Cost) OCI cards till 31.12.2016.

 

28. Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals who are not eligible for OCI, but married to persons who are eligible for OCI?

 

Yes, subject to clearance from competent authorities.

 

29. Will foreign born children of Persons of Indian Origin be eligible to become OCI?

 

Yes.

 

30. What are the benefits of an OCI Card?

 

Following benefits will be allowed to an OCI Card holder:-

 

- Multi-purpose, multiple entry, lifelong visa for visiting India.
- Exemption from registration with local police authority for any length of stay in India.
- Parity with Non Resident Indians in respect of economic, financial and educational fields, except in relation to acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
- No parity shall be allowed in the sphere of political rights.

 

31. Will any other benefit be granted to the OCI?

 

Any other benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under Section 7B(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

 

32. Can an OCI be entitled to apply for and obtain a normal Indian Passport, which is given to a citizen of India?
No, an Indian Passport is only given to an Indian citizen. The Constitution of India does not permit the facility of holding Indian Citizenship simultaneously with a foreign citizenship. The OCI Card holder would therefore not be entitled to vote, be a member of Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council or Parliament, cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court or High Court etc. and he / she cannot normally hold employment in the Government.

 

33. If a person is already holding more than one nationality, can he / she apply for OCI?

 

Yes, as long as the local laws of at least one of the countries allow dual citizenship in some form or other.

 

34. Can a person renounce OCI?

 

Yes. He / She has to declare intention of renunciation in Form XXII to the Indian Mission / Post where OCI registration was granted. After receipt of the declaration, the Indian Mission / Post shall issue an acknowledgement in Form XXIIA.

 

35.Checklist for FRESH OCI Card

 

(1) Copy of Surrender of Indian passport Certificate / Renunciation Declaration / Affidavit(see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – OCI Card)
(2) Print out of the OCI form, along with enclosures, in duplicate (see Sl. Nos.6, 7, 9 & 10 of FAQs – OCI Card) All columns to be filled in, preferably in capital letters.
(3) Signatures / thumb impression (for applicants who cannot sign) to be uploaded within the signature box in the first page of the OCI form. The signature/thumb impression will be printed automatically after it is uploaded.
(4) Where applicable, evidence of direct link to the person of Indian origin (copies of passports / birth certificates / OCI cards). For a minor (below 18 years), copy of birth certificate of the applicant and copies of passports of parents are mandatory.
(5) Copy of current valid passport
(6) Copy of Resident Card of Belgium / Luxembourg
(7) Address proof of Belgium or Luxembourg.
(8) In case of Minor applicants, parents have to sign the application on their behalf on the OCI application form. However, the thumb impression/signature as per suitability has to be uploaded on the form by the applicant themselves.

 

36. OCI MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES

 

FAQs – OCI Miscellaneous Services

 

I. Who can avail the OCI Miscellaneous services?
Only a registered Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) can avail the OCI Miscellaneous Services.

 

II. Under what circumstances can the services be availed?
OCI Miscellaneous services can be availed for re-issuance/issuance of duplicate OCI Registration Certificate in the following category of cases:
(i) In case of issuance of new passport.
(ii) In case of change of personal particulars viz. nationality etc.,
(iii) In case of loss/damage of OCI registration certificate/visa.
(iv) In case of filling of wrong personal particulars while submitting online applications viz. name, father’s name, date of birth etc.,
(v) In case of change of address/occupation
(vi) In case of holders of OCI attaining the age of 21 or 50 as the case may be.

 

III. How to avail the services?
The services can be availed by applying Online and submitting one hard copy of the application along with the requisite fee and enclosures as mentioned in the application to the Embassy of India, Brussels. However, in case of change of address/occupation, hard copy of the application need not be submitted.

 

IV. Whether a family can apply in the same form?
No. Each person has to individually apply online for availing the services. Please visit the website www.passport.gov.in/oci.

 

V. How many copies of the application have to be submitted?
Only one copy should be submitted.

 

VI. Whether the applicant has to go in person to submit the application?
Yes. The applicant(s) based in Belgium / Luxembourg have to submit the application(s) in person at the Counter of Embassy of India, Brussels on any working day between 0930 hrs and 1130 hrs. The applicant(s) based in Luxembourg have the option of applying online and submitting the hard copy of their application with the Honorary Consul General of India, Luxembourg. The applicant(s) based in Antwerp have the option of applying online and submitting the hard copy of their application with Antwerp Indian Association. The applicants are advised to bring originals of the supporting documents which will be seen and returned to the applicants.

 

PLS NOTE: NO ORIGINAL DOCUMENT IS TO BE GIVEN BY THE APPLICANTS.

 

VII. What documents have to be enclosed along with the application?

 

(a) Copy of OCI Card
(b) In case of issuance of new passport copy of OCI Card has to be enclosed. If the old passport is not returned by the concerned authorities while issuing new passport and copy of the U-visa had not been taken prior to the surrender of old passport, they may not be enclosed. A copy of new passport also to be enclosed.
(c) In case of loss of OCI Card and/or Visa copy of the complaint lodged with Belgian / Luxembourg Police authorities and copy of visa and OCI Card to be enclosed. If a copy of the OCI Card and/or visa was not taken prior to the loss, they may not be enclosed.
(d) In case of change of personal particulars(due to change by the applicant or wrong filling of particulars by the applicant or Indian Mission/Office), copy of the document (s) relevant for affecting the requisite changes to be enclosed.
(e) Relevant Fees.

 

VII. Checklist for OCI Miscellaneous Services

 

(1) Copy of Surrender of Indian passport Certificate / Renunciation Declaration / Affidavit(see Sl. No. 9 of FAQs – OCI Card)
(2) Duly filled in OCI Miscellaneous form – only one copy is required. All columns to be typed or handwritten legibly, preferably in capital letters.
(3) Signatures / thumb impression (for non-school going applicants) to be affixed within the signature box in the first page of the OCI Miscellaneous form.
(4) Copy of old OCI Card and U Visa (If Applicable).
(5) For minor applicants (below 18 years), copy of birth certificate and copies of passports of parents are mandatory.
(6) In case of loss of OCI Card and / or Visa, Police Report filed in Belgium / Luxembourg.
(7) Copy of current passport
(8) Copy of Resident Card of Belgium / Luxembourg
(9) Address Proof of Belgium/Luxembourg.

 

37. How to verify the status of the application?
The status of the application can be verified from the Online Status Enquiry by visiting the following link http://www.passport.gov.in/oci/.

 

38. What will be issued after availing the services?
A new OCI Card would be issued after surrender of the old OCI documents.

 

39. Whether both OCI Registration Certificate and Visa would be issued afresh?
OCI Card will be issued afresh. No Visa is being issued after introduction of new series of OCI booklets.

 

40. Whether OCI documents have to be re-issued each time a new passport is taken?
OCI Card has got to be re-issued each time a new passport is issued up to the completion of 20 years of age and once after completion of 50 years of age.
Re-issuance of OCI Card is not mandatory, each time a new passport is issued between 21-50 years of age. Thus, those between 21-50 years of age have the option of travelling to India on the basis of 3 documents, viz. the OCI Card, the old passport which has the “U†Visa affixed on it and the new passport. However, if the applicant wishes to obtain new set of OCI documents, he/she can apply for the same.

 

41. What should be done for issuance of duplicate OCI documents in case of loss of OCI Card and/or U-visa?
In case of loss of OCI documents, file a complaint with the Belgian / Luxembourg Police authorities and enclose a copy of the complaint with the hard copy of the application along with relevant supporting documents.

 

42. In case of loss/damage of OCI documents, what is the procedure for grant of duplicate OCI documents?
The duplicate OCI documents shall be granted only after personal interview by the Embassy on the appointed day / time.

 

43. What documents are required to be presented before collection of the OCI Card?
(i) New passport
(ii) Old OCI Card and old passport with “U†Visa on it (not applicable in case of Loss of OCI Card and / or Visa/ or NEW series of OCI cards)

 

PLS NOTE THAT EMBASSY DOES NOT SEND OCI CARDS BY POST/COURIER TO APPLICANTS.

 

44. PIO TO OCI CONVERSION CASES.

 

  1. Applicant should be resident of Belgium or Luxembourg. If living in any other country, services of the respective Indian Mission may be used.
  2. For Foreign Spouse cases applying for conversion of PIO to OCI the following additional documents are required:
    1. Copy of Marriage certificate.
    2. Proof of being married for at least 2 years prior to date of application.
    3. Copy of Indian PP and ID Card of Spouse.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER

 

EMBASSY OF INDIA, BRUSSELS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ASK FOR ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS IF REQUIRED ON A CASE TO CASE BASIS.

 

PHOTO, SIGNATURE AND DOCUMENTS HAVE TO BE UPLOADED BY THE APPLICANT THEMSELVES WHEN FILLING IN THE ONLINE FORM.

 

PHOTO SPECIFICATIONS CAN BE FOUND AT https://passport.gov.in/oci/Photo-Spec-FINAL.pdf.

 

THE EMBASSY WILL NOT PRINT OCI APPLICATIONS FOR APPLICANTS AND HAS NO PROVISION FOR FILLING UP THE OCI APPLICATION FORM.

 

FOREIGN MILITARY PERSONNEL EITHER SERVING OR RETIRED AND PERSONS HOLDING DIPLOMATIC /SERVICE/OFFICIAL PASSPORTS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GRANT OF OCI

 

CIVIL GOVT. SERVANTS WORKING IN MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AS I.T ENGINEERS/CIVIL CONTRACTORS ARE NOT ENTITLED FOR OCI

 

FOR ANY ASSISTANCE RELATED TO OCI WEBSITE SEND EMAIL TO helpdesk-oci@gov.in.

 

The email aco@indembassy.be. may be used for any procedural assistance/sending of additional documents.

 

For clearances of OCI pls send email to aco@indembassy.be.

 

DOCUMENT DELIVERY TIME IS BETWEEN 1600-1645 HRS ON ANY WORKING DAY OF THE EMBASSY.

 

FOR ENQUIRIES PLS CALL ON 02-6451850 Ext 163 ONLY BETWEEN 0930-1130 HRS ON ANY WORKING DAY OF THE EMBASSY.

 

W.E.F SEPTEMBER, 2015, U VISA STICKERS HAVE BEEN DONE AWAY WITH, HENCE THE OCI CARDS BEING ISSUED AFTER SEPTEMBER, 2015 WILL NO LONGER HAVE THE U VISA STICKER ON THE NATIONAL PASSPORT. THE OLD SERIES OF OCI WITH U VISA STICKER ARE ALSO VALID.

 

 


Address: Embassy of India, 217, Chaussee de Vleurgat, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

Working hours: 9.00 AM to 5.45 PM from Monday to Friday
                        1.00 PM to 1.45 PM Lunch
Telephone Numbers: +32 (0)2 6409140 & +32 (0)2 6451850
Emergency help line No for consular assistance (after office
hours): +32 (0)2 6466872
Fax Number: +32 (0)2 6451869(Consular wing) & +32 (0)2 6489638
(General No)