Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the US, India has extended the timeline for the re-issuance of the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card by one year till Dec 31, 2022.
The mandatory requirement of re-issuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued to a foreigner up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age has also been dispensed with.
The Indian government has taken this decision “in order to avoid inconvenience to OCI cardholders who are required to get their OCI cards reissued,” according to a press release issued Friday by the Indian consulate in New York.
OCI is a form of permanent residency available to people of Indian origin and their spouses which allows them to live and work in India indefinitely.
In further relaxation of OCI rules, an OCI cardholder is required to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after completing 20 years of age, the release said.
The fee for this is $25 plus $3 for Indian Community Welfare Fund. Applicants also need to pay $15.90 to the outsourcing agency, VFS Global, as a service charge, and a fee for any optional services used like shipping labels.
An OCI cardholder is required to upload online a copy of the new passport and a recent photo each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age.
The uploading of these documents may be done within three months of receipt of the new passport, the release said.
The foreign spouse of an Indian Citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder is required to upload a copy of the new passport and a recent photo online each time a new passport is issued.
This has to be done along with a declaration on subsisting of marriage, a copy of the Indian passport of the Indian spouse/passport, and an OCI card of the OCI cardholder spouse.
Uploading of copies of new passports, photos, and other documents of an OCI cardholder or their foreign origin spouse can be done through the ‘OCI Miscellaneous Services’ section at: https://ociservices.gov.in/welcome.
This does not involve any submission of documents through the Outsourcing Service Provider/Consulate and is free of charge, the release said.
The requirement of carrying old and new passports, along with the OCI card, has also been done away with.
An OCI cardholder traveling with an OCI card bearing an old passport number is not required to carry the old passport.
However, carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory, the release said.
For the OCI card reissue process, applicants may visit https://services.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ind/apply-oci-services.