India: Rules for Overseas Citizens of India Further Relaxed

April 26, 2021

Overview 

The government of India recently announced further relaxed administrative rules for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders. Cardholders will no longer be required to have their OCI cards re-issued each time they receive a new passport, with exceptions for those after reaching 20 years of age and again after 50 years of age.

Key Points

OCI cardholders are no longer required to obtain new OCI cards each time they receive a new passport.

Those with OCI cards that were issued prior to their 20th birthday do not have to obtain a new OCI card when their passport is renewed before reaching the age of 20.

OCI cardholders are required to obtain a new card once after their passport is renewed for the first time after reaching the age of 20.

OCI cardholders over 50 years of age no longer have to obtain a new card whenever they receive a new passport.

The Indian government is additionally introducing a new online portal for OCI cardholders to upload copies of their passports each time they receive a new passport up to the age of 20 and only once after the age of 50.

Those with OCI cards that are founded on being married to an Indian citizen will be required to upload a copy of their passport along with a declaration that they are still married each time they obtain a new passport.

What Are the Changes?

Previously, OCI cardholders were required to obtain a new card each time they renewed their passport. The Indian government has relaxed this policy by only requiring some OCI cardholders to have their cards re-issued at certain times throughout their lives.

Looking Ahead

This change comes soon after another recent change announced earlier this month that declared OCI cardholders no longer must travel with both old and current passports. The government continues to relax requirements for OCI cardholders.

While this change in administrative rules for OCI cardholders is effective immediately, the online portal where cardholders will be required to upload copies of their renewed passports has not yet been introduced. Until the website is live, OCI cardholders should continue to expect similar regulations when traveling to and from India.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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