There are many British Citizens of Indian origin that frequently travel back to India on business and to see relatives.
They have to apply for a visa each time and this is inconvenient and time consuming. For frequent travellers, it is a good idea for them to apply for an OCI card- (Overseas Citizen of India) from the High Commission of India. This then saves them the bother of getting a visa every time they go abroad. India does not permit dual nationality, but will grant an OCI card to most foreign citizens, who can establish that they have Indian origin.
This requirement is usually dealt with by showing that their parents were/are Indian Nationals. There can be some difficulties here, where both parents have died and birth certificates or parents’ passports cannot now be found. This is where you will need us as Notaries to prepare affidavits and declarations covering any lack of original documentation.
Another condition for OCI is that the person applying must be a citizen of a country which allows dual citizenship. Also, the scheme is not open to persons of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. The OCI card differs from a PIO card (Persons of Indian Origin) which is limited to 15 years of visa free travel; An OCI Card gives visa-free travel for life. Also the cardholder does not have to register with the local police regardless of the length of their stay, whereas a PIO card requires registration with the local police after a stay of 180 days. OCI carries the right to obtain most types of employment in the private sector and also in professional practice in India and the holder can change jobs without registering with the Government and does not have to leave India on termination of employment.
OCI is granted by placing a sticker (called a “U” sticker) in the holder’s passport. When that passport expires, the holder should still carry the expired passport together with the new passport and the OCI booklet supplied by The Indian High Commission when travelling because the U sticker must be produced on entering India.
An OCI card is NOT the same as an Indian passport- it carries no voting rights, nor can the holder apply for government offices or judicial offices. Applications take about 12 weeks and the Indian High Commission charge £165
High Commission of India....
"OCI APPLICANTS ARE REQUESTED TO SURRENDER THEIR INDIAN PASSPORTS TO PASSPORT SECTION AS PER INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED AND SUBMIT COPY OF SURRENDER CERTIFICATE ALONGWITH THEIR OCI APPLICATIONS. THOSE APPLICANTS WHO HAVE EVER HELD INDIAN PASSPORTS AND ARE UNABLE TO PRODUCE THE SAME FOR SURRENDER FOR ANY REASON (LOSS/ MISPLACEMENT/ SUBMITTED TO HOME OFFICE LONG TIME BACK) ARE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A NOTARISED AFFIDAVIT IN ORIGINAL(IF THE PASSPORT IS ALREADY EXPIRED) AND ALSO POLICE REPORT (IN CASES WHERE INDIAN PASSPORT WAS STILL VALID)."
Welcome to the passport services of the High Commission of India, London. Applications for Passport services can be made at the Passport Services Counter at the High Commission, which is open from 0915 hrs to 1300 hrs on all working days.
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