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What Rights Do OCI Card Holders Have in India?

OCI cardholders have various rights in India, allowing them to stay connected to their home country. They can live and work in India without any time restrictions, enter and leave the country without a visa, and buy or sell property. To learn more about the rights of OCI cardholders, keep reading this article.

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The OCI card, or Overseas Citizen of India card, provides several rights to its holders. These include the right to live and work in India indefinitely, the ability to enter and exit India without needing a visa, and the right to purchase and sell property in India. OCI card holders also have access to certain educational and financial benefits in India and the ability to apply for a driver’s license and PAN card.1

Rights and privileges of being an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder include:1

  • Lifetime entry to India: OCI cardholders can enter the country multiple times without needing a visa. Furthermore, this privilege allows them to stay in India indefinitely, providing a flexible and convenient arrangement for those with Overseas Citizen of India status.
  • Exemption from visa fees: OCI cardholders enjoy an exemption from visa fees when entering India. This means they are not required to pay any charges associated with obtaining a visa, facilitating a cost-saving advantage for individuals with Overseas Citizen of India status.
  • The right to study in India without a student visa: OCI cardholders can study in India without a student visa, but they must meet the admission requirements of the educational institution they are applying to.
  • The right to own property in India: OCI cardholders can own property in India, but they are subject to certain restrictions, such as the inability to own agricultural land.
  • The right to invest in India: OCI cardholders can invest in India without restrictions.
  • The right to work in India without a work permit: OCI cardholders can work in India without a work permit. However, they are subject to certain restrictions, such as the inability to work in government jobs.
  • The right to open a bank account in India: OCI cardholders can open a bank account in India and operate it freely.
  • The right to drive in India: OCI cardholders can drive in India using an international driving license (IDP) or an Indian driving license.
  • The right to receive medical treatment in India: OCI cardholders are entitled to receive medical treatment in India at public and private hospitals.
  • The right to avail of government benefits: OCI cardholders are entitled to avail of most government benefits in India, such as subsidies and tax breaks. This implies that individuals holding Overseas Citizen of India status can avail themselves of various financial advantages and incentives provided by the government, contributing to a more favorable and supportive economic environment for them.

OCI card holders also have several other rights, such as the right to obtain a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card and the right to vote in the elections of the local municipality or panchayat in which they reside.

If you wish to travel to India with these various rights, obtain your India OCI card through Visas for Future. Our OCI application process guarantees processing within two business days, and you can expect to receive your OCI card within seven to eleven weeks.


What We’re Offering

If you are a foreign national of Indian origin, you may want to consider applying for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, our service will process your application within two business days, after which you will receive your OCI card within seven to eleven weeks.

  • Grants unlimited stay in India.2
  • Multiple-entry.2
  • $368 fee (Including Government fee).

Why choose us

Our order forms are easy and simple.
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Benefits of OCI card holders in India

Benefits for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders in India about areas such as employment, education, property ownership, and taxation:3

Travel and Stay

  • Multiple-entry, lifelong visa: Freely visit India for any purpose, without needing to apply for a separate visa each time.
  • Exemption from registration: No need to register with local police authorities for any length of stay.
  • Domestic airfare and entry fee parity: Enjoy the same fares as Indian citizens for domestic flights and entry fees to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Economic and Financial

  • Parity with NRIs: Treated at par with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in economic, financial, and educational fields (except for agricultural/plantation properties). This allows activities like:
    • Opening bank accounts and investing in India.
    • Buying and selling non-agricultural property.
    • Setting up businesses and participating in economic activities.
  • Education: Children of OCI cardholders can apply for admission to educational institutions under the general category quota for NRIs, including prestigious colleges like IITs and IIMs.

Other Benefits:

  • Adoption: OCI cardholders can adopt Indian children on par with NRIs.
  • Teaching faculty: Eligible for appointment as teaching faculty in premier Indian institutions like IITs, NITs, and IIMs.
  • Identity proof: Use the OCI card for various purposes like applying for a PAN card, driving license, or opening a bank account.

Advantages of knowing the rights and benefits of OCI card holders

Knowing the rights and benefits of OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cardholders offers several advantages, including:

  1. Making Smart Choices: Knowing your rights and privileges as an OCI cardholder gives you the freedom to explore various opportunities in India. It means you can confidently manage your life, work, and investments without worrying about confusion or uncertainty.
  2. Confidence and Clear Understanding: Knowing your rights and privileges as an OCI cardholder opens up a world of possibilities in India. You can confidently manage your life, work, and investments without worrying about confusion or uncertainty.
  3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Uncertainty about your rights and limitations can be stressful. By understanding your status and privileges, you can eliminate unnecessary anxieties and focus on enjoying your time in India.
  4. Strengthened Connection to India: Knowing your rights and connecting with your Indian heritage can foster a stronger sense of belonging and community. This can contribute to a more enriching and meaningful experience in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the restrictions of OCI in India?3

1. OCI does not grant political rights.
2. Overseas citizens of India are not entitled to vote.
3. They cannot become a member of a Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, or the Parliament of India.
4. Holding Indian constitutional posts like the President, Vice President, or Judge of 5. The Supreme Court or High Court is not allowed for OCI holders.
6. Generally, OCI holders cannot hold employment in India.

How long can you stay in India with an OCI?

OCI cardholders enjoy a multiple-entry, lifelong visa to India.3

Can I live in India permanently with an OCI?

Yes, you can live permanently in India with an OCI card.4.

What is the difference between OCI and NRI?

OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) status is a lifelong visa that allows individuals of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely, while NRI (Non-Resident Indian) status typically refers to Indian citizens residing outside India for a temporary or extended period.


References

  1. Ministry of Home Affairs Foreigners Division, OCIBrochure, Retrieved January 22, 2024, <https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/OCIBrochure_23072021.pdf>[][]
  2. Ministry of Home Affairs, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Retrieved January 22, 2024, <https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/2022-07/oci-faq.pdf>[][]
  3. Ministry of Home Affairs, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Retrieved January 22, 2024, <https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/2022-07/oci-faq.pdf>[][][]
  4. Ministry of Home Affairs. (2021). Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cardholder Frequently Asked Questions, January 22, 2024,<https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/OCIFAQs_23072021.pdf.>[]

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Jenilyn Samortin
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Jenilyn Samortin is an Environmental Science graduate and a content writer at Visas for Future, a company that supports reforestation and urban forestry projects. She is an expert at e-visas and travel documents, such as India e-visa and Turkey e-visa, which she handles and assists customers every quarter. She loves helping people with their international travel needs and providing them with the latest information, tips, and guidance on how to apply online.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
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Cite this article

MLA Style

Samortin, Jenilyn. "What Rights Do OCI Card Holders Have in India?." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/oci-card-rights-in-india/. Accessed on 10 October 2023.

Chicago Style

Samortin, Jenilyn. "What Rights Do OCI Card Holders Have in India?." Visas For Future. October 10, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/oci-card-rights-in-india/.

Published: 10 Oct 2023 7:32 UTC

Last modified: 6 Feb 2024 12:19 UTC

Reading time: 7 minutes

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