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  • What do you mean by Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)?

    Are you having a query regarding OCI? Interested in knowing getting all details including restrictions if any? On this page our ISC experts shall provide you with all the requried information.

    On 4th March 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs brought in a new restriction to the rights and liberties to OCI which were given to them under Section 7B of the Citizen Act, 1955. Now, I would like to get more information's about Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) like:
    a) Who is an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI?
    b) What is the difference between an OCI and NRI or foreign nationals?
    c) What are the rights that were given to them as per Section 7B of the Citizen Act, 1955?
    d) What changes or restriction is brought in through the new notification released on 4th March 2021 by the Ministry of Home Affairs for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)?
    e) Any additional information about Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)?
  • Answers

    3 Answers found.
  • The following is information about OCIs.
    1. An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a person who is having the citizenship of another country, but is given some rights and freedoms enjoyed by Indians. An OCI card is a long-term visa available to citizens of other countries who have familial relationships to India.
    The following are eligible for getting this status,
    a, You are eligible for this status if you were an Indian citizen but have renounced your citizenship and presently you are the citizen of another country.
    b. If you were eligible for citizenship as of 26 January 1950, or if you lived in a territory that has become a part of India on independence in 1947.
    c, Spouses of Indian citizens who have been married for at least two years are also eligible for OCI
    d, If a person is having at least one Indian parent or grandparents.

    2. Differences between OCI and NRIs
    a. A Non-Resident Indian (NRI), is a person who will have an Indian passport but lives and/or works overseas. NRIs will have all the benefits afforded to Indians living in India. But OCIs don't have many of these benefits.
    b. NRIs will have full voting rights. But OCI holders cannot vote in any elections.
    c, NRIs can stand for the public post but not OCIs.
    d, NRIs can buy land for agriculture purpose. But OCIs cannot.
    e, NRIs can do research work without any prior permission. OCI holders should get permission before they start their research from the local Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRRO).

    3, Rights given to OCIs,
    a. OCI card is a Life long Visa. Multiple entries and multiple purposes are allowed.
    b, No necessity to register with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) of India on their arrival in the country.
    c, They need not report to police authorities to stay in India for long.
    d. They have financial, economic and educational rights similar to NRIs.But they can't purchase agricultural or plantation properties.
    e, Medicine, dentistry, nursing, advocacy, architecture, chartered accountancy, and pharmacy are the professions to be pursued by them
    f. They are treated on par with Indian citizens for admitting them into national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, national monuments, historical sites, and museums.
    4. A new provision was included recently in the Act. Section 4[5] of the Amendment says that under Section 7D of the principal Act, an OCI card can be withdrawn to any individual if the OCI violates any of the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955. But before giving that punishment he /she should be given a reasonable opportunity to defend his action.

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  • The following are the answers to your questions.

    A) Who is a foreign national (OCI) of India?
    A special facility is given to the Indian people settled abroad and having taken citizenship there, we know these Indians by the name of Overseas Citizen of India. Many countries of the world have the facility of dual citizenship, but according to the Indian Citizenship Act and the law, if an Indian takes the citizenship of another country, he has to give up his Indian citizenship. Presently there has been an increase in the number of people who have taken citizenship of other countries due to many reasons, but still, their feelings and attachment towards their country of origin are the same, for the convenience of such people coming into the country. Overseas Citizen of India card is provided.

    B) What is the difference between an OCI and an NRI or a foreign national?
    An OCI cardholder is a person who has taken citizenship of another country and is no longer an Indian citizen, the rights of many Indian citizens cannot be given to OCI cardholders. But on the other hand, NRI is a person who is living abroad for some reason, but even today he has citizenship of India and in other countries, he is living with visa facility, NRI person mostly, living abroad So that they can earn their income.

    C) What rights were given to him as per Section 7B of the Civil Act, 1955?
    It is stated that an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder has the right to appear in some examinations and not in some. They can be appointed on some posts. Some of the fundamental rights given in the constitution, such as rights related to police protection, law aid, untouchability, etc., will also be obtained from them.

    D) What changes or restrictions have been brought for the expatriate citizens of India through a new notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (OCI) on 4 March 2021?
    Recently, the Central Government has released a list of rights for Overseas Citizen of India cardholders, according to which -
    1. These cardholders are free to visit India for a lifetime, they will not be stopped in any way.
    2.From now on, the OCI cardholder has permission to adopt a child in the country, purchase or sale of the property concerning agriculture or land, etc. From now on, they will also get the same rights as NRIs concerning businesses.
    3.OCI cardholders can now take any exam like All India Service, Public Service, or another entrance exam - NEET,
    PSC, JPSC, etc. But they will not be given seat-related reservations.
    4.They will not have any restriction on variance in religious places, but they cannot promote any particular religion.

  • The following are the explanations relating to the queries of the author and the same is written point wise as follows-
    1) An Overseas Citizen of India is a person having the citizenship of another country but at the same time, he is enjoying the several rights and freedom enjoyed by the Indian Citizens.
    The OCI card specifies that it is a long term visa which such citizens are availing despite enjoying the citizenship of other countries. It has entitled them a lot of benefits applicable to NRI / and other Indian Citizens.
    2) An NRI is one having holders of Indian Passports but lives and / or works in overseas enjoying all the benefits afforded to any citizen living in. India where as OCI don't have such rights. The following are the basic difference between the two categories-
    1) NRI have the voting rights for the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Legislative Assembly where as the OCI are deprived of such rights.
    2) NRI can purchase agricultural lands but OCI holders cannot.
    3) NRI can conduct research work without the permission of any authority but for OCI, they need to get a prior permission from the office of FRFO.
    3) Rights to OCI -
    1) OCI card is a long life visa where there could be multiple entries for the different persons
    2) Not needed to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Officers ( FRFO)
    3) While living in India, they need not report to Police Officials.
    4)They are entitled to get all the basic rights as enjoyed by NRI such as financial, economical, educational and other personnel rights enlisted in the Indian Constitution.
    5) They can freely access to National Parks, Historical Sites and Museums.
    4) A new act under the section of 7D of the Principal Act has been modified stating that an OCI card can be withdrawn in case of violation of OCI rules contained in the provision of Citizenship Act 1955. However, before rewarding such a punishment, one would be given opportunity to defend oneself.

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