For almost anyone of foreign national who wants to enter India, it is required to have a valid passport along with a valid Indian visa. Though, in some scenarios, people are exempted from having a visa i.e. Overseas Citizens of India cardholders (or diplomatic/official passport holders). The process for receiving an OCI card (based i.e. on the marriage with Indian citizen) is not that complicated unless you meet the requirements mentioned on the OCI card services. And when you finally have it, trust me, it’s a huge relief. But, wait a second. Do you believe it is the real end of the struggle for bureaucracy in the Indian visa process? Hold your horses 🙂 Let’s check – does received OCI card has life long validity? Or might be canceled? Is there any process for OCI card replacement? The post below provides answers to those questions – let’s start.
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders – how long is it valid?
In March 2016, the Government of India announced that OCI cardholders will no longer need a visa to enter India. One will need to present a valid passport and your OCI card at the same time to enter or leave India. Usually, passports are issued only for 10 years so the natural question arises – what happens when my passport is about to expire and I’ll be getting a new one shortly? Or when I change my name after getting married? Or when I change my address? You need to go through the OCI card replacement process, and as I did that in UK VLS recently, I’ll be sharing my experience and make the entire process flow transparent.
OCI card replacement process. Where to start?
Fortunately, most of the application process is digitalized now so starting it can be done at your house whenever you are. Go to OCI services website and select OCI miscellaneous tab, then proceed.
Kindly be ready with Applicant’s image and Applicant’s signature image (Max size 500kb).
Kindly be ready with supporting documents in PDF format (Max size 1000kb).
| After Registration|
Who may apply for OCI Miscellaneous Services
There are several cases you can apply for re-issuance / issuance of duplicate OCI documents:
- If your previous passport expired and you have a new passport issued.
- If you want to update any of the personal particulars like your name, father’s name, nationality, etc.
- When you lose your OCI card or it gets damaged.
- In case of change of your address/occupation.
Data you need to provide to fill in the application
Passport Number * (as in OCI card)
U-Visa No # / OCI Number # / OCI File No (one out of three fields)
Date Of Birth * / Mother’s Name * (one out of two fields)
After that you will be redirected to the form site to fill in your details, your passport and family information. Follow the form layout and once it’s fully filled you will receive Temporary Application ID and Your File Reference Number. That’s it for the part A – now time for image upload and signing the consent form.
In case you decide to take a break and finish filling the application later on – you have up to 5 days to continue with same, already started application.
At the end of Part-B, you will be asked to upload a couple of documents supporting your application. What are those documents? It depends on the OCI card purpose you are applying for. In my case – marriage with an Indian citizen, that was a marriage certificate, my passport, and current OCI card copies.
Documents upload tips and how to schedule an appointment
- Your photograph and signature image should be in jpeg or jpg format and their size should not be larger than 500KB.
- The photograph must be square; i.e, aspect ratio must be 1:1
- Your signature images should have a ratio (height: width) of 1:3
Once you schedule your appointment (applicable in UK) HERE providing your details Passport Number / Full name / Appointment date / Appointment time / OCI Registration No you will receive an appointment letter sent to your email ID provided during application.
| EMAIL RECEIVED AFTER FIXING AN APPOINTMENT DATE IN UK |
Indian Visa and Consular Service Application Centre
|Please arrive at the India Visa & Consular Application Centre not earlier than 10 min before given time. There is no car parking facility available near the application centre. You are requested to use public transport to reach the centre.|
We may not be able to accommodate applicant delayed by more than 15 minutes.
Please note that High Commission of India and its Consulates reserves the right to ask for any additional information or documents needed to process your application. An Incomplete application submitted may result in delay or refusal of application by the High Commission of India and its Consulates.
Please remember to carry a copy of the appointment letter with you.
|Entry into the Application Centre is regulated by presenting a valid passport & application for the relevant service along with the appointment letter for the said date.|
|Service OCI |
Appointment Reference No. / Passport Number / Full name / Appointment date / Appointment time / OCI Registration No.
YOUR DETAILS WILL APPEAR HERE
Address:Indian Visa And Consular ServiceApplication Centre, (…) Document delivery will be made using DX courier.
Which documents should you bring to India Visa & Consular Application Centre
As you may notice, arriving on time for your appointment is required – that guarantees you can actually attend the appointment. Keep in mind you still need to deliver couple of documents, mostly copy with original document to confirm if everything matches. List of what was required from me, below:
- printout of OCI card replacement online application
- printout of appointment letter
- your passport copy (+original to show)
- your spouse passport copy (+original to show)
- marriage certificate copy (+original to show)
- address proof (i.e rental/lease agreement)
- visa copy (if applying abroad – your/+your husband residence permit copy, in UK it’s Biometric Residence Permit)
- 2 photos 51x51mm (it has to be the same photo as in your online application)
- Full set of instructions for OCI cardholder application photo requirements can be found here -> CLICK
- payment (debit card/cash payment in UK ie)
Cost of OCI card replacement (address change + passport details change)
Total cost in June 2019 for OCI card replacement, including address change and passport details change, courier fee, SMS fee, service fee was: £44.68
Collection Procedure for OCI Cards and Documents
OCI Cards are delivered by courier once approved and ready. After payment, you will be provided with one Special Delivery envelope to return your passport with OCI Card and you need to self – address it. One envelope per application is required to return the original documents and a processed-new OCI Card. You can check the status of their application Online Only.
Collection Procedure for approved OCI Cards
Applicants are required to check the status online and when status shows OCI received in a city you applied for your OCI card, with a particular date, the following documents must be submitted to the India Visa and Consular Services Application Centre (VFS), where the original application was submitted.
- Acknowledgment receipt of the application.
- Printout of on-line status report.
- Foreign Passport in original.
- Current OCI card in original.
Your original documents (passport and old OCI card) will be sent back to you once a new processed OCI card is ready. It takes around 7 days to receive all documents back to the address mentioned on the self-addressed envelope.
I would love to hear your comments on this! Have you ever gone through OCI card replacement in UK or any other country? Do you have similar experience? Or was there anything that surprised you? Thank you very much for reading this article. I am curious if you have/had any experience of yours? Any comments? – please share your experience. And if you liked the article – share it, click “Like it” and subscribe to my newsletter.
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