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General Introduction

General Introduction:

In view of the long standing demand of the Indian Diaspora for recognition of their Indian identity and roots, Government of India introduced the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card scheme on March 30, 1999 and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme in August 2005.

On January 9, 2015, PIO card scheme was merged with the OCI card scheme and all PIO cardholders were deemed to be OCI cardholders with immediate effect. The OCI card scheme was extended till the fourth generation of the individual applicant who was either a citizen of India or was eligible to be a citizen of India on or after 26.01.1950, except for citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh or any other country specified by Govt. of India.

On December 4 2019, a special provision was made exclusively for Mauritian citizens enabling them to obtain OCI card on the basis of their Indian ancestry up to sixth generation.

Eligibility Criteria for Mauritians to apply for OCI card

  1. Any Mauritian citizen (18 years or above), who is a descendant of an Indian immigrant who came to Mauritius from India, either as indentured labour or as a free passenger.

  2. Spouse of an Indian passport or OCI card holder is eligible for OCI card on spouse basis after two years of marriage.

  3. A minor child whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India or at least one of the parents has renounced his Indian citizenship, is eligible for OCI Card.

  4. A child born out of live in relationship/ IVF/ surrogacy will be eligible for OCI only if at least one of the parents is a citizen of Indian.

Benefits of OCI Card

  1. Multiple entry lifelong Visa for India.

  2. OCI can be used as identity proof for application of Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card and driving license as well as for opening a bank account if the OCI card holder is residing in India.

  3. Exemption from registration with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) in India.

  4. Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in economic, financial, and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

  5. OCI card holder can set up business establishment in India

  6. Parity with NRIs in respect of:-

    1. Pursuing various professions in India, such as Doctors; Dentists; Nurses & Pharmacists; Advocates; Architects; Chartered Accountants etc.

    2. Appearing for All India Pre-Medical Test or such other tests to make them eligible for admission in pursuance of the provisions contained in the relevant Acts.

    3. Entry fees to be charged for visiting national monuments, historical sites and museums;

    4. Inter-country adoption of Indian children

  1. Parity with resident Indian nationals in the matter of:-

    1. Tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors.

    2. In respect of entry fee to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.

  2. OCI card is treated as proof of identity for any services rendered to the card holder in India.

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