OCI Visas/Sponsorship Declarations – INDIA.  Are You Eligible?

OCI Visas/Sponsorship Declarations – INDIA.  Are You Eligible?

If you have a significant connection with India but are not now a Citizen of India, read on.

Most countries in the world are happy that its citizens can hold dual nationality when appropriate. So if you are a citizen of USA and become naturalised as a British Citizen for example, you can hold both US and UK passports.

Other countries are not willing to allow this. India is one such – as are Austria, PR China, Japan and others. So, if an Indian Citizen becomes British, then Indian Citizenship is lost. Not because Britain objects, but because India objects,

Yet again, some countries make it a requirement upon granting citizenship that the previous nationality be abandoned. So if an Irish person becomes Spanish, then Irish citizenship is lost. In this case, not because Ireland objects, but because Spain objects.

It’s complicated.

But, this Blog focusses on India: – where there has been a lot of unhappiness over the years about the consequences of the loss of Indian Citizenship when, in particular, US or UK or Canadian Citizenship has been acquired. There are large numbers of people who have lost Indian Citizenship, but who still have significant connection with India and want to travel there regularly. This, coupled with the fact that it can be a very long-winded and expensive palaver to apply for and obtain a Visa to travel to India, and for a Visa which then expires and has to be applied for all over again next year.

So since 2006, the OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA (OCI) scheme has been created. There are many advantages for an eligible OCI holder – the main one, is that it is a lifetime travel/residence visa.

We see many Indian clients who wish to apply for an OCI Visa.  I have set out below some information which may assist you if you are thinking of applying for an OCI card.

What is OCI?

OCI – Overseas Citizenship of India.  It is a card which enables the holder to be able to travel and stay in India as many times as required.

Eligibility

  • was a citizen of India on 26 January 1950 or at any time thereafter; or
  • belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15 August 1947; or
  • was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26 January 1950; or
  • is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or
  • is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or
  • is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or
  • is a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application

There are full details LINK HERE on the Indian government website and a link to an on-line application facility LINK HERE.

My involvement in all this as a Notary is that the Applicant for OCI who has acquired UK Citizenship by Registration or Naturalisation, is usually expected to submit their cancelled last Indian passport as part of the OCI application.

Typically, the passport is not available. It may have been lost at home, or retained by the Home Office in Croydon and lost, or surrendered by the Home Office to the Indian High Commission and lost. In that case, the Indian Authority will require a Notarised Affidavit to be prepared, explaining the circumstances of the loss of the passport.

So if you require an OCI card and need an adviser who can assist then please do get in touch – we can help you find the right direction and of course we can prepare any supporting Affidavits that may be required.

And, as always, please remember whenever you have documents to Notarise to use abroad, you can contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email notary@atkinsonnotary.com or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com

 

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