Dubai: The Indian Consulate in Dubai has issued an advisory about new guidelines for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).
The mission said OCI card holders, who are required to upload their new passport details online as per the latest revision of the Indian government’s guidelines for OCI card reissuance, may do it for free within three months after receiving the new passport.
OCI card is a long-term visa for Indian-origin people to be in India with citizenship of other countries.
As per the latest guidelines relaxing the rules for OCI cards, these cards have to be reissued only once when a new passport is issued after the cardholder completes 20 years of age. This is to capture the cardholder’s facial features on attaining adulthood.
Last month, the Indian government had also decided to do away with the requirement of reissuance of OCI cards if a person has obtained registration as OCI cardholder after attaining the age of 20 years.
“There is no requirement of reissuance of an OCI card each time a new passport is issued to a foreigner [person of Indian origin holding a foreign passport] up to 20 years of age and once after the card holder completes 50 years of age,” the mission explained.
“OCI card holders are required to upload online a copy of the new passport and latest photo each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age, and once after completing 50 years of age. The uploading of these documents maybe done within three months of receipt of the new passport. The service will be provided on gratis basis (without any fee),” stated the consulate.
Rule for spouses
As per the latest advisory, the foreign spouse of an Indian citizen or spouse of foreign origin of an OCI cardholder is required to upload a copy of the new passport and the latest photo online each time a passport is issued.
They must also submit a declaration of subsisting of marriage, copy of the Indian passport of the Indian spouse or passport and OCI card of the OCI cardholder spouse [in the case of the spouse holding an OCI card], the mission said.
Updating the portal
However, the consulate has urged applicants to wait till necessary modifications are made on the portal through which OCI card-related applications can be uploaded.
“Appropriate modifications are being made in the OCI Miscellaneous Services portal to implement the above decisions. This is expected to be launched by the end of May, 2021. OCI cardholders are therefore required to wait for the [updating] of the portal before submitting any application for reissuance of OCI card,” it added.
In April this year, the Indian Consulate in Dubai processed 49 applications related to OCI cards. The government easing the process for the reissuance of OCI cards has been welcomed in the UAE as well.
“It is indeed a great decision by the government of India and it has resolved the problems of OCI cardholders once and for all,” said Kamal Vachani, chairman of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) for Dubai and the Northern Emirates,
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Vachani, who is also the group director of Al Maya Group, said that the move will encourage more overseas Indians to get OCI cards and at the same time it will benefit India through more investment, business and frequent travel.
Personally, he said, the move would help his wife and two children who are British passport holders. “Now they don’t have to visit the mission to update their details and get the cards reissued when their passports are renewed. They can just upload their details online.”