India Announces New Rules for OCI and Renunciation of Indian Citizenship

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that nationals of foreign-origin but married to Indian nationals and non-resident Indians will now be eligible to acquire an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. So far, these foreign-origin spouses were expected to apply and register their visa periodically with a Foreign Regional Visa Registration Officer while living in India.

Going forward, these foreign-nationals will be able to stay in India indefinitely or allowed multiple uninterrupted entries by virtue of their marriage to a NRI or Indian national. While eligibility criteria to attain an OCI card for current Indian citizens differ from that of his foreign-origin spouse, OCI will facilitate all benefits of parity with NRIs in all respects except owning of agricultural property. To be noted, only one living spouse of foreign origin will be eligible to apply for the OCI.

The following documents are required when applying for OCI card for foreign spouse of Indian origin: 

  • Valid passport
  • 2 Passport Photographs
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (Must be married for at least two years)
  • Proof of current address in India
  • Completed OCI Application
  • Indian Spouse’s Proof of Origin (This could be a passport and Aadhaar card and/PAN card)
  • If Naturalized, spouse’s Renunciation documents
  • Spouses Immigration documents, if on a visa abroad
  • If originals are not submitted, then an affidavit in lieu of originals

Additionally, The Ministry of Home Affairs in accordance to the amended Citizenship Rules, 2009 also announced further requirements when it comes to renouncing Indian citizenship. If an Indian national takes up citizenship of another country and there is no agreement of dual citizenship between the two countries, he has to renounce his Indian citizenship. In order to do so he will now have to fulfill the following protocol –

  • Specify under which provision they were Indian citizens – birth, descent, naturalization or registration.
  • Reason for acquiring foreign citizenship;
  • The new forms going forward will have these new requirements;
  • This information is collected for documentation purposes only;
  • Once the authorities verify the contents of the application, a certificate of renunciation of Indian Citizenship is issued;
  • The new information sought will not a determining factor in the acceptance of the renunciation application.

Find more information on Renunciation of Indian Citizenship in the US for other documents required along with fee details.