An inter-ministerial committee from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has decided against giving the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) status to individuals who may have served a foreign military either in advice or combat capacities.
An OCI card allows any person of Indian origin to enter India without a visa for life among other uninterrupted access privileges within all Indian territories. Despite being a person of Indian origin but having served a foreign military force and having such access would be deemed against the best interest of the country. This included both retired and active military personnel. The Government preferred that they continue to go through the visa process that has clauses like periodic reporting to the local law enforcement when in the country.
This decision was announced after the Government of India decided to merge Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards with OCI and give these individuals lifelong privileges like –
- Multiple entries and multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India.
- Parity with NRIs on inter-country adoption.
- Equality with resident Indian nationals in domestic affairs.
- Equality with Indian nationals in entry fees for national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
- Exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India.
- Parity with NRIs pursuing professions in India such as: doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, advocates, architects, and chartered accountants.
- OCI holders do not require employment visa to work in India and may work in a private sector. Employment opportunities except areas that require protected area permits and restricted area permits.You can find more information on eligibility for the OCI card and how to merge PIO with OCI before the December 2017 deadline, at Overseas Citizen of India at Path2Usa.com.