Documents Required for OCI Card Application in US

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Documents Required for OCI Card

Certain documents are required for an OCI application. The photocopies of supporting documents must be clear and preferably in color. The documents required are:

OCI Application Form: Complete the your OCI Online Application Form on the Indian government website. Once the OCI Online Application Form is completed, print the form.

See Sample OCI Form.

VFS Global Online Order Form – You also need to register with VFS Global. The method will depend upon how you are applying, whether by mail or in person. See the VFS Global website for more details.

US Passport or Non-Indian Passport – You will need to submit current passport information page copies (no originals).

  • Information page that contains the picture and personal details of the holder of the Passport.
  • Endorsement/amendment pages.
  • Passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of submission of application.

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Peace of mind that comes with having travel medical insurance.

Signature – There are multiple places in the application form where the applicant has to sign. If children below 5 years are unable to sign, then they have to provide thumb impressions. The parents cannot sign for them. They have to sign in the assigned places for father and mother. Minor children who are able to sign should do so. Things to know about signature:

  • The thumb impression or signature should be in the box provided. If it is outside the application will be rejected.
  • The thumb impressions should be in black ink.
  • The applicant cannot sign and provide thumb impression together in the same box.
  • For minor applicants, the parents have to sign at the bottom of the form even if they are not applying for the OCI. If only one parent is available, then proof of death or custody of the minor has to be provided.

Photos for the OCI application – One photograph is needed for part A of the application. The photo can be uploaded online too but hard copy of the photograph is required. The photograph should be 2×2 inches, color, and front facing photos of the applicant. See photo requirements

Birth Certificate – For applicants born outside of India a copy (not original) of birth certificate that shows the name of the parents, nationality, and date of birth of the applicant is required.

Original Passport – The applicant’s original passport will be required at the end of the processing. After the OCI card has been approved and returned from Delhi, India, to the embassy/consulate, the applicant will receive a notification and shipping instructions automatically by email. A valid original US passport or Non-Indian passport if the nationality is non-US is needed at this point. The U-Visa (OCI) sticker needs to be affixed to a blank visa page in the passport. The passport must have minimum 2 blank pages and a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of application.

PIO card holders – Original and photocopy of the PIO card is required.

Copy of Naturalization Certificate – Naturalization certificate is required as part of the documents for the OCI form.

  • If the applicant is a former Indian National or not born in the US a copy of Naturalization certificate is required.
  • If the applicant obtained more than one nationality after Indian citizenship then he or she must provide Naturalization certificates or proof of nationalities from those countries.
  • If the minor applicant has no naturalization certificate because he or she gained naturalization through the parents, copies of parents’ naturalization certificates and notarized written statement stating how naturalization was acquired by the minor without having naturalization certificate are required.
  • The US Naturalization certificate should name “Former Nationality” as India. Certificates that state “Country of Birth” as India are not accepted.

Proof of Renunciation of Indian Citizenship – India does not allow dual citizenship. In order to apply for OCI or PIO the applicant has to show a proof of renunciation of Indian citizenship. The applicant can send the renunciation documents and fees along with the application instead of getting the surrender certificate first. One of the following can be produced as proof of Renunciation:

  • Copy of the certificate of Renunciation issued by a Consulate in India.
  • Copy of Indian passport with a stamp that indicates “Cancelled as holder acquired US/Foreign citizenship.”

If the applicants have not renounced the Indian Citizenship they can apply for Renunciation with the OCI or PIO card. They can send the documents in one envelope. The documents required to apply for the renunciation of Indian Citizenship can be found here.

What happens if the applicant does not apply for Renunciation of Indian Citizenship?

If the most recent Indian Passport is retained for more than 3 years after the applicant acquires citizenship of another country, a penalty may apply.

Proof of Indian Origin – In order to get an OCI, the applicant needs to prove their Indian origin.
If the applicant was an Indian Citizen:

  • Indian Passport: If the applicant has ever possessed an Indian Passport, then they need to provide a copy of the first 3 and last 2 pages of their Indian passport.

If the applicant does not have Indian Passport, then the following documents can be submitted. The final decision to approve such documents as a proof of address depends on the consular officer.

  • Notarized copy of educational certificated issued by an institution in India.
  • Land Ownership Certificate.
  • Duly notarized affidavit to that effect.
  • Copy of the Ancestral Nativity Certificate issued by an Indian official or magistrate with proper authority.

If the applicant is not an Indian Citizen
If the applicants do not have Indian Passport and are applying on the basis that their parents or grandparents were Indian Nationals then the following documents need to be enclosed:

  • Copy of proof of parents’ current and previous nationality.
  • Birth Certificate: If the OCI is being applied on the basis of parents’ nationality, the birth certificate of the applicant in which the parents name is given is required.

If the OCI application is based on the grandparents Indian Nationality, the birth certificate of both the parents and the applicant’s are required. In addition, provide any of the following that is applicable:

  • Copies of both parent/grandparents domicile certificate issued by a competent authority.
  • Copies of the first 3 and last 2 pages of both parents’/grandparents’ passport.
  • Copy of the parents’ OCI cards.
  • Any other document that proves the Indian citizenship of the parents/grandparents such as notarized copy of school certificate or land ownership certificate. The decision to accept these documents as proof of citizenship is dependent on the consular officer.

Proof of address – The proof of address should match the address given in the application form and the address given in the prepaid envelope. The applicant can submit photocopies of:

  • A state ID, such as a driver’s license. Do not cut the photocopy to reduce the size. Keep the original size of the regular paper.
  • A major utility bill like gas, water, or electric bill.
  • Proof of address of both the parents and legal guardian can be submitted as proof of address for minors.
  • College/University students living on campus can get a letter from their university or educational institution with the letterhead and address on it.
  • Exceptions: items such as credit card statements, phone bills, addresses with a P.O. Box, and cell phone bills are not accepted as valid proof of address.

Name Change Documentation – Name change is applicable for former Indian Nationals. If the name in the US passport is different from the name in the Indian Passport or Indian government-issued documents, then one of the following documents are required:

  • Official court order for Name Change.
  • Marriage Certificate proving the name change, if the name was changed after marriage.
  • Name change as a result of Naturalization.

Proof of legal status in the US – Do not send the original proof of legal status like visa or green card. Only photocopies are accepted:

  • If you are a non-US citizen applying for your children then you must provide the proof of visa/green card by attaching a photocopy of those documents.
  • If you are a non-US citizen then you must provide a copy of permanent resident card or green card (both the sides)/EAD/ H1, H4, L1/L2, J1/J2, F1/F2 etc.

Change of address in India – If the address in India as given in the application form is different from the one in the Indian passport a proof of new address in India is required.

Prepaid Return Envelope – The envelope is for the documents to be sent back to the applicant after the OCI application is processed. Even though the applicant may choose to pick the application in person it is always a good idea to submit a prepaid return envelope with the application. If the whole family consisting of 4 members apply for the same service only one return envelope is required. If there are more than 4, then 2 are required. VFS Global will send only 4 passports in one envelope. But if the family/group apply for different services, then separate return envelopes are required.

Depending on the jurisdiction some additional documents may be required. Please make a final check of the documents and photocopies required before submitting those.



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