is Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
of Home Affairs, Government of India
describes it as thus: The Constitution of India does not allow
holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country
simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level
committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided
to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known
as 'dual citizenship'. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of
certain category as has been specified in the Brochure who
migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign
country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for
grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship
in some form or the other under their local laws.
Persons registered as OCI have not been given any voting rights,
election to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council,
holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President,
Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc. Registered OCIs shall
be entitled to following benefits:
(i) Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit
(ii) Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any
length of stay in India; and
(iii) Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational
fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation
State Department Clarification on Dual Nationality for
Indians who become Naturalized US Citizen
India launched the "Overseas Citizens of India"
(OCI) program, which has often been mischaracterized as a
dual nationality program, as it does not grant Indian citizenship.
Thus, an American who obtains an OCI card is not a citizen
of India and remains a citizen of the United States. An OCI
card in reality is similar to a U.S. "green card"
in that a holder can travel to and from India indefinitely,
work in India, study in India, and own property in India (except
for certain agricultural and plantation properties). An OCI
holder, however, does not receive an Indian passport, cannot
vote in Indian elections and is not eligible for Indian government
employment. The OCI program is similar to the Persons of Indian
Origin (PIO) card introduced by the Indian government several
years ago, except that PIO holders must still register with
Indian immigration authorities, and PIO cards are not issued
for an indefinite period. American citizens of Indian descent
can apply for PIO or OCI cards at the Indian Embassy in Washington,
or at the Indian Consulates in Chicago, New York, San Francisco
and Houston. Inside India, American citizens can apply at
the nearest FRRO office (please see Entry/Exit Requirements
section above for more information on the FRRO). Ref: State
Also refer to a similar viewpoint from US
Embassy in Delhi.
on Dual Citizenship
the Visit of Hon'ble Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs
Shri Vayalar Ravi
Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Shri Vayalar Ravi met
a group of community leaders in Orlando, Florida. Minister
Ravi announced that his ministry proposed few changes to Home
Ministry to make the process simple to enable many NRIs around
the world to seek dual citizenship with India. With respect
to security issues related to the web site setup by the Ministry
for completing Dual Citizenship forms Minister Ravi and Mr.S.M
Gavai Consulate General of India, Houston informed that they
were aware of the security issues and informed the management
of the web site about the security problems. The problem hopefully
should be rectified soon.
help of PM Singh' encouragement Minister Ravi announced that
his Ministry is working on a proposal to cater to the educational
needs of NRI children by establishing world class University.
Several states offered land and resources for the proposed
University. Thus University primarily caters to NRI children
but also will have local students from within the country
in a highly competitive admission process. Minister Ravi welcomes
intellectuals in USA and other countries to visit.
Minister Ravi encouraged all Non Resident Indians with any
kind of problems to approach his Ministry for assistance at
the following address and his ministry would be happy to assist.
Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs
Government of India
New Delhi - 110021
Ph: 24676837, 24676839
For more information visit the official website. Ministry
of Overseas Indian Affairs, INDIA
on Dual Citizenship issues: Identity
By Anil Dharker
abroad are as fond of their mother country as the Chinese
are fond of China, but investment isn't a matter of the heart.
If NRIs don't invest in India, it's for other reasons altogether.
the Government of India decided to give dual citizenship to
non-resident Indians. It's a long-standing demand, whose denial
is of equally long standing.
no longer the need for a choice.
reason for saying no to dual citizenship has been that it's
a facility, which can be misused by terrorists. This reason
looked a bit untenable, considering the ease with which terrorists
move around the world, including India. The real reason though
no one will admit it is probably that there was an element
of moral righteousness involved: you cannot, the moralists
say, have your cake and eat it too. You cannot, in other words,
claim the riches of the West while simultaneously embracing
the deprivation of the East. Decide one way or the other.
Indians will no longer have to make this cruel choice. They
can follow the dictates of their purse and be citizens of,
say, the United States and swear allegiance to the Stars and
Stripes, while simultaneously they follow the dictates of
their heart and swear allegiance to the Tricolour. And if
the heart has its reasons, they aren't all sentimental: according
to the new rules being formulated, they can buy and sell property
and buy and sell stocks. In fact, they will be entitled to
all the rights of a non Non-Resident Indian (which means you
and me) like visa-free entry except that they can neither
stand for elected office nor vote in an election, nor can
they serve in the armed forces (hardly, a severe deprivation).
stands to benefit too, so much so that someone just had to
say it's a win-win situation. That was the formerly articulate,
former cabinet minister Vasant Sathe. The reason for his waxing
in management clichés is obvious from the following
calculations: there are 20 million NRIs all over the world.
If even a third of them opted for a dual-citizenship passport
costing $100 that would bring in a neat sum of $600 million
win in this situation where there are no losers, is based
on a rather speculative hope, which is that Indian will behave
more like the Chinese. To clarify, the huge amount of foreign
investment coming into China is mainly from Non-Resident Chinese
(NRCs) who contribute a large portion of inward remittances.
In contrast, NRIs invest a negligible amount, but the win-win
experts are convinced that this will change once NRIs have
dual citizenship, and a consequent feeling of belonging and
really as simple as that? Has the absence of only an additional
booklet prevented NRIs from feeling truly Indian?
long ago, a British cabinet minister suggested a test for
loyalty. Suppose there was an India versus England cricket
test being played in England, he said. Who would the British
citizen of Indian origin support? You don't need too many
guesses for that: we have seen the crowds at Lords or at Headingley.
They could be at Wankhede or at Chidambaram stadium, except
that they are wearing woollies, and they are as boisterously
supporting the Indian team. There's also the phenomenon of
an India versus Pakistan match at a neutral venue. It could
be Sharjah, the Oval or Toronto: the spectators, many of them
legally citizens of that country, but in the match are atavistically
divided into Indo-Pak camps.
happen just in a cricket match where, you could argue, nationalistic
feelings are at a fevered pitch. And this holding on to your
national identity (which you have officially given up) isn't
just a result of ghettoisation where working class Indians
bond together partly because they aren't readily accepted
by the native population. This happens even with the professionals
who have emigrated to the U.S., doctors, engineers, IT experts.
Even with them their passports cannot hide their Indian identity.
other hand you have Nasser Hussain, born in Hyderabad of an
Indian father, captaining an English cricket team and astutely
plotting yet another clever stratagem to defeat the Indians.
How do you explain that?
matter of integration: Hussain's mother is English and his
father is probably more English than Indian. Add to that the
classic English upbringing of public school and Oxbridge,
and what you get is an Englishman who is Indian only in name.
There are people who say that Hussain worked doubly hard to
defeat India to prove himself an Englishman; in fact, it's
likely that he never thinks of himself even remotely as an
Indian. When Ben Kingsley was doing the title role for Richard
Attenborough's "Gandhi" he made sure everyone knew
about his Indian roots. But he spoilt that somewhat by saying
I am half Gujarat, missing the `i' for the `ts'.
the end, you have three types of Indians living abroad: the
Hussain/Kingsley Indian who will never be Indians, the ghetto-Indian
who will always be Indian no matter the colour of his passport
and lastly the professional Indian who is trying his best
to integrate into local society but is still reluctant to
let go of his Indianness.
of these three categories dual citizenship will be a boon,
but it will be a practical boon: it's not going to add to
their already high feeling of India-centric patriotism. And
it's, therefore, not going to increase NRI investment in India
as is being fondly hoped.
I am trying to make should have been obvious to our planners
but isn't: Indians abroad are as fond of their mother country
as the Chinese are fond of theirs, but investment isn't a
matter of the heart. If NRIs don't invest in India, it's for
other reasons altogether, and its because of these reasons
that all foreign investors prefer China to India. Reason number
one is our bureaucracy, and reason number two is corruption.
As simple as that.
dual citizenship have to do with either?
is a noted journalist, media critic and writer. [Published