Links to latest OCI rules, FAQs and other info to help prepare an OCI package

alt

Registered Users (C)
I finally decided to put this in a new thread since there have been so many people asking exactly the same questions, and getting the same answers, and no one seems to be doing any basic research/reading anoymore.

Let try to keep this thread within a single page.
Any moderators out there who can make this a sticky?

Members please DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS IN THIS THREAD, just share important information that may help others prepare an effective OCI application package.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Study the GOI rules and FAQs:

Remember guys, the OCI rules are not made by the embassies or CGIs, but by the GOI. The CGIs just provide a copy on their web site for our convenience, and in some cases have forgotten to update that copy.

OCI is actually processed in India.
Yes, your application package goes to MHA in Delhi.

So ALWAYS look at the LATEST LIST OF THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND FAQs CAREFULLY at MHA web site first !

OCI Main page - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm.
OCI FAQs - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/faqs.pdf
OCI Brochure - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/brochure.pdf
OCI application filling instructions - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/Instructions.pdf
OCI Online registration - http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp
OCI Status enquiry - http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIenquiry.jsp
OCI Application Fee (in Indian Rs. only) - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/fee.pdf

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2. Study your local consulate's additions to the rules and FAQs

Carefully read the OCI page on your region's CGI or Indian embassy's web site.

OCI page on the web site for Indian Embassy Washington DC -
http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/oci.asp

List of Indian Consulates in US, links to their web sites, and the states that fall under their jurisdiction, can be found at -
http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/consultates.asp

Get the Latest Fee from your embassy's or CGI's web site.

If the FAQs/rules on this page seem to conflict with MHA's rules, then MHA's rules are most likely the latest. Your CGI may not have updated their web site.
.Ask people in this newsgroup (not this thread) if some difference between MHA rules and CGI rules confuses you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Compile the list of documents to enclose
Each consulate has their own separate set of guidelines and document requirements for the OCI form. I am not providing a complete list here.
See the latest list on the different web sites that I have already mentioned above.

But the common thing between them is that they all want you to send 2 sets -
2 copies of application forms, 2 copies of all enclosures/documents. This is required by MHA.

The # of copies of an enclosure (e.g Number of photos and photocopies etc) should be the greater of - what MHA wants and what embassy's web site says.
e.g. DC's web site asks for 3 additional photos beyond the two to be pasted on the form. But MHA web site only taks about 2 to be pasted on form. So people sending their packages to DC should be ready with 2+3=5 photos. Aagin, read your CGI's web site carefully for what they want.

The guidelines for thumbrpint colors, photo sizes and photo background colors also seem to differ from consulate to consulate. Try to strictly follow what your consulate's web site says.
Tips for photo background and size - http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=223894

Also read carefully where a notary is needed VS. where a self-attestation is needed. For normal OCI cases, I did not find a need to get anything notarized. Self-attestaion was sufficient.

And if you think a little, you can easily guess that these sometimes weird and sometimes difficult sounding guidelines/requirements were probably made just because the current GOI infrastructure/hardware is only suited for, say a perticular size and background color of photos, or the particular color of thumbrpints.
Deviating from the guidelines may work (and does in many cases), but most likely adds processing delays.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Organize:

Always remember, 2 sets of application forms, signed/thumbprinted in original.
2 sets of documents - one for each application form.

For the documents to enclose, treat as if every family member was applying separately. This suggestion is for enclosures only, the application forms still remain only 2 sets.

Since each family member gets their own registration number when you register online, so verification of documents in Delhi for each family member could potentially be done by different people.

Therefore separate out the docs into separate sets, one "COMPLETE SET of enclosures" for each family member.

e.g., for your kids, put another photocopy of your foreign and Indian passport in his/her set of enclosures also, since their requirements need proof of parents being eligible for OCI.

Use a lot of paper clips :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Keep a proof

Keep a photocpy of EVERY paper you send out, i.e. the application forms and all enclosures. Spend that extra few dollars in the photocopy shop. :)
You need to hold on to your online registration number, so that you can check the status later
Mail the whole package through some service which allows delivery tracking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Check Status Regularly.
To check status of your OCI application -
http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIenquiry.jsp

It takes anything from 1-3 weeks for application status to change to acknowledged.
It takes anything from 3-8 weeks (sometimes even more) for applications status to change to granted and dispatched.
It takes another 7-20 days for status to change to Received at your embassy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. When Documents received at your embassy, mail your US and Indian passports to your embassy
Only when the online status changes to 'Received'
Send the following -
a. A printout of your online status showing that documents have been received at the embassy.
b. A cover letter informing the OCI section guys that your OCI application (mention the application #) has been granted and received at the embassy and that you are enclosing the US passport for OCI U Visa sticker and OCI card, and also enclosing the Indian passport and PIO card (if any) for cancellation.
c. A self addressed return envelope (even though you may have included one with your original application packet)
d. If you did not add the return mailing fee (currently $20, check your embassy web site for latest) to the original application fee, then a cashier's check for the return mailing fee
e. Your US passport
f. You Indian passport for cancellation
g. Your PIO card (if any) for cancellation.

The mailing address can be found at your embassy's web site. It is typically same as the address where you mailed your OCI application to.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Every time your or your kids US/Foreign passport gets renewed, or your personal details change, remember to get the OCI U-Visa also reissued.

This is a new introduction (since 1/1/2008) - "New OCI Miscellaneous Services for registered OCIs"
Links to official details can be found at -
http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm

Every US embassy web site also now displays a copy of the details about OCI miscellaneous services.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Share you experiences
And finally, share your experiences with others in this forum
;)

All the best!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

samsung2

Registered Users (C)
MHA links are broken

The MHA links are broken, Anyone has updated links for MHA? Thanks in advance.
 

ginnu

Registered Users (C)
I finally decided to put this in a new thread since there have been so many people asking exactly the same questions, and getting the same answers, and no one seems to be doing any basic research/reading anoymore.

Let try to keep this thread within a single page.
Any moderators out there who can make this a sticky?

Members please DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS IN THIS THREAD, just share important information that may help others prepare an effective OCI application package.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Study the GOI rules and FAQs:

Remember guys, the OCI rules are not made by the embassies or CGIs, but by the GOI. The CGIs just provide a copy on their web site for our convenience, and in some cases have forgotten to update that copy.

OCI is actually processed in India.
Yes, your application package goes to MHA in Delhi.

So ALWAYS look at the LATEST LIST OF THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA AND FAQs CAREFULLY at MHA web site first !

OCI Main page - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm.
OCI FAQs - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/faqs.pdf
OCI Brochure - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/brochure.pdf
OCI application filling instructions - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/Instructions.pdf
OCI Online registration - http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp
OCI Status enquiry - http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIenquiry.jsp
OCI Application Fee (in Indian Rs. only) - http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/fee.pdf

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Study your local consulate's additions to the rules and FAQs

Carefully read the OCI page on your region's CGI or Indian embassy's web site.

OCI page on the web site for Indian Embassy Washington DC -
http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/oci.asp

List of Indian Consulates in US, links to their web sites, and the states that fall under their jurisdiction, can be found at -
http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/consultates.asp

Get the Latest Fee from your embassy's or CGI's web site.

If the FAQs/rules on this page seem to conflict with MHA's rules, then MHA's rules are most likely the latest. Your CGI may not have updated their web site.
.Ask people in this newsgroup (not this thread) if some difference between MHA rules and CGI rules confuses you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Compile the list of documents to enclose
Each consulate has their own separate set of guidelines and document requirements for the OCI form. I am not providing a complete list here.
See the latest list on the different web sites that I have already mentioned above.

But the common thing between them is that they all want you to send 2 sets -
2 copies of application forms, 2 copies of all enclosures/documents. This is required by MHA.

The # of copies of an enclosure (e.g Number of photos and photocopies etc) should be the greater of - what MHA wants and what embassy's web site says.
e.g. DC's web site asks for 3 additional photos beyond the two to be pasted on the form. But MHA web site only taks about 2 to be pasted on form. So people sending their packages to DC should be ready with 2+3=5 photos. Aagin, read your CGI's web site carefully for what they want.

The guidelines for thumbrpint colors, photo sizes and photo background colors also seem to differ from consulate to consulate. Try to strictly follow what your consulate's web site says.
Tips for photo background and size - http://www.immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?t=223894

Also read carefully where a notary is needed VS. where a self-attestation is needed. For normal OCI cases, I did not find a need to get anything notarized. Self-attestaion was sufficient.

And if you think a little, you can easily guess that these sometimes weird and sometimes difficult sounding guidelines/requirements were probably made just because the current GOI infrastructure/hardware is only suited for, say a perticular size and background color of photos, or the particular color of thumbrpints.
Deviating from the guidelines may work (and does in many cases), but most likely adds processing delays.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Organize:

Always remember, 2 sets of application forms, signed/thumbprinted in original.
2 sets of documents - one for each application form.

For the documents to enclose, treat as if every family member was applying separately. This suggestion is for enclosures only, the application forms still remain only 2 sets.

Since each family member gets their own registration number when you register online, so verification of documents in Delhi for each family member could potentially be done by different people.

Therefore separate out the docs into separate sets, one "COMPLETE SET of enclosures" for each family member.

e.g., for your kids, put another photocopy of your foreign and Indian passport in his/her set of enclosures also, since their requirements need proof of parents being eligible for OCI.

Use a lot of paper clips :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Keep a proof

Keep a photocpy of EVERY paper you send out, i.e. the application forms and all enclosures. Spend that extra few dollars in the photocopy shop. :)
You need to hold on to your online registration number, so that you can check the status later
Mail the whole package through some service which allows delivery tracking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Check Status Regularly.
To check status of your OCI application -
http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIenquiry.jsp

It takes anything from 1-3 weeks for application status to change to acknowledged.
It takes anything from 3-8 weeks (sometimes even more) for applications status to change to granted and dispatched.
It takes another 7-20 days for status to change to Received at your embassy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. When Documents received at your embassy, mail your US and Indian passports to your embassy
Only when the online status changes to 'Received'
Send the following -
a. A printout of your online status showing that documents have been received at the embassy.
b. A cover letter informing the OCI section guys that your OCI application (mention the application #) has been granted and received at the embassy and that you are enclosing the US passport for OCI U Visa sticker and OCI card, and also enclosing the Indian passport and PIO card (if any) for cancellation.
c. A self addressed return envelope (even though you may have included one with your original application packet)
d. If you did not add the return mailing fee (currently $20, check your embassy web site for latest) to the original application fee, then a cashier's check for the return mailing fee
e. Your US passport
f. You Indian passport for cancellation
g. Your PIO card (if any) for cancellation.

The mailing address can be found at your embassy's web site. It is typically same as the address where you mailed your OCI application to.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Every time your or your kids US/Foreign passport gets renewed, or your personal details change, remember to get the OCI U-Visa also reissued.

This is a new introduction (since 1/1/2008) - "New OCI Miscellaneous Services for registered OCIs"
Links to official details can be found at -
http://www.mha.nic.in/oci/oci-main.htm

Every US embassy web site also now displays a copy of the details about OCI miscellaneous services.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Share you experiences
And finally, share your experiences with others in this forum
;)

All the best!

http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/oci-faq.pdf
read question 25
 

MagnaHoy

Registered Users (C)
OCI Photo problem solved

I used a plain color blanket taped to the wall as a background (a pink kid's blanket works superbly), and took photos with the digital camera. I then edited the photo using PassportPhoto from www.onthegosoft.com, to get a mask in the dimensions required for OCI (35mm x35mm). It can then render up to 8 such photos onto one 4x6 JPEG. Print it at your nearest CVS and you have plenty of passport photos.

The software costs 10 dollars and it absolutely worth it for what it does. If you do it for a family of 4, you end up saving about 20 dollars for photos and get the color background, shoulders, size etc just the way that the desi babus want it.
 

cmdrsk

Registered Users (C)
take photo at home however you want go to walmart instant photo, the machine allows to do edits of all kinds, select option for 6 snaps of 2in X 2X in a 4X6 sheet, it cost 26 cents. if you want indian size, print in ID card option it gives 9 snaps in 4X6 sheet , trim the sides it comes exactly 35mm by 35mm, it cost 26 cents again. Good luck.
 

PCee

Registered Users (C)
Few notes while filling OCI registration form online:
1. If you are applying for family click the "Radio button" for "Family Group" and wait for a second or two which will replace the default individual form with one for family. This will have four parts (One for you, spouce, minor child1, minor child2).
2. "Surname" means "Lastname" (if you forgot) :)
3. All dates you need to enter in DD/MM/YYYY format.
4. Place of birth won't allow any special characters (only A-Z with spaces allowed).
5. Remember most likely your nationality is no longer "INDIA" and highly likely "USA" and you have to enter US Passport details. (most likely this is a shift from what you use to do until now).
6. Passport issue place accepts only limited number of characters. Abreviate the place. I could fit in only "US DEPT OF STAT" there!
7. Address of Employer field is a bit short and sometimes you may not be able to fit complete address there. See if you can abreviate the address. By the way this field is not used on printed form. You have to write that manually on PartB later on.
8. If you are not applying for spouse along witht his application (but including one or two minor children) then leave corresponding information fields empty (name etc.)
9. Once you save/print the form remember to first make copies of them and then only start signing/filling them. Note that you need to include multiple copies of them in original.
10. From the individual form (not from the one used for family) there is a button at the bottom "Re-Print Form" to reprint the form if you messed up the original one.

Good luck.
-PCee
 

nkm-oct23

Registered Users (C)
If you want to save parts A and B directly then print to a file. You can then edit part B on a computer instead of writing it in.
 

Hi Friend

Registered Users (C)
Friends,

I have April 25 as SCANNED date for my OCI card on website.
Generally how many weeks it took from here to DISPATCH from INDIA to here?
I am daily watching website for that update..
please let me know, thanx..
 

helpmen400

Registered Users (C)
Folks,

Please help me with filing OCI application.

As per NY Indian embassy site instructions, to register online

"Visit http://mha.nic.in and click Online Registration"

So I searched OCI and under mha.nic.in and found the following link "https://passport.gov.in/oci/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp", but is timing out now.

I see that in the forum, there is another site mentioned

http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp

Which is the right one for NY embassy?

Thanks
 

rajarajan3

Registered Users (C)
I am able to fill it today... Not sure what is your problem. pls. Check now. I used the site through DC embassy. I think, it doesnot matter as it ends up to NIC.
 

skb2005

Registered Users (C)
A. Registered Online: http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp
B. Printed the form and filled up part-B
C. Printed the form again filled up part-B
D. Attached documents with both the forms separately
1. Copy of USA passport (first +last page)
2. Copy of Indian passport (first three pages + last page)
3. Copy of name change certificate which I got during the naturalization process.
4. Copy of birth certificate in support of name change certificate.
5. Self Attestation: I wrote “TRUE COPY OF ORIGINAL, SELF ATTESTED: Signature/date/place”. I did this on all the pages.
E. Money Order of $275.00 in favor of “Consulate General Of India New York”
F. Will print the pictures at www.ePassportPhoto.com and paste on both the forms. I will attach 4 additional pictures.
G. Going to mail the above package (boldly marked as OCI APPLICATION)to
The OCI Cell,
Consulate General of India,
3 E., 64th Street,
New York, NY 10065.

Am I missing anything?



Detailed Steps for filliing up the forms:


A. Registered Online: http://ociindia.nic.in/ociindia/OnlineOCIRegistrationG.jsp
1. Applicant is a : INDVIDUAL
2. Place of submission: USA-NEW YORK CGI
3. Surname : LAST NAME
4. Given Name: FIRST & MIDDLE NAME
5. Sex:MALE/FEMALE
6. Date Of Birth : DD/MM/YYYY
7. Place Of Birth: CITY,STATE,COUNTRY
8. Father/Guardian’s Name: FATHERS FIRST, MIDDLE & LAST NAME
9. Mother’s Name: MOTHER’s FIRST MIDDLE & LAST NAME
10. Nationality: USA
11. Passport No: USA Passport #
12. Issue Date: DD/MM/YYYY (USA Passport issue Date)
13. Issue Place: US DEPT OF STAT
14. Are you a PIO Card Holder: NO (Mine was no)
i. PIO Card No : PIO Card Number goes here.
ii. PIO Issue Date: DD/MM/YYYY PIO Card issue date goes here.
iii. PIO Place of Issue: PIO Place of Issue goes here.
iv. PIO Valid Upto : DD/MM/YYYY PIO expiry date goes here.
15. Occupation: Your occupation goes here.
16. Previous Nationality: INDIAN
17. Visible Distinguishing Mark: Most likely Mentioned on the last page of your Indian passport.
18. Present Address: Your present address goes here. Most likely US address.
19. Phone Number: Your present phone goes here. Most likely US phone.
20. Email ID: You current email address goes here.
B. Filled out part-b.
1. Part –B is self explanatory and has various possibilities depending upon the situations.
2. Have you /any member of your family applied for OCI registration earlier. NO
3. Does country of applicant permit dual citizenship ? YES
4. Weather applicant sought asylum before applying for present citizenship: NO
5. Is applicant had ever been citizen of Pakistan/Bangladesh: NO
6. Date and method of acquisition of present Nationality: Most likely NATURALIZATION, DD/MM/YYYY. (Look at the date on your citizenship certificate).
7. Previous nationality of Applicant: INDIAN.
8. Address of Employer: Your employer address goes here.
9. Details of family members in India: Fill out the details and attach separate sheet if required.
10. Details of criminal proceedings: NONE.
11. Write your full name and sign it with date and place.
 
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