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April 12 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


India has been deliberating on extending the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card benefits to overseas Indians in Fiji and other nations, following the relaxation of rules for Suriname in 2023.  

The OCI scheme is a pivotal initiative aimed at fostering stronger ties with the Indian diaspora worldwide.  


About Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card: 

The OCI card was introduced to address the aspirations of the Indian diaspora, especially in developed nations, who sought dual citizenship. Administered by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the OCI status pertains to individuals who: 

  • Were Indian citizens post-26th January 1950, or 
  • Were eligible for Indian citizenship on 26th January 1950, or 
  • Are descendants of such individuals, among other criteria. 

Historical Background: 

  • Launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2005, the OCI scheme acknowledges the enduring emotional connection of the Indian diaspora with their homeland. 
  • It represents a significant step in recognizing and honouring the contributions of overseas Indians to India’s development and global standing. 

Limitations and Restrictions: 

  • OCI cardholders do not possess political rights, such as the right to vote or hold constitutional offices. 
  • They are ineligible for government jobs and cannot purchase agricultural or farmland in India. 
  • The government maintains a clear distinction between citizenship and overseas citizenship to uphold constitutional integrity. 

Benefits of the OCI Card: 

  • Lifelong multiple entry visa to India for various purposes, facilitating easy travel and exploration of heritage and culture. 
  • Exemption from registering with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) regardless of the duration of stay in India. 
  • Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in financial, economic, and educational opportunities, fostering greater integration and participation in India’s growth story. 

Current Scenario: 

  • The OCI card scheme has witnessed significant uptake, with over 4 million cards issued by early 2022. 
  • Predominantly, OCI cards have been issued to foreign nationals in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. 
  • The focus on expanding the OCI card scheme highlights India’s commitment to engaging and supporting its diaspora worldwide, strengthening bonds and promoting mutual prosperity. 

Person of Indian Origin (PIO): 

  • PIO refers to foreign citizens with historical ties to India, such as those who previously held an Indian passport or have ancestral roots in India. 
  • Spouses of Indian citizens or PIOs also qualify for PIO status, reflecting a broader inclusivity in India’s diaspora engagement efforts. 


The OCI card scheme stands as a testament to India’s recognition of the enduring bonds between its diaspora and the homeland.  

By offering a host of benefits while maintaining clear boundaries between citizenship and overseas citizenship, India seeks to foster closer ties with its diaspora and leverage their expertise and resources for mutual growth and development. 


April 12
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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