Indian-origin Foreign Citizens Must Ensure New Criteria of OCI Card Validity before They Visit India

Recently, the Consulate General of India worldwide released a press release circulating a new update for the Overseas Citizen of India card. The OCI card holders – foreign citizens of Indian origin – are required to comply with the new criteria regarding validity of their OCI cards before they book their travel to India. The new criteria of the OCI card validity came into effect this November 1.

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The OCI card holders within the age bracket of 20 years are required to get their OCI cards reissued each time when their passport is reissued, according to the Consulate General of India. Those above 20 years of age are exempted from ensuring this criterion of validity.

Reissue of the OCI card is not compulsory along with reissue of the passport for those within the age bracket of 21 to 50 years. But they have to carry their old passport which their OCI card was issued on, in order to prove the card validity. They do also have to carry the current passport.

Those above 50 years of age are required to get their OCI cards reissued only once when their passport is renewed after they turn 50. It is also recommended in the Consulate General of India’s press release that the Overseas Citizen of India card holders must always carry the expired passport along with the current/new passport and the OCI card while traveling to India.

Also Check: Revised Rules for Gaining New OCI Cards

The government of India has also decided to allow the OCI card holders’ investment in the tax-saving national pension scheme (NPS), adding value to the OCI card beyond its primary use as a lifelong visa to India for multiple entries.

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61 thoughts on “Indian-origin Foreign Citizens Must Ensure New Criteria of OCI Card Validity before They Visit India

  1. Pawan

    This is insane. We were sold a fake bill of goods for the $250+ we spent on the OCI when we first applied. It was supposed to replace the need for a visa. Now we have to go back thru the daunting process of uploading docs and paying even more money to the government and CKGS for something that was to be a one time process when first introduced.

    Reply
    • Karen Xavier

      Yeah it’s literally daunting. They don’t make this process easy and of course even the most techie person can’t figure out their stupid website.

      Reply
  2. Dr Venugopal

    This is not a good move. I applied for the OCI card in New York. We have to wait out on the pavement of the outsourced office and the entire process is so difficult. It’s another way of getting money out of us.

    Reply
    • Ashvin Patel

      you are right, It is like changing rules in the middle of game as it fit to their goal . That may be helping to fill the gap in inefficiency in running government business.

      Reply
  3. Venkat Subramaniyam

    I agree the demonization was the biggest eye opener. The oci card claims parity with nri but they simply wrote off all the money and most nri did not complain. Granted it is a few hundred dollars but that is not the point here you have to abide by rules and not change goal post to suit your needs

    Reply
  4. Ovesh Chandra

    Friends, this is our Proud Indian Policies.
    When they brought OCI as you also said in your posts, this supposed to be lifelong. And process of getting any thing done in CGI, New York is horrible. So much paper work, copies etc. and moreover processing fees etc and dealing with 3rd party for the processing. Can’t these people work more as compare to celebrate events in the office, taking all Indian and American holidays off. Just compare the process of getting a passport in USA, what a difference.
    Looks like it will take ages for them to make things simpler for Indians whether it is in India, USA or anywhere else.
    Just my comments.

    Reply
    • Handsome

      I totally agree. Not sure when Indian Government and Consulate will learn to make things simple. Dealing with any Consulate/Agency is horrible. When we spent lot of Money and time for OCI, it was supposed to be only one time process. Even OCI card itself states lifelong. This is totally cheating and way to continuously get our money and unnecessarily harass people. And then they make propaganda that “Come visit India !!!”

      Reply
      • Pratik

        Bunch of Idiots. whats the point of getting it then for children below 20. its much easier getting the e-visa

        Reply
  5. vbreddy

    I believe the Indian consulate offices are managed by IFS (Indian Foreign Service) graduates who are supposed to be highly intelligent. Well, this is what we get for their intelligence! A community college graduate in USA can do a better and more efficient job than these crooked bureaucrats.

    Reply
  6. Harry

    This is crazy. They are singling out people over 50. Why discrimination with people above 50? Do they know the meaning of ‘lifelong’

    Reply
  7. Sonny

    I just got stopped at Delta Counter from RDU, and they would not let me on-board the flight. I have an OCI card with an old passport number. I had checked in online before boarding the flight and there was no warning.

    I did not see or noticed the press release. Not sure how you are supposed to find out. Can you imagine the panic & the stress? The counter agent did not care or gave a sh.. She was f….following the rules. She was rude and no concern whatsoever that I have meetings scheduled on Monday in Bangalore.

    Fortunately, I live close to the Airport and was able to ask my wife to bring the old passport. Fortunately, I kept the old passport and did not shred it. I was able to board the flight without any issues after showing my old passport.

    I went through immigration in Bangalore and not a word about showing the old passport. I guess they have not seen the fu…. Press release either.

    Reply
    • ilearn

      Thanks for sharing this information. They in fact asked us to shred / surrender Indian passport when I got US passport after which I got my OCI. This whole thing is BS and rip-off. They forget the fact that lot of people have life emergencies and not everyone goes to India for a vacation every time!

      Reply
  8. Pravin Patel

    Yes India should make it simple! Even country like USA do not bother about what passport you are holding. Their Green Card is valid for 10 years and it is not required to reissue if passport is renewed ! Actually they do not stamp any visa on the passport. Indian Government should understand the facial features may change over years but not the FINGER PRINTS! Why not use fingerprint to verify the true identity of the OCI card holder? India has still long way to go……..!

    Reply
  9. Som Sowmyan

    The Indian Government can do away with the renewal of OCI card after age 50 and endorse a new photograph on the OCI card by charging a one time fee of $50 or so for the administration fee. That would eliminate all the duplication of paperwork needed. The same can be adopted for all minors too . That way you just hold on to one OCI card for life

    Reply
  10. MADHUKAR DESAI

    Having attended the camp for OCI I was told that I am over 70 and do not require to renue my OCI and I have to carry my old passport plus the new passport. Is it ok?

    Reply
  11. Raja

    Hi , If we have the old Indian passports which match the passport number on the OCI card ,

    Is it good enough to travel to India ?

    Appreciate any guidance

    Reply
    • Meg

      Yes I only had my new passport and no where did it say to carry the old passport. The emirates counter in Orlando did not let me board the flight and were extremely rude and my old passport was in New York and no way of getting it before the flight left. They did not offer any help watched me cry, offloaded my luggage and never warned me that my return ticket will not be valid for me to come back to the states. If you do not travel your first leg your return gets automatically canceled. Basically spent 6000 dollars in tickets and emirates did not give a F..K. I Had not seen my family in a year and this was so stressful as I only got 2 weeks off work to visit them. Spent a ton of money and time all because emirates staff were assholes. When I finally landed in India no one asked me about my old passport Immigration was a breeze. My advise please do carry your old passport with the new passport and do not fly Emirates!!

      Reply
  12. Rinkal Mehta

    Great Post! This is an amazing article. Thanks for Sharing such a great post. Keep Posting!!

    Reply
  13. Rahul

    No need to renew OCI (as it says, VISA for Life) just carry all the (OLD and New) US Passports.

    Reply
    • Optimist

      Not sure I understand. OCI must be carried while travelling in and out of India. Carry the current passport always.

      – If OCI references the OLD Passport, Carry OLD passport and New Passport+OCI

      – If OCI references only the new Passport, then OCI + New Passport is good enough.

      Follow the rules of OCI renewal and get your OCI renewed soon(before June 2021).

      Reply
  14. G. Singh

    I have OCI card (lifelong visa on old PP) and just turned 51 with renewed US passport. I have an emergency to go to India and not sure if I need visa since I do not have a renewed OCI (above age 50 rule)? I have tried to reach consulate general for the past three days and unsuccessful. Flight is in a week and not sure if I am able to travel. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Sir! You are able to able because the deadline for reissuance of OCI cards based on renewed US passports is June 30, 2021. Wish you safe and hassle-free travel!

      Reply
  15. S.Rai

    I have a OCI (lifelong visa on a old passport). Iam 55. I had renewed my passport when I was 49. I am travelling to India end of March. I do not have the renewed OCI stamp on my new passport. Will I be able to travel to India without the renewed OCI on my new passport?I will be taking both my old and new passport and the OCI card with me.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Sir! Since June 30, 2021 is the deadline for reissuance of OCI cards, you can travel. Please be advised to check with the consulate/embassy for a more definite answer to your satisfaction.

      Reply
  16. Dixita

    Hi,

    regarding the new OCI rules, I understand that if I am over 50 I need to renew my OCI but Is it only when I renew my passport? for example: my passport doesn’t expire until next year but I am planning on going to india end of this year. Would I still need to renew my OCI even if my passport doesn’t expire until next year?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Dixita! You can travel to India with your existing OCI card and passport. You will be required to get your OCI card reissued only when you renew your passport.

      Reply
  17. KAMALESH DOSHI

    I got my OCI when i was already 54 years old. I renewed my US passport in 2019. do I need to get my OCI renewed? My understanding of rules is that if one got OCI before the age of 50 and then when their US passport is renewed after the age of 50 years, OCI card needs to be renewed once. However, I was already 54 years when I got OCI.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Kamalesh! Probably not. Besides, OCI cardholders with the old passport number on the OCI card can travel to India till December 31, 2021. Please be advised to check with the consulate or embassy for a more definite answer.

      Reply
  18. Johny

    my wife is pregnant due on Jun end and she haven’t got her h4 approved yet. Can we apply OCI for baby with my approved H1 and her H4 receipt notice?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Johny! You can to the best of our knowledge. Please be advised to check with a visa and immigration expert.

      Reply
  19. dineshchandra d patel

    some one please help me. I have oci on my British passport, but now I just became us citizen,i know i have to transfer oci to my new passport but I do not have time to,because iam flying out in a week. so can I travel on with British passport and on my return to US Present my US passport.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Dineshchandra! As far as we know, you can most probably travel to India irrespective of any foreign passport you hold. However, please be advised to check with the consulate as well.

      Reply
  20. Behlah

    Hello,
    I’ve got a question.
    I am required to renew my OCI but I need to travel to India urgently and won’t be able to renew my OCI that soon. Would I still be able to travel with my old OCI that was issued to me in 2007 and yes along with the old password the OCI was issued with?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  21. Roshani

    Hi,
    I have one question
    I will turn 50 year on May 16. My US passport will expire in 2030. If I am applying for New OCI card now then when I have to renew my OCI card. I am little confuse should I get OCI card or Entry visa since fees are almost same and don’t want to spend more money in a year because I will turn 50 in 5-6 months.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello Mam! As per the regulations, you must get your OCI card reissued once you turn 50.

      Reply
  22. DR. MANOJ MODY

    Agree it took me almost 3 days with daily 4 hours and also online help from collogue daily of an hour and half and finally able to submit my new US passport information as well as my passport picture & my signature sign on OCI miscellaneous service cause i already have OCI card issued me in 2011 when I was 53-year-old so I just need to upload my new USA Passport, i believe that’s all.

    It is frustrating and least to say also disappointing as well.

    I am Physician practicing here in USA for 30 years, and never saw this non sense on any USA Federal Government site for any documents to submit including recently issuance of new USA Passport to me for which I did online application with vey ease.

    I thought our beloved PM has vision of everything to be DIGITAL, but this OCI site is full of CRAP.

    Plus, after when I have done with the last part of uploading the new USA passport details on this OCI miscellaneous site & after hit the upload button, I expected it will say completed thanks, but nothing happens!

    So, you really still don’t know it has accepted & now completed?

    I haven’t yet received any email regarding it either. What a waste of time, energy and headache!
    I am sure it has raised my BP tremendously.

    Is this what we expect from PM Modi ji Government Service??

    I am an avid fan of PM Modi ji, but surely lost confidence of his government services especially for NRI, who have always welcome him in USA with Love, Vigor, Enthusiasm & respect.

    I hope and wish I can write him directly to make him acknowledge that how difficult it has been for NRIs like me to visit family & friends!

    We need to abolish the “BABU” controlling the government services & be friendly and helpful attitude to his NRI clients.

    Reply
  23. DR. MANOJ MODY

    Hi Folks
    I have a burning question regarding the new rules of OCI card holder as well as Visa policy to visit India ok.
    I have OCI card issued in 8/2011 when I was 53-year-old then. My OCI card at that time linked with my USA passport. It says I have lifelong and multiple Visa for India.
    Now My old USA passport expired in 3/2021 and I received the new USA Passport in 8/2021.
    I just realize, while was booking the air tickets to visit India in late 1/22. My Agent says I need to upload my new USA Passport online to OCI miscellaneous services.
    Now here the confusion, frustration, pain, agony starts!
    It is such an unfriendly, ridiculous, time consuming, slow, an unresponsive service, that anyone with the Coolest mind would lose patience, & gets angry, furious.
    Firstly, after all painstaking task you do that took me almost 3 days, & when I reached the final step of uploading the new passport, and hit upload then submit nothing happens like one can expect that it would say completed thanks right? Nope but it didn’t happen!
    Only email I have received says “Thank you for completing Part-B of OCI- Application on 18/Nov/2021 01:48 IST”.
    Your File-number is “such & such ” for all future reference. Please upload relevant documents as it is mandatory for complete OCI-registration. Please ignore if already uploaded.
    Now this email doesn’t say or mention that yea thanks we have received all necessary information & your application now completed.
    So, with such an ambiguity, you don’t know that you’re ok to buy air fare tickets before the prices goes up?
    I know it is very long post, but I hope someone here can comment on it, help me and likewise others who may be having same issue.
    Thanks to all who bother to read review and reply to it.

    Reply
  24. Richard

    Hi, I got my OCI at the age of 60. My new Canadian pp expires in 2027.
    My wife got her OCI at the age of 57. Her pp also expires in 2027.
    We are travelling to Mumbai first and then to Dubai returning to Mumbai. So we enter Mumbai twice.
    We always travelled with the old and new passports to avoid any issues. Under the new rules can we continue travel with both old and new passports? Both are Canadian seniors. Is it required to have our OCI reissued as our passports only expire in 2027?
    Please advise
    Thanks

    RP

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Richard! If your passport was renewed after you became 50 years old, you should get the OCI card reissued. We think both of you got the OCI card issued (the first time) on the current passports which will expire in 2027. If yes, then no worries. Both of you can travel to India. You can also carry your old passports.

      Reply
  25. Madhu Sharma

    Sharma, 12/15/2021 at 5:45 p.m.
    Hello, I received my OCI card when I became 60 years old. I have an OCI card issued on luly12, 2012. My OCI card at that time was linked with my USA passport ( it says: U Life Long Visa Multiple Entries) that expired on June 2021 and I received my new passport in Sept 2021. I need guidance on what exactly I need to do with my OCI card. What’s the process. I’ve read so many times the OCI Misc. Services section. I understand I have to renew or update my new passport information before Dec.31, 2021. Please guide me step by step. I want to travel in March 2022. Thank you so much in advance.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Madhu Sir! You need to get your OCI card reissued with the new passport information.

      Reply
  26. Mercy Thomas

    I applied for my OCI in 2010 while I was 4 months short of 50 years of age and got it. I have been travelling to India several times since then. Now I hear stories about renewing my OCI card as I have not completed 50 years when I applied for my OCI. My current passport is due for renewal in 2026. Can anyone advise me whether I can travel to India using my current OCI card?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Mercy! As per the rules, you are required to get your OCI renewed after 50 years of age.

      Reply
  27. Janak Patel

    My daughter’s OCI issued in 2016 and she is turn 19 and she have new passport, does she require to have reissue new OCI
    Thanks,
    Janak

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Janak! She needs to get the OCI card reissued only once after she turns 20. All she needs to do now is to upload a copy of the passport and a recent photograph on the OCI card service website.

      Reply
  28. Uday

    I am 54 years age. I have a need to travel to India in 15 days. I have not applied for new OCI and new passport number is not same as in OCI. If I apply for new OCI now, I don’t think I will receive it in time. What are my options?
    Anyone’s help will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  29. Pinki Narang

    My 2 daughters ( 9 yrs and 4yrs ) have OCI cards, their US passports will expire this year. We have plans to visit India later this year, so we are going to renew their US passports.

    Do we need to renew their OCI card as well?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Pinki! No need to renew the OCI card up to 20 years of age. All they need to do is upload a copy of the new passport and a copy of the latest photograph to the OCI website.

      Reply
      • Sree Devi

        Sorry if I’m asking the same question. My daughter is 12 yrs and we are planning to go to India in first week of June. She has OCI card, but her Passport is new. Do we need to post Physical copies as well? Usually how long the process takes for approvals?

        Reply
        • indianeagle Post author

          Hi Sree Devi! No need to post physical copies. Everything is done online.

          Reply
  30. foad fazel

    Hi all – i am 79/80 years old born Indian (Mysore 1943) without any OCI or Indian passport – i am a US citizen now – if i want to go back to India do i have to get the OCI or can i just go to India – does anyone really know who can advise me – i just want to go back home – that’s all – please advise anyone – i am tired of living in the US – no family – no friends – nobody – i want to go back home (but even there i have no one living anymore all passed away)
    what can i do anyone please

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Fazel! The OCI card is good for you. If you have an OCI card, you can stay in India for any duration.

      Reply

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