Last updated on Sep 5th, 2023 by Heena Ganotra
If you’re an Australian citizen of Indian nationality, consider filling out an OCI online application. The certificate offers a wide range of benefits to holders, including rights to purchase agricultural property and the ability to travel to India frequently and easily. An Overseas Citizen of India certificate is a replacement for the older Persons of Indian Origin or PIO certificate. We delve into everything you need to know about it.
An OCI or Overseas Citizenship of India card is a document provided to individuals of Indian origin with Australian citizenship. For example, if your parents are Indian and you now have Australian citizenship, you are eligible to get an OCI card.
The Indian government doesn’t permit dual citizenship. This means that if you accept Australian citizenship, you need to surrender your Indian passport and give up your Indian citizenship.
OCI processing services are offered by VFS Global and are one of the many services provided by the Indian Consulate. You can apply for the card online or by post based on your preferences. Doing so online is the most convenient and the process is fairly straightforward.
Traditionally, things like OCI or PIO were handled by the Indian Consulate General’s office. These days, the process is outsourced to VFS Global. You need to visit the website and click on the OCI Services tab.
VFS Global offers a wide range of OCI-related services. To submit an application for OCI in Australia, you pick the right option from the dropdown menu. The options on the menu include:
To apply for a new card, you need to choose the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) option.
Before you start filling out the application form, you need to look at the OCI checklist and understand all of the documentation requirements. When you complete the application, you will be required to submit the OCI Checklist, Form XXII – Declaration of Renunciation of Indian Citizenship, and Form S (Undertaking.) Your application will only be considered complete if all of these documents are included in the packet.
Some of the documents necessary for the application process include:
Proof of Indian origin can be a copy of the original Indian passport before you gave up your citizenship. It can also be an International Movement Record, Indian Domicile Certificate, Indian passport or OCI card of your spouse, Indian Educational Certificate, Indian Marriage Certificate, Indian Ration Card, Indian Voter’s Identity Card, Indian Government Employee records, Agricultural Land ownership documents.
Check the OCI checklist VFS Australia to know more about the documents required. It is important to review the checklist carefully and get the required documents before you apply for the card.
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Before you fill out the OCI application form, make sure you have a photograph of the applicant, a scanned image of their signature, and scanned images or files of the documents you need to submit along with the application. You will need to upload these files while you submit an online application.
Once that is done, you can fill out the online application form. Make sure you review all of the information carefully and don’t make any errors. Mistakes or incomplete information will lead to application rejection and you will have to go through the entire process once again.
Once you have submitted the application online, you need to print it out and create a packet with all of the required documents and forms.
There are two ways to submit the application offline. You can either personally drop the packet off or post it. Both of these must be done at your nearest VFS Global India, Australia. Make sure you book an appointment or send your form to the centre closest to your residence and with jurisdiction over your area. You can see the entire list of a post or in-person drop-off sites on the VFS website. Look at the details carefully to ensure your packet reaches the right place. For example, if you reside in New South Wales, you need to book a VFS Sydney appointment. That’s because, as shared already, some of the important consular services offered by the Indian Consulate in Sydney (and other consulates) are outsourced to VFS.
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If you want to submit the application in person, book an appointment and visit the center at the scheduled appointment. You can pay OCI fees Australia there. Before visiting the centre, make sure all of your documents are in order and there are no issues. It is easier to correct the errors at this stage than later when the application is being processed.
If you are applying by post, follow the guidelines mentioned on the VFS website to the letter to ensure the application isn’t misplaced.
You can track your OCI online application on the VFS website to see its status. There are two ways to do this:
Once you have completed the application, your card will arrive at the registered address by post.
The OCI processing time usually ranges from five to eight weeks unless there are unexpected delays. The average processing time according to VFS is eight weeks but you may get yours a little earlier.
On average, the Overseas Citizen of India application fee can be around $300 to $500 based on the combination of services you choose, including whether you want to get your card couriered to your residence, or apply for SMS tracking, and more. You can use an online calculator to determine the OCI fees in Australia. Just make sure you enter all of the parameters correctly to get the most accurate price estimate.
This is all of the basic information you need to know about OCI application Australia. The VFS Global website provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you get through the process without hassle.
Ans. According to the New OCI rules 2021, cardholders only need to replace their OCI cards once after they turn 20 and once after they turn 50. You need to visit the VFS Global website and follow the guidelines provided under the OCI Miscellaneous Services Australia option.
Ans. The process of applying for the OCI for a minor is similar to the adult process mentioned above. However, you need to look at the checklist carefully to see what kind of documents minor applicants need to complete the application successfully.
Ans. After you follow the steps to get your passport renewed in Australia and the same is issued, you don’t need to update your OCI. As mentioned above, the OCI new rules 2021 only require you to update twice.
Ans. An OCI cardholder can live in India for a lifetime without any need for a visa. Just make sure you renew your country’s passport whenever necessary and stay in touch with the regulations of your home country. OCI allows Australian citizens of Indian descent to visit and live in India without the need for a visa.
That’s the entire process for OCI application in Australia!
Now that you have an Overseas Citizen of India card, you can catch a flight to India without a lengthy visa process! We at MyTicketsToIndia will lighten your burden further by providing a one-on-one flight booking service. If you need affordable airfare to India and are looking for great discounts, our expert travel agents can help. You can request a callback with us or just call us at 1800 860 816. Our team will be happy to help.
A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)