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Overseas Citizenship of India
The Constitution of India does not permit dual citizenship in India (Article 9). Overseas Citizenship is a status of immigration that authorizes an Indian residing in a foreign nation who has his origin in India to live and work in India for an indefinite period. They do not have the right to vote during elections as well as they are not provided with the right to hold public office.
The Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 came up with the Overseas Citizen of India scheme which was motivated by the continuous demand for dual citizenship by the diasporas of India. Although the OCI status is not available to anyone who has ever been a Pakistan or Bangladesh citizen.
Read More: Citizenship
Overseas Citizenship of India Card
On the recommendation of a high-level committee on the diaspora of India, Indian Government decided to register a particular category of PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) mentioned under Section 7 of the Citizenship Amendment Act 1955, as OCIs holders by the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003. The OCI program was launched on Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas on 9th January 2006. The Government of India by introducing the Citizenship Amendment Act, of 2015 which merged the PIO category with the OCI category.
The first version of the OCI card was issued on 9th January 2006, the second version on 9th January 2015, and the current version was issued on 15th April 2021, with the purpose of providing a lifetime visa/ permanent residency to the OCI.
Read More: Fundamental Rights of Indian Constitution
Overseas Citizens of India Eligibility
- If an individual was a citizen of India on 26th January, 1950.
- If an individual belongs to the territory that became part of India on 15th August 1947.
- When an individual became an Indian citizen on 26th January, 1950.
- Children whose both or any one of the parents are citizens of India.
- If an individual is the spouse of foreign origin of an Indian citizen or of OCI card holder and whose marriage is been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years.
Read about: Salient Features of Constitution of India
Overseas Citizens of India Rights & Restrictions
|Rights of OCIs||Restrictions on OCIs|
Read More: Jammu and Kashmir
Overseas Citizen of India Card Renunciation
An Overseas Citizenship of India can make a declaration renouncing the Card registering him as an OCI cardholder. After the declaration has been registered by the Central Government the person shall cease to be an Overseas citizen of Indian cardholder. Along with the person, his spouse and minor children also lose their OCI status.
Read More: Constituent Assembly of India
Overseas Citizen of India Cancellation Status
A person’s OCI Card will be cancelled in the following cases:
- Fraud: If it is found that a person’s OCI status was acquired by means of fraud, false representation or by hiding something important about his/her eligibility,
- Disaffection towards constitution: If OCI Cardholder has shown disaﬀection towards the Constitution of India,
- Conspiration with the enemy nation: If the OCI Card holder has conspired with an enemy country with which India is engaged in a war,
- Imprisonment: If OCI Cardholder, within five years of being issued the card, has been sentenced to jail for two years or more,
- Decision of Government: If the Government of India feels that, it is important to cancel a person’s OCI card for the benefit of India, India’s security, India’s friendly relations with other countries or the welfare of people.
- Violation of law: If the OCI Cardholder violates any Indian law or any provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955.
- Dissolution of marriage: If the marriage of an OCI Cardholder has been dissolved by a court or any other legal way. Also, if the marriage has not been dissolved, but the person has married another person while still being married to the first person.