This Article is From Aug 09, 2013

13.7 lakh people issued overseas citizens of India card

New Delhi: Over 13.7 lakh Indians living abroad have been issued overseas citizens of India (OCI) card as of July 31, the Government informed Lok Sabha.

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said a maximum of 5,20,055 OCI cards were issued to Indians living in the US followed by 3,07,822 in Britain and 1,33,755 in Australia and 1,14,748 in Canada.

A total of 13,72,624 OCI cards were issued till July 31, he said.

Officials said OCI card is a kind of lifelong visa and any India origin person can apply for it if his host country allows dual citizenship.

He said as reported by 107 Indian missions and posts abroad, 11,672 applications for OCI registration are in different stages of processing.

"Facilities available to OCI card holders include multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa for visiting India, exemption from registration with local police authorities for any length of stay in India," Mr Ravi said.

He said facilities to OCI card holders also include parity with non-resident Indians (NRIs) in economic, financial and educational activities except in relation to acquisition of agricultural properties.

The Minister said all OCI card holders can obtain PAN card and driving licence if they reside in India. They can also open a regular bank account in India while in India; enjoy parity with NRIs in respect of entry fees to be charged for visiting national monuments, historical sites and museums in India.

Mr Ravi said they will also enjoy parity with NRIs in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children, tariffs in air fares in domestic sectors in India and charging of entry fee as domestic Indian visitors to visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India.