OCI Card Application Tips & Photo And Signature Tool
Experience global citizenship with the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card—a kind of lifelong visa issued by the Indian Government. It allows people of Indian origin and their foreign spouses to live and work in India indefinitely. The OCI status re-establishes the connection between India and its diaspora, providing the cardholders with many benefits, and verging into economic, educational, and cultural fields.
Keep reading the article and learn how to simplify the OCI card application process with our multifunctional 7ID app.
Table of contents
OCI Card Benefits
The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card offers several benefits to individuals of Indian origin and their spouses. Some of the key benefits include:
- Lifelong multiple entry visa: It allows unlimited entry and exit from India, allowing unrestricted movement throughout the year, with no need to report to police authorities no matter how long you stay.
- No separate work permit: The OCI card allows one to work freely in India.
- Access to education: The Card entitles you to enroll in Indian educational institutions under the same conditions as Indian citizens. This extends to professional and technical education programs.
- Property rights: As an OCI cardholder, you can purchase, own, and sell property in India, except for specific agricultural and plantation properties.
- Consular Services: Quality consular services are available to OCI cardholders at all Indian diplomatic missions worldwide, offering assistance on a range of issues.
- Parity with NRIs: OCI cardholders enjoy many benefits similar to Non-Resident Indians in financial, economic, and education fields, ensuring equal opportunities.
- Long-term financial benefits: Because of its parity across many industries, the OCI card can help generate long-term economic benefits in personal investments, real estate ownership, and stimulating business interests, making it a valuable asset.
Thus, having an OCI card strengthens the bond with India while maintaining their foreign citizenship. It facilitates access to the many opportunities in India, whether employment, education, or property ownership.
OCI Card Eligibility And Requirements
Applicants must meet specific criteria to be eligible for an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card. The OCI card requirements are as follows:
- Indian origin: If members of your immediate family—parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents—are from India, you are eligible for the OCI card with supporting documents such as an Indian passport.
- Former Indian citizen: Those who held Indian citizenship on or after January 26th, 1950, can apply to become OCI cardholders.
- From regions incorporated into India post-1947: If you belong to a region integrated into the Indian territory post August 15th, 1947, you are entitled to register for an OCI card.
- Minor children, one or both parents of whom have Indian citizenship or an OCI card, are in a favorable position when applying for an OCI card.
- Spouse of an Indian Citizen or OCI Cardholder: If you are the foreign-origin spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI cardholder, and your marriage has lasted for at least two years immediately before your application, you are eligible for OCI registration.
- No connection to Pakistan or Bangladesh: A connection to Pakistan or Bangladesh, whether in the form of parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, disqualifies you from receiving an OCI card.
- No attachment to disputed territories: Persons residing in disputed territories, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Afghanistan, are not eligible for the OCI card.
- Not an asylee or refugee: Individuals under the status of refugees or asylees are not eligible for OCI cards.
- Parents' nationality is known: Applicants with birth certificates that record the nationality of only a single parent’s nationality while the other remains unidentified do not qualify for OCI cards.
Documents Required For An OCI Application
A varied range of documentation support is required to apply for an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card. Although the paperwork may vary depending on the applicant's age and nation, the list below mentions the commonly required documents:
- OCI application form, which is available on the official online portal.
- Recent passport-sized photos: You must submit two squared photos compliant with the requirements.
- Foreign passport copy: Upload a duplicate of your currently valid foreign passport.
- Proof of current citizenship: You must submit a photocopy of your passport with at least six months of validity at the time of application.
- Duplicate PIO card (if any).
- Copy of parents' Indian passport / OCI Card or birth certificate: For minor applicants, a copy of one parent's Indian passport or OCI card, or a birth certificate showing the names of both parents is required.
- Certified parental authorization form: Mandatory for minor applicants.
- Spouse's valid passport copy and OCI Card: If you are an OCI cardholder's spouse, you must present these documents.
- Marriage certificate: Provide a duplicate marriage certificate as conclusive proof as the OCI cardholder's spouse.
- Birth certificate: If parents are the basis of the application, you must provide the applicant's birth certificate.
- Certificate showing the names of both parents: This may be required for minor applicants.
Step-by-step guide to the OCI card application process
Acquiring the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card involves several important steps. Follow this handy guide for a trouble-free application process:
- Step 1. Determine the OCI card category that best suits your requirements, such as adult, minor, or spouse of OCI cardholder.
- Step 2. Gather all documents required for your application, copies of your passport, citizenship certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if needed), and various supporting documents.
- Step 3. Fill out the online application form on the official website with utmost accuracy. You may need to create a new account to access the form.
- Step 4. Upload scans of the required documents per the application portal's instructions.
- Step 5. Pay the application fee prescribed for your category and country. Keep in mind that the fee may vary depending on the applicant's location and whether they have a PIO card.
- Step 6. After completing the online application form and paying the fee, you must make an appointment at the authorized government office for document verification and biometric data collection.
Generally, OCI applications take around 8–10 weeks to process. However, this timeframe may vary depending on the consulate's workload and the application's specifics.
OCI Card Photo Requirements
The criteria for choosing an appropriate photo when applying for an Overseas Citizenship Card of India (OCI) are the following:
- The photograph should be square-shaped with a minimum size of 51 × 51 mm or 200 × 200 pixels. The maximum digital size allowed is 1500 × 1500 pixels.
- Your face should cover 80% of the total area of the photo.
- The OCI photo background should be light and plain. It should not be white.
- Only images in JPG or JPEG format are accepted.
- The image file size should not exceed 500 KB.
Use Our Multifunctional ID Photo App and Get An OCI Card Photo With Your Phone in 2 sec!
If you want to simplify the next step in applying for the OCI card—say Hello to the 7ID Photo App, designed to make the process of taking photos for documents as smooth and stress-free as possible.
The following steps guide you on how to take an OCI card photo with your phone and 7ID Photo App:
- Find the right lighting: Choose natural light if possible.
- Set up your Smartphone: Secure your phone on a stable surface to guarantee steady, blur-free shots.
- Pose Correctly: Stand or sit straight. Try to look directly into the camera, maintaining a neutral expression or a slight smile without showing your teeth. Eyes should remain open.
- Upload your photo to the 7ID App. The 7ID app is available for Android and iOS.
Take your OCI card photo in a few seconds. Download the 7ID app now for Android or iOS.
Now, it is time for 7ID to do the rest:
Picture resizing: With 7ID, achieving the correct photo dimensions becomes hassle-free. The app auto-crops your image to adhere to the required OCI photo size. It also automatically positions your head and eyes correctly.
Background color adjustment: With the 7ID app, you can easily change the background of your photo to plain light according to official document standards.
Printing template: Upon finalizing your photo, 7ID offers a printable template in the desired size. This feature lets you match the image to various standard paper formats, including 10×15 cm (4×6 inches), A4, A5, and B5. Whether using a color printer at home or visiting your local print shop, the photo will print in the required size, ready to be neatly cut out with scissors.
Advanced photo editing features (Expert option): Consider the paid version of 7ID for crucial documents like passports. The premium option offers precise editing, enhances image quality, and enables effective background removal.
With its instant photo editing tool, cropping tool, and background replacement options, the 7ID Photo App ensures that your photo for an OCI Card Application meets all the requirements effortlessly.
How To Create And Insert A Digital Signature For An Online OCI Application?
The advantages of the 7ID App do not end with a photo editing tool. 7ID is equipped to deliver specific services, such as a free e-signature tool, tailored to generating digital signatures necessary in VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) applications, including the OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card and other documents.
The 7ID e-signature tool converts your handwritten signature into a suitably formatted, opaque JPEG file. By saving this 7ID-rendered image, you can conveniently use it as your digital signature for your OCI application form.
So, how do you create and insert a digital signature for an online OCI application? The steps to follow are described below:
- Begin by signing your name on a blank white paper.
- Launch the 7ID app and navigate to the Signatures section. Here, click on the “New Signature” button.
- Use the 7ID app to take a picture of your handwritten signature.
- Choose the type of document that requires a digital signature (OCI)
- 7ID will instantly convert the photo into a JPEG image at the optimal size for the OCI application form.
- Save the file with a digital signature to your phone or send it to your computer directly from the app.
- When completing the form, upload the signature image in the required field.
OCI signature example
Are There Any OCI Card Application Fees?
An OCI Card application costs may vary based on the applicant's location and whether they have a PIO card.
When applying for OCI outside India, a requirement of USD 275 (or an equivalent amount in local currency) per applicant must be paid for PIO cardholders and USD 100 for non-PIO cardholders. The exact amount in local currency can be obtained from the website of the concerned Indian Mission/Post Office.
When applying for OCI within India, an OCI fee of Rs. 15,000 must be paid on demand. The declaration should be issued in the name of “Pay and Accounts Officer (Secretariat), Ministry of Home Affairs” and is payable in New Delhi. The price is Rs. 15,000 for those who do not have a PIO card and Rs. 5,500 for those who do.
In conclusion, applying for an OCI card involves careful adherence to the rules to ensure a smooth and successful application, especially with regard to photography. Choose 7ID for your OCI application today for easy and efficient photo editing, digital signature creation, and application experience!
Download the 7ID app now for Android or iOS.