The Indian constitution does not have a provision of dual or multiple citizenship. If an Indian acquires a second passport, they automatically lose their Indian citizenship. As per the Passports Act, 1967, it is mandatory for all Indian passport holders to surrender their passports to the nearest Indian mission or post immediately after acquiring the nationality of another country. However, such persons can get Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) status after acquiring foreign citizenship.
What is OCI status and how does work?
OCI is a legal status given to a person of Indian origin who has given up Indian citizenship. It is similar to permanent residency and offers several benefits. The government of India issues a document called OCI card to all people who have been given this status.
What are the benefits available to OCIs?
An OCI can enjoy many of the benefits available to a citizen of India such as:
- Multiple entry life-long visa to India
- Live, work, carry on business in India indefinitely
- Own assets and properties
- Apply for Indian citizenship again after surrendering foreign citizenship, subject to certain conditions
How to get an OCI card?
Make an online application, upload photographs and documents, pay the fee and you will get your OCI card in a short time.
What are the things OCIs can’t do?
- Since you are not a citizen, you cannot vote
- You cannot run for a public office or contest an election
- You cannot buy agricultural land or plantations in India. However, you may continue to hold such property you had before giving up Indian citizenship and also inherit it
For detailed immigration advice, contact My Global Citizenship