The Indian government has simplified the process of maintaining Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards. An individual registered as an OCI cardholder does not need a new card after turning 20, even if a new passport has been issued, according to the Union Home Ministry.
"This will remove the confusion with many OCI cardholders on the process of renewing the card at the age of 20 and 50, and one doesn't have to go through the whole OCI card renewal process again," Dr Thomas Abraham chairman of the Global organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) told PTI on Thursday, 15 April.
"This will also encourage more overseas Indians to become OCIs and it will benefit India, through their travel, business and investment in India," he added.
What Are OCI Cards?
The Overseas Citizens of India card is given to a person who is technically a citizen of another country but is granted several rights and freedoms enjoyed by Indians.
What Are the Changes?
The new rules state that every time an OCI cardholder under the age of 20 gets a new passport they have to upload a copy of that document, and a recent photo of themselves on the OCI portal.
However, after turning 20 this is not required, even if a new passport has been issued. The passport and photograph can only be updated after the individual turns 50. These documents have to be uploaded within three months of receiving the new passport.
"With a view to update the data regarding new passports obtained by the OCI cardholder, it has been decided that he/she shall upload a copy of the new passport containing his/her photo and also a latest photo on the online OCI portal, each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age. These documents may be uploaded by the OCI cardholder within three months of receipt of the new passport," the government said in a statement.