India OCI Card: How to Apply

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a permanent residency status in India, granted to people of Indian descent or origin. This article will explain the essential information on OCI and how to apply for an OCI card.

Table of contents

OCI card definition

Despite having "citizenship" in its name, OCI is not equal to citizenship. OCI is available for foreign citizens of Indian descent to apply. Therefore, the policy of OCI is consistent with Indian law, which does not allow dual citizenship.

So, OCI is beneficial for the Indian diaspora without Indian citizenship looking to live and work in India without the restrictions usually imposed on most foreign citizens.

OCI card rules

OCI holders may enter India multiple times for various purposes for their whole lives, given that their OCI is not revoked due to law violations.

Unlike other foreign citizens, OCI holders do not have to report to police authorities about their stay in India for however long they stay.

OCI also grants parity with Non-Resident Indians in financial, economic and educational fields except in acquiring agricultural or plantation properties.

However, OCI status does not allow its holders to run for office or vote.

Who is eligible for OCI

You may register as an Overseas Citizen of India if at least one of these criteria describes you:

How to apply for OCI

You may only apply for an OCI card online, on the official OCI services website. Fill out the application form and submit all the documents as required by the website. If you’re applying for a minor, you should submit a separate application. The minor’s application must be signed by their parents or legal guardian.

Documents required to apply for OCI

Here are the documents you must submit along with your application form:

All these documents must be in PDF format with a size of no larger than 1000 KB.

How to pay for OCI card application

An OCI card cost depends on the location you’re applying from and whether you have a PIO card.

Application through an Indian mission or post abroad

OCI card payment must be made by demand draft. The fee is USD 275 for those who do not have a PIO card and USD 100 for those who do.

Application from India

Pay the OCI card fee by demand draft to “Pay and Accounts Officer (Secretariat), Ministry of Home Affairs,” payable at New Delhi. For non-PIO cardholders, the price is Rs. 15,000. For PIO cardholders: Rs. 5,500.

OCI photo requirements

Your photo must fulfill these requirements to be accepted:

Here is an example:

Indian OCI photo example

Get OCI photo online

According to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, photos that do not conform to the requirements mentioned above may be rejected and therefore cause delays in the application process. We recommend using professional services to adjust your photo before uploading to avoid this problem.

Visafoto has been editing photographs for visas, permanent resident cards, passports, and other documents since 2013. It can also edit your OCI application picture.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
Additional options
Upload photo & Continue


Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Simply take a portrait of yourself in the proper dress code and pose in decent lighting. Then, upload it to our tool below.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.

Оriginal photo

You will have two types of photos: a digital one for electronic applications and another one suitable for printing.

Example photo for OCI
Photos for OCI for printing

Visafoto will edit your photo to fulfill 100% of the requirements mentioned above. Should you have questions about your photo result, contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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