Does An Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) Have Right Of Entry And Exit Like A Citizen ?
Senoreta • onInformation 11 years ago • 3 min read

Does an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) have right of entry and exit like a citizen ?

The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known as 'dual citizenship'. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Brochure who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws.

I traveled to Bombay with a travel document (US passport) and the OCI registartion document issued by Indian Govt. The Life Long visa sticker was on my expired US passport, which was not with me; and that I did not believe a citizen in any description had to have a visa with a Govt. Document and Birth right.

The airline allowed me to board the plane with the Govt document to reach India. However, at arrival on Bombay airport the office of the inspector of Police would state that OCI registration did not mean anything if I did not have the Life Long Visa on the passport, even if it was an expired passport. The inspector, however offered me to produce a fax copy of the life long visa, lying in the US, to issue me a transit visa for $40 (US) before the next days flight some 24 hours later, and detaining me in transit during that period.

If the officials can not recognize their own Govt. Issued OCI document, why would they depend on a fax copy of Visa from overseas. And I did not want to be detained in transit area feeding my blood to mosquitos there after traveling for 12 hours from the Pacific Rim. So, I allowed them to put me back in the same flight, I arrived in, to my freedom with an US passport. I got my expired passport by courier, and traveled back to India four days later. The immigration in Bombay had one look at my expired passport and let me exit to the city after Customs clearance.

The question that arises out of this incident: does the OCI define one a Citizen ? If it does not, then why one is called Overseas Citizen of India. Shouldn't it be appropriate to be called expensive visa for NRIs. Probably not, because it would not sell to NRIs.

India has progressed in many ways, but still has a long way to go to be part of Globalized countries.

It is suggested that one makes sure he has visa to go India regardless what is interpreted from Indian Govt. Document.

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  • Guest 7 years ago

    I do not why it is taking so long to get OCI in so called "North America".

    I recently applied for OCI in Australia, it took only 22 days before I resubmit my passport for visa stamping and another 7 days to get all the docs by courier. I total it took less than a month.

    So please do not generalise specific incidents.