To clear some misunderstandings, it is better to know beforehand that the overseas citizenship card or the OCI does not mean dual citizenship. By dual citizenship, it means that you can be a citizen of any country in the world and simultaneously hold Indian citizenship. If you have been a foreign citizen right through and do not have any ancestral links to India, you cannot apply for a dual citizenship card.
>> Apply for a OCI Card here: www.OCIcard.com
Not a dual citizenship
But, if you or members of your family migrated from India only years or decades earlier, you can apply for a dual citizenship. It does not include people who have migrated to other parts of the world from other south Asian countries like Bangladesh or Pakistan. Their home countries may be allowing them dual citizenship like India, but it is only people with ancestral links to India that can apply for a dual citizenship with Indian authorities.
If your home countries allow dual citizenship, then you will not be able to benefit from an OCI from Indian authorities. You will be governed by the local laws in your country. Those who get an OCI do not become Indian citizens per se and are not entitled to an Indian passport. Being an OCI card holder does not make you an Indian citizen. You don’t have voting rights and you can’t stand in as a candidate for a parliamentary election in the country.
You cannot also apply for any government posts or jobs in the country or be in the reckoning for being the president or the prime minister of India. But, with an OCI card, you can visit India as many times as you want and would be exempt from reporting your entry to police authorities any time of the year or for your entire duration during your stay in the country.
You will enjoy similar benefits and lenience offered to non resident Indians apart from owning agricultural land or properties that are earmarked for plantation purposes.
Specific employment allowed
You will not be able to take up any employment except those not permitted like research, mountaineering and missionary activities, but there is scope for taking up a job in the private sector of India. Being a doctor, nurse or any other professional also does not allow you to practice in India.
You can get employment visa easily and are not required to enlist with FRRO for getting employed in India. If you want to change your employment, you don’t have to leave India.
As an OCI card holder, you will be able to enjoy similar facilities awarded to other non resident Indians for visiting monuments or national heritage sites and would be charged discounted entry fees. You can also avail of concessions in place and enjoyed by NRI’s when they visit India. For taking the services of Indian doctors, lawyers, dentists and other professionals, an OCI card holder will be treated on parity with NRI’s. If for some reason you think that OCI card is not the right thing for you, then you can always look into a PIO card too.
You will be under the regulations of the ministry of citizenship and registered with the body if you have lived in India for the last 5 years. Primarily, the facility is awarded to foreigners as they can contribute to the growth of the Indian economy by their stay in India. If it has been found that the application for the OCI was made on the basis of false and incorrect information, the registration and the facility awarded can be cancelled.
Nowadays it is easy to apply for an OCI online and you can furnish accurate information to get a card for your duration in India.