How to apply for OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)

How to apply for OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)
Photo by Raghavendra V. Konkathi / Unsplash

Documenting the steps I followed to apply for OCI recently.

  1. Fill out the online application form for OCI on the OCI website. This has two parts -

    • Part A - is general information about you. No documents need to be uploaded to complete this part.
    • Part B - you would need to upload the passport size picture, and a picture of your signature (white background). There are certain requirements for the signature and passport size photo. I have Pixelmator templates if that's needed.
  2. Once both the parts have been submitted, you will get an application reference number, and you would be able to download this filled out application form. You would need to print, sign, and send this as part of the package to VFS.

  3. The next step is to create an account on VFS Global. They act as the middle men of sorts between you and the Indian embassy. You would use the application reference number provided by the OCI website here. You would also make the payment for the OCI here - about $300 (including the processing fee, and the FedEx round trip for your application).

  4. Once you do this, you will be able to download the payment confirmation receipt as part of what they call the "Application Confirmation Letter". You would also get a PDF that includes links to the "Document Checklist". This link to the document checklist was broken for me. So, I had to get it from a cousin who had recently filled this out. You would need to print this checklist and sign and send it back as part of the package.

  5. Here are the documents you would need that you should start collecting -
    Copy of US Passport (the bio page) - self attest this with the text like -

    • "True original copy - sign, date, and print your name)
    • Copy of Canceled Indian Passport (first three pages, and last two pages)
    • Copy of renunciation certificate for Indian Passport
    • Copy of Naturalization Certificate (US Citizenship)
    • Proof of employment (looks like this is not mandatory, but I included my last paystub)
    • One thing to note is that these documents need to be in PDF format, and less than 1MB in size.