India is one of the countries that does not encourage dual citizenships. However, due to the increasing demands of the Indian diaspora (NRIs, POIs) seeking recognition of dual citizenships, the government introduced the OCI Card. Nevertheless, an OCI may not always be a suitable option when compared to an India visa.
What is an OCI Card?
OCI Card or the Overseas Citizenship in India is an immigration status that permits a foreign citizen (except Bangladesh and Pakistan) with an Indian origin to indefinitely live and work in India.
Who can apply;
Nevertheless, acquiring an OCI card is a tedious, time-consuming, and overwhelming process. Thus, we recommend opting for India Visa for temporary purposes.
The Ideal Alternative to an OCI: India E-visa
If you require an OCI card for staying in India for under five years, opting for an India visa is an ideal choice. This is because it is easy and convenient to apply. Also, you can apply it online through a third-party agent. Thus, it saves you both time and money unlike applying for an OCI card.
Moreover, in the case of your stay exceeding the 5-year mark, you can always apply for a new visa.
And comparatively, the cost of acquiring an Indian online visa is far less than that of an OCI.
At IndiaVisaInfo, the India visa fee starts from as little as USD10 and may go up to USD80 depending on your stay period and India visa type.
Types of India visa at a glance
Basically, aspirants who want to visit India for business/tourism purposes can now obtain a visa (officially called “India E-Visa” ) for the following purposes;
- e-Tourist Visa
- e-Business Visa
- e-Medical Visa
OCI Card vs. India Visa: A Comparative Study
1. The fee involved
OCI card fee
The cost of an OCI is quite high which includes both consular fee and ICWF fee as follows;
India visa fees
|Indian Visa Types||India Visa Fee||Visa Validity|
|e-Tourist Visa 30 Days||$25||30 Days – Double Entry|
|e-Tourist Visa 1 Year||$40||365 Days – Multiple Entry|
|e-Business Visa||$80||365 Days – Multiple Entry|
|e-Conference Visa||$80||30 Days – Single Entry|
|e-Medical Visa||$80||60 Days – Triple Entry|
|e-Medical Attendant Visa||$80||60 Days – Triple Entry|
The visa fee is also determined by the reciprocal relationship between India and every country. For instance;
The Indian visa fees for Business Visa & Medical Visa are as follows based on the nationality –
- Free: Citizens of Argentina, Cook Islands, Fiji, Jamaica, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
- $25: Citizens of Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
- $80: Citizens of the majority of countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- $100 Citizens of the US, UK, Russia, Ukraine, and Mozambique.
In addition to the visa fee, you must pay a bank charge of 2.5% exclusive of the processing charges.
2. OCI Card Eligibility
Apart from the cost and the complexities involved in applying for an OCI, there are other conditions also. And, these conditions must be satisfied. In fact, failure to comply would result in termination of your OCI or you may not be allowed to enter into the country.
So, what are these crucial factors?
- Holders of non-ordinary passports are not eligible for an OCI
- OCI not granted when either of the applicant’s parents, grandparents, great grandparents are or were citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh
- A foreign spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI card-holder is not eligible until having subsisted two years of marriage
- Military personnel with a foreign passport are not eligible for an OCI if serving retired or otherwise
- Entry/exit from the country is determined by the authenticity of the foreign passport
- Ommission of any information while applying may blacklist the applicant and the entry/exit into the country would be prohibited
- Denial of OCI and termination of the existing OCI without prior notification
India visa eligibility
Apart from a few select countries requiring a government clearance, it is granted to citizens of most of the countries.
3. The Complexities in the OCI Requirements and Application Process
OCI application process
One can apply for an OCI by logging on to passport.gov.in/oci. The OCI requirements must be satisfied to obtain one’s OCI within 30 working days from the date of application.
Every application is stringently scrutinized by the Ministry of Home Affairs. And, the ministry also holds the rights to reject or suspend any application for various reasons. Like lack of satisfactory security clearance, for consciously concealing any information while applying, etc.
In fact, the ministry also holds the rights to cancel or terminate an existing OCI when the person’s actions prove to be disrespectful towards the Indian Constitution.
OCI card charges include an application fee of INR 15000 or USD 275*. Once you fill the application, it must be submitted along with the fee challan at the Foreigners Regional Registration Offices or Indian Missions abroad.
OCI card requirements
- Proof of present citizenship
- Evidence of Indian origin of self, parents, grandparents, etc.
- Evidence of spouse of foreign origin married to an Indian citizen or OCI cardholder.
- Recent passport-sized photograph of the applicant
- Thumb impression of the applicant
When would an OCI cardholder require an India visa?
Often times, passports have an expiry date. While this is the case, on renewal, a new passport number is allotted. Nevertheless, a passport is linked to the OCI card, which means the OCI is stamped on the passport (used for applying for an OCI).
Though one can update the new passport number on the existing OCI, the status of the same whether accepted or otherwise is notified after thirty working days from the receipt of the online application (OCI misc)
That being said, we recommend you enter/travel India using your India visa. And, although, you may carry your old passport with your OCI, there are chances of your entry being denied into the country. Thus, we reckon OCI applicants and existing cardholders to apply for an India visa as it enables you to enter/travel the nation irrespective of the OCI discrepancies.
India Visa Requirements
A PDF file of your passport’s first page and a copy of your passport-sized photograph taken against a white background. All you need to do is provide us with these two and we will set upon delivering your India visa to your doorstep.
India visa application process
Applying for an Indian visa on our portal is as easy as ordering food online. The process is hassle-free where we provide you with the utmost transparency to ensure the approval of your India visa.
Visit https://indiavisainfo.com/apply-india-visa/ and fill the “India visa application” form.
You will have to make $3 initial payment to process your India visa application.
Your visa application will be sent to you and you can verify your information filled in the visa application and make your remaining payment.
Why IndiaVisaInfo for your India eVisa?
Start India visa process with just $3 initial payment.
Photo edited by experts according to the embassy specification.
Use Secure payment gateway (Paypal or Debit/Credit card)
Final payment can be done after reviewing the filled application.
24/7 Chat/Whatsapp/Call and email support.
India visa FAQs
1. How many days before travel should I apply for India online visa?
You can apply for India visa up to 120 days before your intended travel. The latest you can apply is 4 working days before your travel date beyond which your visa may not be granted. We recommend you to apply as early as you can.
2. Do I need to make flight & hotel bookings before applying for India e-visa?
Yes. However, when you are making use of our visa service, we could make a temporary flight & hotel booking for your visa. After the approval of your visa, you may make the actual bookings.
Note: We do not charge an additional amount for this service.
3. What are the entry ports that accept India e-visa?
From April 1, 2017, Indian e-visa holders may enter at the following airports:
Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Trivandrum and Varanasi.
ETAs are also valid for entry at the following three seaports: Kochi, Goa, and Mangalore.
Additionally, separate immigration desks and help counters have been set up to assist medical tourists at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad airports.