Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form
India's Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form is a mandatory self-reporting form for all international travelers. In this blog, learn about the required documents, who must apply, and how to apply.
You have probably heard about something called the "OCI Card." You are in the right place if you have but do not know what it means. In this post, I will tell you everything about the OCI Card.
Let's get your OCI Card:
As I mentioned earlier, you probably have heard of the OCI card, but what does it mean? The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a Smart Card issued to Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) who emigrated from India and then obtained citizenship in another nation.
The OCI card is a travel document that allows holders to travel to and from India without needing a visa. The card is valid for the holder's lifetime, and there are no restrictions on the number of times the holder can enter or exit India. The OCI card holder also enjoys all the rights and privileges of a regular Indian citizen, including the right to work and live in India.
It is essential that you understand the OCI Card is not considered dual citizenship. It only serves as a way of multiple entries to India instead of an India visa for US citizens.
Okay, now you know the meaning of the OCI Card. However, there is still some important information you must know before applying for your OCI Card. In this section, I will explain who can apply for the OCI Card, the OCI Card fee, and the processing time.
For the first few sections of this post, I will mainly focus on the requirements and application process of registering a new OCI Card. This will include information such as the registration of a new OCI Card required documents and a new OCI application process. Please use the links provided if you want to navigate each section.
After the new registration of an OCI application process, I will explain the different OCI services.
You're probably asking who can apply for the OCI Card? Before applying for the OCI Card, you must meet specific requirements. Please note that if you, your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents are or were citizens of Pakistan or Bangladesh, you may not register as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder. Please find below the requirements that foreign nationals must meet before applying for the OCI Card:
Please keep in mind that this only applies to PIO that has gained citizenship in a foreign country outside India.
You can apply for your OCI Card at any Indian Mission/Post in the United States. However, you can only apply for your OCI Card through VFS Global. Don't worry about the application just yet because I will give you an 8-step application guide on how you can apply for your new OCI Card. Later I will also explain the different OCI Services and essential information about each.
Because India does not allow dual citizenship, you must first file for renunciation of Indian citizenship before seeking an OCI card. In addition, you must surrender your Indian passport if you have one.
As you might have guessed, you must pay an OCI Card fee before granting it. Please remember that the OCI service fee below only applies to registering a new OCI Card. Later in this post, I will explain the important information about the different OCI services.
Mandatory fees that must be paid when applying for any OCI service:
The processing time for a New OCI Card can take between 5-6 weeks. I know this looks pretty long, but note that once your required documents reach the Consulate General of India, it is only processed after 48 hours.
The OCI card is considered a lifelong visa and does not require reapplication. However, the OCI registration certificate and visa must occasionally be re-issued to keep records current. In the following situations, you must apply to re-issue your OCI Card:
There's good news! The deadline for foreign nationals of Indian descent to change their PIO cards to OCI cards has been extended again. The government of India had previously set a deadline of December 31, 2021. However, according to a recent news statement from Indian Missions around the world, the new deadline for PIO cardholders to obtain the OCI Card is December 31, 2022.
Before beginning the OCI Card application process, you must gather the required documents. This section is divided into USA nationals by birth and USA nationals by naturalization.
If you were born in the USA, but your parents were Indian nationals, you must submit the following documents:
Perhaps you are a USA citizen, but you were born in India. In that case, you must submit the following documents when applying for a new OCI Card:
Okay, now you are sorted if you apply for the OCI Card, but what if you apply for a minor? Don't stress because we've got you covered. This section will explain what documents you must submit when applying for a minor.
If you are applying for a minor that was born in the USA, you must submit the following documents:
Perhaps you are applying for a minor, but the minor was not born in the USA. In that case, you must use these documents below for the OCI Card application:
The last required documents section when applying for a new OCI Card is for the Spouse of foreign origin of a citizen. Here is a list of the documents you must submit during your OCI Card application process:
I can only assume you feel bombed with soo much information, but finally, we are at the application process. Remember to only use the 8 steps below when applying for a new OCI Card. Later in this post, I will explain the different OCI Card services.
The first step is identifying the OCI Card service you want to use. As I mentioned throughout the first section of this post, I will explain the registration of a new OCI Card.
After you have gathered your required documents, you can start completing your online application form. At the start of the online application form, you will select the type of OCI Card service you want to use.
Please use the online application form guide if you struggle with anything.
If you need to travel to India due to an emergency, I advise you to apply for the India Emergency Visa
After submitting your documents online, you must send your online application to a VFS Indian Consular Center based on your state of residence.
Once you've finished the mail-in application registration, you'll be able to send your physical application packet to the VFS Indian Consular Application Centre. You must use the shipping method you choose while completing your online application. You must use prepaid courier labels when applying to a Mission outside your home state's jurisdiction.
VFS systems will be updated upon receipt of your application, and you will be notified through email. A review procedure is started to see if the application satisfies the Mission/requirements. Post's
Please be aware that, due to the safety precautions imposed by Covid 19, VFS staff will attend to packages 48 hours after they arrive. Therefore, you can track the status of your application after three to four days from the day your documents are delivered to the VFS Indian Consular Application Centre.
The last thing you must do is wait for your application to be processed. The processing time of a new OCI Card is usually between 5 to 6 weeks.
You will receive an email or SMS notification as soon as your OCI Card is processed. After receiving the process confirmation, your OCI Card will be couriered to your specified address.
Although the OCI Card is a general Smart Card, you must choose between different OCI visa services. The OCI visa service you choose depends on the status of your PIO Card or other relevant situations. It is important to note that all the OCI services follow the same application process as the new OCI Card application.
The new OCI registration was discussed earlier in this post. But just to recap, ensure eligibility before continuing with the application process. You will use this service if you do not have a PIO or an OCI Card.
You can use this OCI service when you have a PIO Card, but you want an OCI Card. The required documents will mostly be the same for the new OCI Card. Still, please head over to the mandatory checklist for detailed information. Also, remember to submit an affidavit instead of the original documents.
If you have lost your PIO card and want to apply for an OCI Card, you must use this service. The OCI registration in lieu of a lost PIO card is the same as the previous OCI registration, but you must add a police report to your mandatory documents. Also, you must print out the checklist and affidavit.
If you want to use the OCI Miscellaneous Service, you must be an OCI Cardholder. You can use this service when you have changed personal particulars or received a new passport. In addition, you must complete the affidavit and checklist as part of the required documents.
If your OCI Card has been damaged or lost, you must use this service when applying for a new one. Please add the checklist to your list of required documents, and complete the affidavit. Also, you must add a police report if your OCI Card is lost.
If you return to India and want to regain your Indian citizenship, you can use this service to cancel your OCI Card. In doing so, you renounce your OCI Card. In addition, you must complete forms XXII and XXII A with a signed and completed checklist.
All minor applications must be accompanied by a parental authorization form.
After discussing the OCI service fee of registering a new OCI Card, I must also inform you of the other applicable OCI service fees. These OCI Card fees are divided into 5 different OCI services as outlined above. Please remember that the OCI service fees below only apply when choosing which OCI application you will be doing. Below the OCI service fees is a list of mandatory fees for an OCI application.
Mandatory fees that must be paid when applying for any OCI service:
You're probably wondering what the benefits of going through this tedious OCI Card application process are. Well, here is a list of advantages of the OCI Card:
The OCI Card enjoys much more benefits than an Indian Visa. As I mentioned above, the benefits of the OCI Card outweigh the Indian Visa. If you do not want to apply for the OCI Card, you can always apply for the Indian E-Visa. Alternatively, if you are a US citizen, you qualify for the 10-year India Tourist Visa.
I hope you are ready to travel to India with your new OCI Card. However, before traveling to India, I suggest you check our travel guide when traveling to India during COVID.