Friday, 29 May 2015


Indian citizenship and citizenship of a Foreign country cannot be held at the same time as it is not allowed by the Constitution of India.  A new class of Citizenship i.e., Overseas Citizen of India ( OCI ) was therefore created by amending the Constitution to compromise with dual citizenship.
Dual Citizenship and holding of two nationalities at the same time of two different  countries is categorically prohibited by both Article 9 of the Constitution of India and Section 9 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.  OCI are specifically prohibited political rights and other rights by Section 7B of the Citizenship Act and they have only multiple entry lifelong visa facility to visit India any time for any purpose.
Under the Ministry of Home Affairs Scheme of August 19, 2002, the registration of Person of Indian Origin ( PIO ) Card holders was started and from December 2, 2005 the OCI scheme became operational.  We need to know the difference between an NRI, a PIO and an OCI.
For this purpose, the following description is given:
Non-Residential Indians ( NRIs ):
A person resident in India and a person resident outside India are defined in Section 2 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 ( FEMA ).  However, this portion does not define the term NRI.  According to a notification, NRI means a person resident outside India who is either a Citizen of India or is a person of Indian Origin.
A person who resides in India for more than 182 days  in the preceding financial year and who comes or stays in India for any purpose is a person ‘resident’ in India according to FEMA.  A person who is not a resident in India is defined as a ‘Non Resident’.  An NRI, therefore, is an Indian Citizen who ordinarily residents outside India and holds Indian passport.
Persons of Indian Origin ( PIO ):
A foreign citizen who held an Indian Passport at any time; or he/she or either of his/her parents, grand parents or great grand parents was born in and was a permanent resident in India; or he/she is a spouse of a citizen of India or of a person of Indian Origin is what is meant by a Person of Indian Origin.
PIO card holders are permitted to visit India  without visa for 15 years and have to register with Foreigners Registration Officer ( FRO ) in India if the stay is more than 180 days continuously.  PIOs have equality with NRIs where certain facilities are concerned but do not have any political rights and may apply for Indian Citizenship after residing in India for a minimum of seven years.
Overseas Citizen of India ( OCI ):  
A foreign national is eligible for registration as OCI if he was eligible to become a Citizen of India on January 26, 1950, or was a citizen of India on or at any time after the said date or belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947 and his / her children and grand children are also eligible for registration as OCIs.  They will enjoy a multiple entry, multi purpose life long visa to visit India, do not have to register with Foreigners Registration Officer ( FRO ) / Police authorities however long they may stay in India and have the right to benefits notified under Section 7B of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.  If an OCI is registered for five years and resides in India for one year he can be granted Indian Citizenship but will have no political rights.
Bank accounts in India can be opened out of funds remitted from abroad, foreign exchange brought in from abroad or out of funds legitimately due to them in India by NRIs / PIOs.  They can open these accounts with Banks that are authorized by the Reserve Bank of India.
Real Estate Properties are available in Bangalore City…….

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