NRI Guide: Can You Opt For Dual Citizenship After Migrating To A Foreign Country?

When people are born and brought up in a country, but after a certain period, they choose to move to another country for various purposes, be it pursuing higher education or a job. Most people decide to settle down in that particular country. Consequently, they apply for their citizenship in the respective country.   

As per migration Census data of India, every year, nearly 7-8 lakh Indians emigrate to several countries for employment purposes while India gets emigrants of 50 lakh on an average. Many of them choose to stay in the country and seek Indian citizenship.   

In such a case, they need to register as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), which is often confused with dual citizenship. India does not grant dual citizenship. However, if a person claims to be a foreign citizen, the claim to Indian citizenship is refuted automatically. You can apply for OCI when you, as an Indian national, choose to give up your Indian nationality and opt for foreign citizenship. You can then apply for an OCI card. You cannot reclaim your Indian citizenship once you register for the OCI card unless you surrender your foreign citizenship.  

Although it does not provide dual citizenship, you can avail several procedural and financial advantages to register as an OCI. Check the below list if you are eligible to qualify to apply for an OCI card:  

  • An individual who once held an Indian passport  
  • An individual who or whose either parents, grandparents, or great grandparents was born in and were a permanent resident of India can register for OCI.   

Benefits of OCI  

  • An OCI card ensures multiple entry life-long visa to India  
  • Live, work, set up a business in India  
  • Own assets and properties  
  • Apply for Indian citizenship again after giving up foreign citizenship, subject to certain conditions  

If you are looking to apply for an OCI card, you can submit your application online along with recent photographs and documents. Once you pay the fees (around Rs 20,000), you can expect to get it delivered in a short time. 

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