Daily News Analysis

OCI card holders no longer required to carry old passports for India travel  

31st March, 2021 International Relations

Context: People of Indian origin and the Indian diaspora having Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards are now not required to carry their old, expired passports for travel to India.



  • The Overseas Citizens of India or OCI card is issued to people of Indian origin globally which gives them almost all the privileges of an Indian national except for the right to vote, government service and buying agricultural land.
  • The OCI card gives them a visa free travel to India.


About Overseas Citizenship of India:

  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a form of permanent residency available to people of Indian origin and their spouses which allows them to live and work in India indefinitely.
  • Despite the name, OCI status is not citizenship and does not grant the right to vote in Indian elections or hold public office.
  • The Indian government can revoke OCI status in a wide variety of circumstances.
  • The OCI scheme was introduced by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora.
  • It provides overseas citizens many of the rights available to resident citizens. However, in a notification issued in March 2021, the government of India has dramatically curtailed those rights.
  • OCI status is not available to anyone who has ever been a Pakistani or Bangladeshi citizen, or who is a child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of such a person.