OCI card holders travelling to India no longer required to carry their old passports
The relaxation in OCI guidelines was announced by the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C., USA
Travel to India for people of Indian origin and the Indian Diaspora has been made easier by the government. From now on, people having Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards are no longer required to carry their old passports to travel to India.
Announcing ‘Relaxation in OCI Guidelines till 31st December, 2021’, the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C., USA has done away with the requirement of carrying old and new passports along with the OCI card.
“Henceforth, an OCI cardholder travelling on the strength of existing OCI card bearing old passport number is not required to carry the old passport. However, carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory. OCI card holders are no longer required to carry old passports for India travel,” a statement from the Embassy said.
According to the OCI guidelines that have been in force since 2005, an OCI card is required to be re-issued each time a new passport is acquired by the cardholder up to the age of 20 years, it said. OCI card is required to be re-issued once on acquiring a new passport after completing 50 years of age, it added.
“Government of India has decided to grant further extension of time till 31st December, 2021 to get the OCI cards re-issued in accordance with above guidelines,” the statement noted.
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.
India has relaxed the provisions since last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The timeline has been extended multiple times so far.
However, this is for the first time that the guidelines have been relaxed for carrying old passports and the new passports along with the OCI cards for overseas Indians.