How To Apply For OCI Card In Australia
If you are an Indian living in Australia and wish to maintain a strong connection with your home country, applying for an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card can be a great option. The OCI card provides many benefits and privileges, including multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India, exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay, and the ability to work and study in India. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an OCI card in Australia.
Step 1: Ensure Eligibility
Before you begin the application process, it is crucial to ensure that you are eligible for an OCI card. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
1. You must be a foreign national of Indian origin or a spouse of foreign origin of an eligible OCI applicant.
2. You should have been a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after, the constitution of India or you should have been eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the constitution.
3. You shouldn’t be a citizen or eligible to be a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
4. Your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents should have been citizens of India.
If you meet the above criteria, you are eligible to apply for an OCI card.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
To apply for an OCI card, you must have the following documents:
1. Proof of citizenship or eligibility for Indian citizenship, such as a valid Indian passport or matriculation certificate.
2. Proof of current residential address in Australia, such as a utility bill or driver’s license.
3. Birth certificate or marriage certificate (if applicable) for verification of Indian origin.
4. Proof of surrender/cancellation of Indian passport (if applicable).
Ensure that you have all these documents in the required format before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3: Complete Online Application
Now that you have gathered all the necessary documents, it is time to complete the online application for the OCI card. Visit the official website of the Indian Mission/Embassy in Australia and navigate to the OCI registration section. Fill in all the required details, including personal information, address, and upload the necessary documents in the prescribed format.
Double-check all the information to ensure accuracy before submitting the application. Once submitted, you will receive an acknowledgment receipt with a unique application number.
Step 4: Pay Application Fee
After submitting the online application, you need to pay the prescribed OCI card fee. The fee can be paid online using a credit/debit card or through a bank draft as specified on the official website. Keep the payment receipt or bank draft details as proof of payment.
Step 5: Submit Application and Documents
Once you have completed the online application and paid the fee, it is time to submit your application and documents to the designated Indian Mission/Embassy in Australia. Prepare a package containing the printed copy of the application form, payment receipt/bank draft, and all the required supporting documents.
Mail or personally submit the package to the Indian Mission/Embassy in Australia. Make sure to include a self-addressed return envelope with sufficient postage for the return of your documents.
Step 6: Track Your Application
After submitting your application, you can track its progress online using the unique application number provided in the acknowledgment receipt. Regularly check the official website of the Indian Mission/Embassy for any updates on your application status.
Step 7: Collect Your OCI Card
Once your OCI card application is approved, you will receive an email notification. Collect your OCI card from the designated Indian Mission/Embassy in Australia. Make sure to bring your original passport for verification purposes.
Congratulations! You now have your OCI card, enabling you to enjoy the privileges and benefits it offers.
Applying for an OCI card in Australia allows overseas Indians to maintain a strong connection with their homeland. By following the above steps, you can successfully apply for an OCI card and enjoy the privileges it provides. Remember to carefully gather all the required documents, complete the online application accurately, and track your application’s progress. With an OCI card in hand, you are ready to explore India while retaining your Australian roots.