Living Bridge

Renew OCI cards by June

Rohit Vadhwana Monday 23rd December 2019 09:15 EST

(Expressed opinions are personal.)Samir and his his wife planned a trip to India during the Christmas vacation of their daughter Sara. As they booked the ticket, teenager Sara was super excited to visit her grandparents in India. The flight was in the early morning from Heathrow airport. As the three reached the airport and were at the check-in counter, the airline staff informed that Sara could not travel to India. 

'What? She has a valid ticket.' Samir objected. 

'Yes, but not a valid OCI card. She had to re-issue her OCI card when her passport was changed.' Airline staff informed. 

Samir did a bit more research on the subject and came to know that the rule required that if an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholder who is below twenty years of age or above 50 years of age changes passport, OCI card has to be re-issued. It has to be linked to the new passport.

Any person below twenty years of age has to re-issue OCI card every time the passport changes. But a person above fifty years has to change OCI only once after the change in passport after attaining that age. However, any OCI Cardholder between twenty and fifty years of age does not need to re-issue OCI card on change of passport. But he/she must carry the passport with which the OCI card is linked, even if new passport is issued.

So, the new passport and OCI linked passport should be carried while travelling to India. Samir understood that the rule is effective long back since 2005 but he was not aware of it. Similarly, due to lack of awareness, some OCI holders had not re-issued the OCI cards and airlines denied them permission to board for India. Samir found out a solution. Only options left were to re-schedule the travel and get a visa for Sara. It cost him some amount of money but it was unavoidable. A number of such cases happened recently. 

Samir was happy to read that the Government of India decided to relax the rule and give time to get the OCI card re-issued by 30 June 2020. So, OCI cardholders who need re-issuance of OCI have time till mid-year next and can travel hassle-free till then. Samir knows that the rule still remains same but temporary relaxation has been granted and therefore he has to get Sara's OCI card re-issued before 30 June 2020 because her age is less than 20.

Similarly, his uncle who is now 54 and has recently got a new passport will have to get his OCI card re-issued for once. Samir is trying his level best to bring it to the notice of other OCI Cardholders as well. You may also help spread this information!! 

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