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"Welcome step": OCI card holders exempted from carrying old passports when travelling to India

OCI cards and Australian passports Source: SBS

The overseas citizens of India (OCI) are no longer required to carry their old passports when travelling to India.

"The requirement of carrying old and new passports, along with the OCI card, has been done away with,"  the Indian High Commission in Canberra said in a statement on Wednesday.

High Commission of India
High Commission of India

"Henceforth, an OCI cardholder travelling on the strength of an existing OCI card bearing old passport number is not required to carry the old passport.

"However, carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory," the High Commission said.


Highlights:

  • Indians living abroad need not carry their old passports along with their Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards.
  • Carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory.
  • The Indian Government has decided to grant a temporary extension until 31st December 2021 to reissue the OCI cards.

Sanjay K Muluka, Head of Chancery at the Consulate General of India in Sydney, confirmed the change.

For now, the current OCI guidelines will remain in force:

  • OCI card is required to be reissued each time the cardholder acquires a new passport up to the age of 20 years.
  • OCI card is required to be reissued once on acquiring a new passport after completing 50 years of age.
  • Re-issuance of an OCI card is not required each time a passport is issued to a card holder between 21 and 50 years of age.

However, the Indian government has decided to grant a temporary extension until December 31, 2021 to reissue the OCI cards.

Sydney-based OCI cardholder Udatta Duarah has welcomed this relaxation.

"It’s a welcome step as it means less hassle and one less document to carry!," says said Mr Duarah.

OCI cardholders are still required to carry the new (current) passport while travelling to India.

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