KUALA LUMPUR, January 30 – The issuing of the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card by the Indian government to all people of Indian origin residing outside India does not tantamount to the granting of citizenship, the Indian High Commission in Malaysia said today.
It said that securing Indian citizenship was entirely a different procedure and not related to the OCI card. “The OCI card is not an Indian passport, but is in the nature of a lifelong visa granting certain privileges in India for the people of Indian origin with respect to social, economic and educational purposes,” it said in a statement.
The high commission said it had also clarified the matter to a Malaysian delegation during the Foreign Office Consultations in India on Jan 20. The OCI card was issued in accordance with the commitment made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year to issue OCI cards to all people of Indian origin residing outside India.
The Indian High Commission also said that in order to streamline this process, it had discontinued the issuance of new Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards, and all people of Indian origin residing in foreign countries will now only be issued OCI cards.
Those who want to apply for an OCI card can do so via online at http://passport.gov.in or visit the India High Commission website.