India now has a form of Dual Citizenship called OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India). If you were an Indian or of Indian origin, once you get your US citizenship you can apply for OCI. There are a lot of advantages to having OCI. The main ones are you do not need a visa to travel to India. You have the same rights as NRIs except voting rights.
1. Go to your jurisdictions Indian Consulate website. There should be a link to OCI Scheme. In the end you have to navigate to a link for online registration for OCI. I have attached the link for Chicago under resources.
2. Once you click on the link mentioned in step 1, Part A of application appears online. If you are applying for only one applicant then select individual. If you are applying for your family (upto 4 applicants only) then select family group. As soon as you select family option, by default you see 4 application forms – 2 for spouses and 2 for minor children. You just fill in only what you want for example one parent and one child or 2 parents and one child.
3. After completing Part A, make sure of all the information on the screen because once you submit, no data can be changed. After making sure everything is right, click on submit. A print dialog box opens.
4. When you print a hard copy of Part A, a blank copy of Part B is also printed. Only one copy of Part B has to be filled per family. Both the parents have to sign Part B. In Part A if a minor child cannot sign in the box next to photograph, place a thumb impression (left for male, right for female) in blue/navy blue ink.
5. Next comes the attachment of the documents. The Consulate is very particular of the order of documents. So arrange in the following order
* All the Part A applications
* The Part B application
All the rest of the supporting documents below arrange in the same order as the Part A documents above.
* Copy of First two and last two pages of the US passport.
* Copy of Birth certificate for all applicants born abroad.
* Proof of Indian origin – Copy of First three and last two pages of last Indian passport or any other proof. For my daughter who was born in US, her birth certificate and our previous Indian passport proved her Indian origin.
Make a copy of all the above documents since you have to submit the documents in duplicate.
6. A total of 5 photographs are needed per applicant. Please look at link below for the photo standards. Paste one photograph on each application form (original and duplicate) and attach the other 3 with each applicant’s Part A application.
7. Next is Application Fees. These are accepted only as cashier’s check, Money Order or Postal Order. Attach one CC/MO/PO for the whole family. The current fees is as follows
* US Citizens $275 without PIO and $25 with PIO
* Non US Citizens $295 without PIO and $45 with PIO
* Mailing fees = $20 for 1st applicant and $1 for each additional applicant.
The CC/MO/PO is drawn in favour of Consulate General of India, xxxx.
For example, my application was for a family of 4 so I made a cashier’s check drawn in favor of Consulate General of India, Chicago for the amount $1123 ($275 multiplied by 4 + $23 Mailing Fees).
8. Mail all the documents to the Consulate as per the instructions. Indicate on the envelope “OCI Application” in bold letters. Make a note of the registration number (in the form USACIxxxxx) for each applicant since you will need it to check online status.
9. After mailing, keep checking online (link provided below) to see the status of your application. Once the application is received by the Ministry in Delhi, a file number is posted online. Within 30 days your status should change to dispatched.
10. After your documents have reached your consulate (online status should indicate that), go to the consulate with a print out of the online status, your US passport and Indian passport (or PIO card).
11. At the consulate, a person will collect these and then call you when your OCI stamp is ready. You normally get a visa like sticker in your US passport and a small OCI booklet. Make sure all the information is accurate. You can also mail your passports if you cannot make it in person. Congratulations, you have got your OCI card.