The Indian Embassy in the US (Washington, DC) has announced that OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders are no longer required to carry their old passports while traveling to India.
Moreover, the Government of India has also decided to grant further extension of time till 31st December 2021 to get the OCI cards re-issued.
Relaxation in OCI Guidelines till 31st December 2021
- The following OCI guidelines have been in force since 2005:
- OCI card is required to be re-issued each time a new passport is acquired by the cardholder up to the age of 20 years.
- OCI card is required to be re-issued once on acquiring a new passport after completing 50 years of age.
- The Government of India has decided to grant further extension of time till 31st December 2021 to get the OCI cards re-issued in accordance with the above guidelines.
- The requirement of carrying old and new passports, along with the OCI card, has been done away with. Henceforth, an OCI cardholder traveling on the strength of the existing OCI card bearing an old passport number is not required to carry the old passport. However, carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory.
The Indian Govt had made it mandatory for OCI cardholders to carry their old passports. As recently as December 2019, a circular from the home ministry had stated that because of the problems being faced by OCI cardholders regarding re-issuance of OCI cards, a few norms had been relaxed but cardholders needed to carry the old passport mentioned in the OCI card.
This latest development to do away with the carrying of the old passport will surely make the Indian diaspora heave a sigh of relief.