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The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. Based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known as ‘dual citizenship’. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Brochure who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws.
Persons registered as OCI have not been given any voting rights, election to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council, holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, and Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc. Registered OCIs shall be entitled to following benefits:
(i) Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India;
(ii) Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and
(iii) Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
Any further benefits to OCIs will be notified by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) under section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
A person registered to OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of five years before making the application.
For any clarification/query on the scheme please visit: www.mha.nic.in or visit the website of the local Indian Mission/Post or contact the Indian Mission/Post or OCI Cell, Citizenship Section, Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Jaisalmer House, 26, ManSingh Road, New Delhi-110011.
Consular assistance to dual nationals
Regardless of whether an Australian national also possesses another nationality, Australia seeks to extend to all its citizens the full range of its consular assistance abroad. However, under international law, countries are not obliged to recognise dual nationality. In some cases, countries may not permit Australian consular assistance to be provided to Australian citizens who, according to its laws, it considers and treats as its own nationals. In other cases, a person might not be regarded as being an Australian if that person is not travelling on their Australian passport and, again, Australian consular assistance might not always be permitted. Travellers are warned that consular assistance cannot over-ride local laws, even where local laws may appear harsh or even unjust.