How to Get OCI Card in the UK: Complete Guide (2022)

OCI Card Application - Step by Step Detailed Guide

Looking for the details on how to apply for an OCI card in the UK?

Today I’m going to guide you through the step-by-step process of submitting your OCI application in the UK in 2021.

If you cancelled your Indian passport to get the surrender certificate after obtaining British Citizenship, you require a valid Visa for your next visit to India. You could opt to get a Visa (or an eVisa) for India whenever you need to fly to India.

(A conventional Visa has a validity of 6 months, and an eVisa provides a double-entry validity of 60 days)

If you visit now and then, or even once a year, getting an OCI card makes sense both logistically and economically. The OCI application fee is a one-time cost for this multiple-entry life-long visa.

With an OCI card, you are granted the status of Overseas Citizen of India.

(More on the benefits of having an OCI card in a bit).

I surrendered my Indian passport and documented the detailed process here. I also covered the step-by-step procedure for my wife’s Indian passport renewal.

Both these guides ended up helping so many people. I had a massive response from everyone, and that’s evident from the number of comments I have (and still get) on each of those guides.

In those comments, you wanted me to cover a detailed step-by-step guide to the OCI application process in the UK. Well, here it is – the most anticipated guide on Comparism! 😉

But before we jump into it and I show you everything you need, I need to ask you something.

Do you send money to India?

If you do and blindly trust your bank to send money to India, you’re doing it wrong! After losing lacs in hidden charges for years, I learnt from my mistakes and never used banks for money transfers again.

Let me introduce you to the alternative money transfer services in the UK and show you how you could be losing thousands every month (without even realising it!). You can stop that TODAY – check out my personally curated best money transfer deals.

Be aware of how much you’re actually paying for your international money transfers and don’t trust any provider blindly (especially conventional banks) – do your research!

Okay, let’s get right into the OCI requirements in the UK.

OCI Application in the UK – Your Complete Guide

Here’s the entire process from start to finish covering EVERYTHING that you need to know about the OCI application process in the UK.

I hope it helps you and eases the process of OCI card application.

But why bother?

Pretty simple: the official guides aren’t good enough. And there’s nothing wrong with helping someone with the knowledge gained, right?

During the process of filing 2 OCI applications (mine and Nakul’s), I spoke to the VFS phone helpline on multiple occasions to clarify a few points, and Nakul emailed VFS with queries more than thrice! I did a single application for just myself, and Nakul prepared the OCI application pack for a family of 4. Together, we gathered vital information which is either not covered on the VFS website OR, is overly complicated and confusing!

In comparison, I found that the guides that Cox & Kings have on their website to assist the OCI application in the US are pretty detailed and useful!

Info: You can follow this guide for OCI application in the USA as well. The various milestones, documents required and timelines are quite similar. However, CKGS (Cox & Kings Global Services) handle OCI card applications (and other Passport and Consular services) in the US. So, you can skip the appointment booking part of this guide.

This OCI card application guide is to ease some of the pain – learnings from the bumpy (and fun) ride that Nakul and I went through.

If you found this guide useful in any way, please share it.

Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Whatsapp (wherever your friends and family members live! ;)) and do let me know in the comments below how your experience was.

Disclaimer: I gained a lot of knowledge on the OCI application process for the UK and as proud as I am that it got documented and has proved to help a lot of people, still I am not a lawyer and I need to add this disclaimer. Feel free to follow the instructions on this guide as this is the exact process I (and thousands of others) followed to submit OCI application in the UK. However, nothing on this website should be considered legal advice.

And before I forget!

Thanks all of you for your support and wonderful comments! I read every comment, and reply to them personally. Keep them coming! 🙂

A special mention to Nakul for sharing his learnings during the passport surrender process and for helping me with critical information for this comprehensive OCI guide. Thanks, Mez Baan (and all of you who commented) for your help in keeping this guide updated.

Okay, let’s jump right in!

What is an OCI Card?

Here’s a quick primer on what’s an OCI card.

What does OCI stand for and why is it better than applying for an Indian eVisa or a regular visa for India?

OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card is a multiple-entry lifetime visa for India without any limitations on the length of stay in India. It is a smart card with the idea to facilitate quicker immigration clearance and also, using consular services. OCI Registration Certificate, OCI Card, Overseas Citizenship of India card are the different terms used to describe this.

If you want to know more about what an OCI card is, and how it came into being, please head over to this Wikipedia article.

In this detailed OCI guide, I will refer to it at most places as an OCI card.

OCI Card Benefits and Disadvantages

You might think, “Aman, if I can quickly get a Visa or an eVisa to India, why should I bother getting an OCI card?”

Well, holding an OCI card gives you some added advantages:

  • Multiple-entry, life-long Visa to visit India
  • One-time cost
  • No need to report to authorities for any length of stay in India
  • Parity with NRIs in financial, education and economic fields (except acquisition of plantation/agricultural properties)

With an OCI card, you cannot undertake any Missionary, mountaineering and research work in India. If you plan any of this on your trip to India, you would need prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs in India.

Also, holding an OCI card doesn’t make you an Indian citizen, and you lose your voting rights in India.

Still curious? Click here to find out OCI card benefits and disadvantages.

OCI Eligibility – Who can apply for an OCI card?

Let’s see if you are eligible for an OCI card.

If you migrated from India or, are married to an Indian or, your parents/grandparents belonged to India, you are eligible to be granted the status of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI).

Minor children with foreign nationality are eligible for an OCI card if they meet any of the following criteria: Both the parents or one of the parents are either citizens of India or, are OCI cardholders.

How to apply for OCI card in the UK

The High Commission of India has outsourced the OCI application submission services in the UK to VFS Global (like Indian passport surrender and Indian passport renewal). Consequently, applying for OCI by post is not an option and you have to do it via only VFS in the UK (and CKGS in the USA).

The good thing is: it’s an online process (somewhat!), and you can apply for OCI registration online.

(except you need to visit the VFS centre still physically – twice!)

I know, even I don’t like that part!

[Update: I have been notified in the comments below that VFS is now collecting the UK passport in the first visit itself which they return back around 7 days later. This is different from how the process used to be when I got my OCI. Can you please do me a favour and let me know what happens in your case? You can drop the info using the comments section at the end of this post – want to be sure before I update this post.]

Here’s what the overall OCI card application process looks like:

  • Fill up and print OCI online Application form
  • Submit the application form, required documents and OCI application fees to the VFS centre
  • Wait for application status online to update to “Processed” (takes 6-8 weeks as advised by VFS)
  • Visit the VFS centre with the status (printout) and submit the original foreign (British) passport
  • British passport will be returned in minimum 7-10 working days (as advised by VFS) with your brand new OCI card and the originals

VFS guidance on the submission of your original British passport:

“Original passports are requested to be shown over the counter but will not be taken on the day for submission. Only details will be recorded to send across to the Indian High Commission.

Applicants may take their passports back for use, but once they are requested to resubmit the passports back to the centre when OCI is approved online, the stamping process takes a minimum of 7-10 working days.”

Now, let’s look at the process in detail.

Steps for online OCI application UK submission

In this post, I will help you submit the OCI application step-by-step (with screenshots) but briefly, here’s what you need to do in this part.

  1. Complete online OCI registration form Part-A.
  2. Upload scanned image and signature.
  3. Complete application form Part-B.
  4. At the end of part-B, upload supporting documents in PDF format.
  5. Download the OCI application form and print it.

Let me break this down for you (with screenshots).

#1. Start OCI registration form Part-A (Page-I)

Go to the OCI website and pick the option “New OCI Registration.”

New OCI Registration Application

On the next screen, answer the captcha security question and click “Enter.”

In the next step, select “Fresh Application.”

OCI Registration Fresh Application [OCI Step 2]

Select Place of submission as “UK” and the mission from the available options: London, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

This form is then further divided into three sections: Applicant’s Information, Applicant’s Passport Details and Applicant’s Family Details.

Let’s start with the OCI Applicant’s Information section.

Enter the Given Name and Surname as in your current passport (UK). If you have a middle name, both the first name and middle name need to go into the Given Name form field.

Fill in your Sex, DOB, Country and the State of Birth, Place (city) of birth, Current Nationality, Visible mark and Marital status.

Want to know more about the “visible mark” question? Click here to find out What is Visible Mark on the OCI application?

Note: As you continue filling the form, you will see a Temporary Application ID generated in red towards the top right section of the OCI form. Note this down now as if you want to continue filling the same application you can use this ID to log back into the form and continue.
OCI Registration Form - Applicant's Information

Click on Save & Continue.

In the next section, enter your Passport Details and family information.

Note: Make sure you enter your current foreign passport details here (and not the Indian passport). Years of use is the reason why entering the Indian passport number comes naturally.

The officer at VFS won’t accept your application and you would need to redo it online and visit again. I’ve been there, done that. You don’t repeat my mistake 😛

Be aware!

OCI Online Form - Enter family information [OCI Step 4]

Once done, click “Update & Continue” to proceed to the next part.

This will take you to Page-II of Part-A of the online OCI application form.

#2. OCI Application form Page-II of Part-A

Occupation Details and Address Details – that’s what this section is.

In the Occupation details section, enter the details of your employer. If you run your own business or are self-employed, this would be your own/company address.

For the present address, enter your address in the UK and for “Native Place Address,” enter your Indian address (you could use your parents’ address in India).

For Native Place Address, if you don’t have any address in India, you can use an address in the UK.

Fill in the details and click Next.

OCI Registration Occupation Details and Address [OCI Step 5]

On the next screen, verify the information you have entered so far:

  • Applicant Information
  • Family Information
  • Passport Information
  • Occupation Details
  • Residential Address Details

Please note that once you submit the details, you won’t be able to change anything on the OCI application form. If you need to change anything, click “Modify” to change the details.

Once you are happy with the information, click “Submit” to submit the OCI form.

On the next screen, you will see a confirmation message and get an OCI File Reference Number which starts with GBRL.

Note: Save the GBRL number. That’s the OCI Registration number that you need to book your VFS appointment for OCI)

Congratulations! You have completed Part-A of the OCI online application form.

OCI Registration File Reference Number - Part A Successful

#2.1. Upload scanned image and signature

You need the scanned image of your photographs and signature for this step.

After uploading the image and signature, you will be redirected to fill Part B to complete the OCI registration online.

Let’s proceed.

Your image needs to be square (1:1 aspect ratio) with a min size of 200×200 px and a max size of 900×900 px.

I scanned my photograph and edited it to fit 200×200 pixels to meet the square size requirement.

For the signatures, the aspect ratio needs to be 3:1 (width: height) with minimum dimensions 200 pixels (width) x 67 pixels (height) and maximum 900 pixels (width) x 300 pixels (height).

Note: For signatures, I signed with a black pen on a plain paper and took a picture using my phone camera. Later, I used editing software to fit it to the 3:1 aspect ratio (900px by 300px).

I used Skitch on Mac for editing – it’s free! There’s a Windows version available as well or could use any other photo editing app that you know.

You can pause at this step and come back later using the Temporary Application ID that you noted above.

Let me know in the comments if you face any issues at this step. Once you’re ready, click on “I am ready with Image.”

Upload Photo for OCI Registration Form [OCI Step 6]

On the next screen, upload the applicant’s image and signature.

Upload Applicant Image Signature - OCI Registration [OCI Step 7]

As you upload the images, the website will confirm if the uploaded images meet the guidelines.

“Applicant signature which you have selected is as per instructions. If you want to change then click the crop button and drag the white selected area or else can directly upload the original image.”

Once you see this message, you are good to proceed to the next step and click the “Upload” button.“

You will now see your uploaded image and your signature below the image. If you notice any issues, click on “I want to upload again” to go one step back and upload again. Edit again if you need to.

Once you are happy with how your image and signature look, click on “I have uploaded successfully.”

OCI Card UK Registration - Image and Signature Upload Success

You will see the confirmation on the next screen, and you can now click “Proceed to Part-B” to continue with the next part of the OCI form.

OCI Registration Proceed to Part B [OCI Step 8]

#3. OCI Registration Part-B

Part-B of the OCI application form is mainly about your Citizenship Details.

It’s divided into three sections: Citizenship Details, Present Nationality Details and Other Details.

In the first section, answer all the questions about your Citizenship in the questionnaire.

OCI Card Registration Part B Citizenship Details [OCI Step 9]

Proceed to the next step.

It’s about your existing nationality details – you need to provide details about how you acquired British Citizenship (Naturalisation/Registration etc.).

Provide the date of naturalisation as a British Citizen.

In the “Other Details” section, select the previous nationality of the applicant If you have any relatives staying in India, answer “Yes” and enter their details.

Click “Submit”

OCI Card Registration Part B Applicant Nationality Details [OCI Step 10]

Next, you will get a confirmation screen.


You’re almost done!

If you have made it this far, you have successfully completed Part-A (including online documents upload) and Part-B of the OCI application form.

OCI Card Registration Upload Documents - Part-B Successful [OCI Step 11]

Finally, the next step is to upload supporting documents for your OCI application.

Click on the “Upload Documents” button.

Note: For this part, you only need to upload the scanned copies of your documents.

The signed application form (and other documents required for OCI in UK) still need to be submitted at VFS centre in-person.

In a bit, I will also go through the OCI documents checklist for UK you need to submit at the VFS centre.

Let’s take a look:

OCI Documents required to upload online

Here’s the list of documents required to upload online for a fresh OCI application.

  • Current British passport and Naturalisation Certificate for British Citizenship
  • Proof of Indian origin – Copy of cancelled Indian passport and surrender certificate

Note: The file size for supporting documents needs to be less than 1MB. If you scanned your documents in high resolution you can compress the files using a pdf compressor tool online.

If you’re worried about privacy and would rather keep your sensitive personal information offline, I recommend using the native tools on your PC/Mac.

For Mac, you don’t need to install any new apps because the inbuilt app “Preview” works pretty well. For a PC, you might need to download a pdf editor (print-to-pdf is a feature in Windows 10 so could save you some hassle). Let me know if you face any issues in getting your OCI document files to the right size.


As per the latest update to the OCI process (a rather silent one – yet again!), you can now upload all the supporting documents as part of your online application itself. No photocopy or original supporting documents needed to submit with your application. To upload multiple documents, combine them into a single PDF and upload under an available similar category. As per the notification, any application without all documents uploaded online won’t be accepted.

As you can imagine, this guide would yet again require an update (after the recent changes to the appointment booking portal). Please follow the VFS documents checklist list and upload them online instead, I’ll update this guide to move things around when I get a chance. Also, please add your updates and feedback about your experience, timelines, and any tips in the comments – that’s the only way we can have at least one guide on the internet that’s up to date – by coming together to help each other! 😉

Additional OCI documents (depending on your case)

  • Indian Visa (if applicable): If you hold an Indian visa (with 3+ months validity), upload a copy
  • Spouse OCI card and Marriage Certificate: if “Spouse” is the basis of your OCI application
  • Relationship Certificate: Birth certificates of your parents/grandparents depending on the basis of your application
  • PIO Card: If you are a PIO cardholder and applying to get an OCI card in lieu of PIO, then upload a copy of your PIO card photo page and last bio-page
  • Existing OCI card: If you already have an OCI card and are applying for a renewal after getting a new passport, upload a copy of your OCI card to Indian Visa “Document Type”.

VFS UK has mentioned on their OCI Guidelines “applicants may not be able to load all the supporting documents, as there are limited options asking for specific documents. Hence only upload the documents mentioned in the drop-down menu on the website.”

So this is what I did – I uploaded cancelled Indian passport and Surrender certificate scans together as a single file.

You can combine the docs and upload a single pdf file if you want to.

OCI Card Registration Upload Documents Online - Final Submit [OCI Step 12]

Click “Final Submit” to submit your OCI application!

The button will change to Generate Application Form.

OCI Card Registration UK - Generate Registration Form [OCI Step 13]

Click on the Generate Application Form button to download the OCI application form straight to your computer.

Print it.

Now that you have got the OCI Application form, the next step is to book an appointment for OCI service at VFS UK (or CKGS in the US).

That’s how you are required to submit the OCI application form along with the required documents (originals and self-attested photocopies) in-person to the selected centre and pay the OCI application fees.

Let me quickly show you how to book the appointment right away.

OCI Appointment Booking in the UK

You need to book an appointment to submit your OCI application at the VFS centre of your jurisdiction.

The old Online Appointment System for VFS to book and reschedule appointments has now been closed. The process in this post has been updated for the new Appointment Booking System on the HCI (High Commission of India) website.

To book a prior OCI application appointment in the UK, follow the below steps:

  • Step #1. Go to this link and click “Schedule an Appointment” to access the Online Appointment System for VFS.
Online appointment booking for OCI - High Commission of India
  • Step #2. Select service as “OCI” and then select Location. The page will refresh and bring up the calendar with available slots.

Look for an available (GREEN) one and click on it to book it.

OCI Appointment Booking Selection High Commission of India Website - VFS UK

RED: Already booked or No service available on the day
GREEN: Appointments available
GREY: Slots not yet open for booking

The VFS appointment centre options for each jurisdiction are:

Jurisdiction (Mission to Select on Form)Location to Submit the Application
LondonVFS Goswell
VFS Hounslow
VFS Cardiff
VFS Belfast
BirminghamVFS Birmingham
VFS Bradford
VFS Leicester
VFS Manchester
EdinburghVFS Edinburgh

I booked my OCI appointment at VFS Hounslow which is one of the other two four options (now) for London jurisdiction (the other ones are Goswell, Cardiff and Belfast).

Note: Please make sure you select the VFS centre as per your jurisdiction only. If you book an appointment at any VFS centre outside your jurisdiction to get an early appointment, VFS will ask you to book the OCI appointment again at the VFS centre of your jurisdiction.

Follow this link to find out your jurisdiction based on your county.

  • Step #3: Select a date and then, pick a time slot. Once you have selected a date and time for your VFS appointment, the below two fields will be filled for you based on your date-time selection.
    • Date of submission of application
    • Appointment Time
  • Step #4 (Last Step): Now, enter Applicant Details (shown below).
    • Name of the applicant as given on passport
    • Passport Number
    • Email ID
    • Mobile Number

If you’re applying together as a family, you can at this point select the option and add the names and passport numbers for your family members. A family of three persons can book a single appointment. If you’re booking the appt. for more than three people, you can split them into multiple groups and book another appointment.

Enter Applicant Details - VFS appointment for OCI application in the UK

Click “Schedule Appointment Now” to proceed.

At this point, you’ll get a booking confirmation of your OCI appointment. Print it as you will need it on the day of the appointment. You’ll also get an email confirmation with a summary of your appointment details.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t get the email – the printout of the appointment confirmation you downloaded above will suffice.

OCI appointment – What happens on the day?

Because you attended VFS to submit your Indian passport cancellation application, you already know the drill!

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Report at the VFS centre at your designated appointment time (a few minutes earlier is OK!)
  • Security personnel will make preliminary checks and issue you a token number for the OCI queue.
  • Wait for your number – you might have to wait (hopefully not too long!) if the centre is running behind schedule on the day for OCI appointments.
  • Once called, submit your application and supporting docs at the counter and pay the OCI application fees.

A few pointers:

Don’t bother sticking your photo on the form yet – the security personnel could provide you with this cool (nothing fancy – don’t get your hopes high!) double-sided tape. You can use this to fix photos (one in the main box) and another just right below the main picture (there’s a space in the family details section right side area on the printed form).

When you check-in, someone at the reception will ask you to fill a separate “undertaking” form to enter your name, passport number and sign it.

Documents required for OCI at the VFS center


As per the latest update to the OCI process (a rather silent one – yet again!), you can now upload all the supporting documents as part of your online application itself. No photocopy or original supporting documents need to be submitted with your application. To upload multiple documents, combine them into a single PDF and upload under an available similar category. As per the notification, any application without all documents uploaded online won’t be accepted. As you can imagine, this guide would yet again require an update (after the recent update to the appointment booking portal. Please follow the below list and upload them online instead, I’ll update this guide to move things around.

Here’s a checklist of documents required for OCI in the UK that you’d need when visiting the VFS centre for your OCI appointment in person.

  • OCI Application form (that you printed earlier!)
  • Signed Declaration Form – same as you did for Surrender Certificate application [Download here]
  • 2 photographs 50mmx50mm (same as the digital copy you uploaded on the online OCI application form)
  • British Passport copy (valid for at least six months) – you need to carry the original passport as well for verification.
  • Marriage certificate, if you’re married
  • Naturalisation certificate (or relevant document for any other method (like Registration) used to obtain British Citizenship)
  • Employee Letter from your current employer
    • If unemployed, you can provide proof of last employment along with bank statements for the current account.
    • If you own a business in the UK, you can provide proof of Tax Returns submitted to HMRC along with Company incorporation documents. A letter from your accountant would suffice as well.
  • Proof of Indian Origin
    • If you were born in India, held an Indian passport and obtained foreign nationality after May 2010: Indian Passport Surrender Certificate or, Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate (if you cannot produce the surrender certificate for any reason
  • Two self-addressed Royal Mail special delivery envelopes (Silver A4 sized) per application.

In addition to the OCI document checklist above, you might need the below documents depending on your case:

Case #1. Held an Indian passport and acquired foreign nationality before May 2010 OR if you were born in India but never held an Indian passport  OR cannot produce the Indian Passport Surrender certificate for any reason (lost/misplaced etc.)?
  • A notarized affidavit from the UK stating the facts about your passport, how you travelled to the UK and any one of the below documents in original. VFS/HCI call them “Other necessary documents of Indian origin.”
  • Domicile certificate
  • Original Birth Certificate issued by Indian Municipality or Panchayat
  • School Leaving Certificate – if you are getting a school leaving certificate later than at the time of leaving school, it would need to be authenticated District Magistrate/Collector of the area with name, stamp, seal and contact information for verification.
  • Agriculture land

If you can provide the Surrender certificate and copy of cancelled Indian passport, then you don’t need to give the “Other necessary documents of Indian origin.”

Case #2.  Applying for OCI on the basis of Indian origin of your Parents/Grandparents or Spouse
  • proof of Indian origin for who you are basing the application on, in addition to the below:
  • Your full version birth certificate with both parent’s details on it
  • Marriage certificate registered for not less than two years (if applying on the basis of Spouse’s Indian origin)
  • Parent’s full version birth certificate (if applying for OCI on the basis of Grandparents)
Case #3. Applying OCI for minors
  • Marriage certificate for parents
  • Full version birth certificate for your child
  • Parents’ passport copies
  • UK Visa/BRP copies (if parents hold Indian passport)
Case #4. PIO to OCI conversion application
  • PIO (Person of Indian Origin card)

Comparism Tips:

  • Take single-sided print-outs
  • You need to accompany all the originals I have listed above with a set of photocopies.
  • All photocopies need to be self-attested. For OCI application of minor children, the documents need to be self-attested by both parents.
  • Carry the documents in two separate bundles – one for Originals and the other for self-attested photocopies of those originals.
  • Make sure you carry TWO special delivery envelopes PER application. Or, you end up paying for the more expensive courier service by VFS.

OCI Card fees in the UK

The total cost to get an OCI card in the UK is £201.44. The amount includes OCI application fees of £194 and another £7.44 for the VFS Service Fee. You can pay the OCI fees using Cash, Debit Card or via Postal Order or Bank Draft payable to “VF Services UK Ltd.”

Note: At the time of this write-up, VFS no longer accept Credit Cards for any services. So make sure to carry one of the accepted payment methods.

OCI Card Processing Time in the UK

From submission to VFS to getting your brand new OCI card in hand, the OCI process takes about 6-8 weeks.

However, how long it takes to get an OCI card may vary depending on case by case.

If you are planning on visiting India anytime soon, you need to consider the OCI processing time so it fits with your itinerary and plans. If you cannot apply for an OCI card right now or won’t receive it in time, you can always apply for an Indian Visa or even more convenient Indian eVisa.

When I planned to apply for OCI, I had to travel to India twice and did so using eVisa (I got it in less than 24 hours – follow my detailed guide here!)

OCI Application status

You can track the current status of your OCI card application here using the OCI Registration Number (GBRLXXXXXXXX).

Collection of OCI Card and Supporting Documents

Because the OCI application is no longer submitted directly to the Indian mission, VFS takes care of the collection and delivery of OCI cards in the UK.

Once the Indian mission approves your OCI application, VFS will organise the delivery of the OCI card and your original supporting documents.

For getting your OCI card delivered, as I mentioned on the OCI documents checklist, you are required to provide two prepaid self-addressed Special Delivery envelopes (Silver Royal Mail ones) from your side to return the documents and OCI Card. You can buy them from any post office.

You can also choose the courier service offered at the VFS centre but it’s more expensive compared to the Royal Mail option.

OCI Card UK: Wrapping Up

I hope this detailed guide helps you in the OCI application process in the UK after surrendering your Indian passport. I followed the exact process to apply for OCI in the UK that successfully got me a brand new OCI card.

I make regular updates to the timelines and FAQs section but now I rely on YOUR feedback in the comments section. If this guide helps you a tiny bit in your OCI card application, please update in the comments if you find any of the parts don’t hold good anymore.

That will help keep this OCI guide up to date and will help even more people.

When I started to prepare my OCI application, I had a lot of doubts after reading the official VFS guide and ended up going through various forums to clarify them.

I have done my bit by giving you this detailed guide to the whole OCI card process.

Now it’s your turn! I’d like to hear from you: Maybe, you have a question?

Drop me a quick comment below. I personally reply to comments and questions that come in. However, I’m a one-man team in this area and my response could sometimes be delayed. Please sift through the comments already on there as most scenarios have already been answered.

You can also try using Ctrl/Cmd + F to find the phrase you’re after. To keep the community vibe going, I have decided not to switch off comments as they help in keeping the guide up to date that helps everyone.

If you found the guide helpful, please don’t forget to share it with your friends, colleagues and family members. Please also spread the word and consider leaving us a review on Trustpilot – means the world to me.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to get a new OCI card when your passport is renewed/re-issued?

Depends. It is mandatory to get the OCI card re-issued every time you renew your passport up to the age of 20 years and ONLY ONCE after attaining the age of 50 years because of frequent changes to facial features in this age group.

If you get your first OCI card AFTER turning 50, you are NOT required to renew it ever again. OCI registration certificate is not mandatory each time your passport is renewed/reissued between 21-50 years of age.

Can you submit the OCI application on behalf of your family member(s)?

Yes. Only immediate family members may submit applications on behalf of other family members. You must provide proof of relationship (original passport/identity paper/document).

Can I apply for an OCI card by post?

No, applying for OCI in the UK by post is not an option and you have to do it only via VFS.

Do you need to submit your original passport for OCI application?

Not at the time of submitting the documents the first time. When you submit your application to VFS, the original passport is needed for verification – you get the original passport back.

Once the status of your OCI application shows “processed” online, you need to revisit the application centre with the printout of the online status and submit your original British (foreign) passport. You will receive it back in 7-10 working days after submission along with the new OCI booklet.

Do you need to book an appointment again to submit the original British Passport and Status proof?

No. After submitting the documents at the VFS centre, when the online status shows that HCI has received the OCI application, you do not need to schedule an appointment again. You can submit the documents on any working day between 8:30 am – 11 am.

Can you apply for duplicate OCI documents in case of loss of OCI registration certificate?

Yes, you can. If you lose your OCI documents, you’ll need to file a complaint with the police authorities and enclose a copy of the complaint with the application. Also, duplicate OCI documents are issued only after a personal interview.

384 thoughts on “How to Get OCI Card in the UK: Complete Guide (2022)”

  1. Borun Majumdar

    Hi Aman – fantastic guide offering such clarity to a confusing OCI website/instructions.
    I have just started filling out the application form and chose to Exit and Save to clear my head as I struggled with the definition of Relation to Root Indian! I have been given a temporary application ID but how do I log back in to retrieve my application form?! And I haven’t even started on the more challenging requirements! It’s really frustrating me as it should be a simple straightforward step…or is it not? 🙂
    Appreciate your help!

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Borun,

      So, if you go back to the first step on the OCI portal, you will see two options: Fill New Application and Complete Partially-Filled Application. Click on the second option and enter the temporary ID.


  2. Hi,
    Can you please advise on visa to India as e-visa is not allowed at the moment what is the procedure to follow if I don’t receive my OCI in time to fly . Please

    1. Hi Sheela,

      You’ll need to apply for the normal visa (paper visa – the sticker that’d go on your British passport) to India which could take 3 days to 2 weeks from submission. Thanks

  3. Hi Aman,
    I finally received my OCI card. Thanks for your guidance. Here is the timeline:
    Application submitted at VFS Birmingham: 1st April.
    Govt website showing Status as “Under process”: 4th April (Its like an acknowledgement that my application & papers have been received and assigned to a caseworker)
    Status changed to “Approved”: 6th may.
    Received my OCI card: 12th May.
    Total time from Start to Finish – 6 weeks (there were many public holidays during this period in UK as well as in India).
    Some Observations – The VFS only accepts an application if all the required papers are there and everything is in order. So, If the application has been accepted at VFS counter, one can assume that the OCI card will follow (unless there is some red flag against the applicant’s background). The staff at VFS is extremely helpful. Don’t forget to carry a permanent UK address proof. Its a must.
    I will be happy to answer any questions from future applicants….Rajesh

  4. Hi,
    Can anyone please update
    1)the current processing time for OCI
    2) do we still have to go to VFS second time to deposit original passport?

    1. Hi Sarav,

      Based on the recent comments on this guide, it’s about 4-6 weeks. No, you don’t need to go to VFS the second time.


      1. Thanks Aman,
        I am applying for my infant son. I have uploaded documents, thumb impression, and photograph. Do we need to carry physical printed photograph to vfs or does scanned uploaded pic suffice?

  5. Hey Neethu, thanks for your comment 🙂

    No, now that you have received the OCI booklets (🎉) you are done with this whole process.

    The second visit is no longer required and wasn’t verified by myself so that’s added as an update to the post (in the grey box). The “collecting the British passport” bit also is not very consistent. Some readers here reported the passports were taken, some have said they just got verified. So you’re good.

    The post needs updating for a few things that weren’t verifiable and not all people who use this guide come back and update on how it went. My wife’s Surrender/OCI applications are coming up so all these guides will get a “first hand” refresh in the coming weeks 😉

    Would it be okay if I could email you and speak to you to ask you a few things about feedback on the guide?

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers and congrats again.

  6. Hi all and thank you so much Aman for this detailed guide. We did all the bits and received our OCI booklet via the courier 2 days back. What confused me was that they “never” took our UK passports at the first appointment and I thought once the status shows “processed” online, we have to go back to VFS and submit the Original British passports for them to issue the OCI booklets. Now that the OCI booklets have come through; should we bother with another appointment to submit original British passports?

    Have anyone faced this recently… we weren’t sure as the booklets look all done and genuine. Not sure if we missed something as pretty sure they never kept our British passports… Any help to clarify whether a further process is needed would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot!


    1. Hi Neethu, I am waiting for the outcome of my OCI application which I submitted on 1st April. It is still under process (Birmingham Consulate). May I request you to share a detailed timeline of you application so that those who are waiting have some idea about when to expect the outcome….rajesh

      1. Hi Rajesh, Sure we submitted application at VFS on April 1st and we received the OCI booklet around 22nd/23rd. So it didn’t take that long. We were at the Hounslow branch. Do note that our UK passports were issued very close about in December and we surrendered Indian passports in Jan or so. So the time scale between these events are very close. Also the documents we uploaded were Ok-ed by VFS (if that’s any help). Hopefully that helps and all the very best!

  7. Hi, Do i need to submit My British passport mandatorily during on appointment for OCI application?
    I have an appointment next ween ok 26 april and i have to travel for business on 27 so is there a way VFS can agree to verify my original passport and return at the same time?


    1. Hi Pranav, sorry for my delayed reply. In most cases, VFS only verifies it and doesn’t keep it, so I think you should be okay if you ask. I just noticed your appointment was on 26th (my bad!), can you please update here on what happened in the end?

  8. Hi Aman, Thats a brilliantly explained steps. Thanks a ton. May God BLess you brother.

    I got one query. In the self addressed envelope, I have put my address in the TO section. What do i enter in the Senders address. I dont know if it will be VFS or HCI London address to be entered there


    1. Hi Robert, Thanks for your comment appreciate it 🙂
      VFS address should be fine but it won’t really matter if you added either. Hope this helps.

  9. Hey Venkat, In my case, I mentioned the Indian PP number on the application form itself. If your’s is correct on the application form and only wrongly entered on the appointment form, I think it should be fine. If the next appointment is anyways after 45 days, I would take the chance and visit this appointment and mention the issue to the attendant there.

    Please do let me know how it goes. Thanks.

  10. Hi Aman
    Thanks for the detailed information and very helpful.
    I have got my OCI appointment in London VFS. Is it ok to book anywhere for your appointment or only your consular area mine is Birmingham. I didn’t get an appointment in Birmingham VFS. I just need to clarify with you.

    1. Hi Lakshmi, Yes it’s totally fine. Please just make sure the form you filled matches the jurisdiction you’re going to be visiting to apply. Cheers.

  11. Timelines:
    Appointment at VFS Birmingham on: 14-Feb-22
    Acknowledgement by Birmingham Consulate & status change to “UNDER-PROCESS” on: 15-Feb-22
    Received Passport and Surrender Cert by 1 day courier 15/- on: 17-Feb-22
    Status changed to “PROCESSED” on: 10-Mar-22
    Received OCI card by 3 day courier 8/- on: 15-Mar-22
    TIME TO PROCESS: 24 days (3.43 weeks)
    TIME UNTIL RECEIPT: 29 days (4.14 weeks)

    At the time of Appointment, IHC site showed 4-6 weeks from this time, VFS said 6-8 weeks.
    No signing was required for delivery of documents (independent house with post slot on entrance door).
    IMPORTANT: Remember your British Passport number is to be used for application purposes as you have officially surrendered your Indian PP. However, we accidentally used the British passport number for appointment only and they were ok with this. VFS tried hard-line sales tactics for their overly expensive courier service. While we successfully used Royal Mail Silver Envelope for Surrender Certificate, we had to give up for the OCI application and accept one 15/- courier for return of British Passport (needed it for travel) and 8/- service for return of OCI card. They do not openly tell you, but they offer the 3 day courier service for 8/- (this is more reasonable as it compares in price to the Royal Mail next day guaranteed delivery).

    1. Hey Shanthi,

      Thanks again for your detailed updates here – I really appreciate it. Congrats on receiving your OCI successfully. 🎉

      Cheers on making the point about using the British Passport number on your application and not the Indian one – this happened to me and I have already got a highlight about this on the post about my epic blunder. 😂

      Great tip on the cheaper 3-day alternative. I will add this to the guide once we get others to confirm they got this alternative at their centre too. One of our readers Shruti is visiting the VFS Hounslow tomorrow – great to put this info to test then. 😉


      1. Yes I had read your ‘epic blunder’ despite that ….

        The government website and vfs both mention the £8/- alternative.
        They just try to scare you if you try to use the Royal Mail Envelopes

    2. Hi Shanthi,

      Bit confused. After the status changed to “PROCESSED” do I need to collect the OCI card or do they post it to my address.

      1. You would have either supplied 2 envelopes or paid for 2 deliveries. One is for return of submitted originals and the other for delivery of OCI card itself. So it will be posted to you (using the method of delivery you chose)

    3. Hi, I have used Indian passport number accidentally for OCI appointment and couldn’t change it. I guess you were in same situation is that correct? I am not able to decide whether to rebook the appointment which is after 45 days or attend the appointment which was booked with Indian passport number. Any suggestions on this would be great help. Thanks.

      1. Hi Venkat, it is not a problem. We had done the same and phoned and confirmed this was ok, as well as emailed and confirmed this was ok. Appointment was done. Basically, the number in the appointment is used to verify identity, as long as you have the application correctly filled up with British Passport.

  12. Hi Aman, your OCI guidance continues to help so many of us. I can’t thank you enough. I just want to share one point here. There is a very long waiting-list for OCI appointments. An easy way to jump this queue is to book an OCI appointment even before you surrender your Indian passport. I booked both my appointments (Surrender of Indian passport and OCI) at the same time and I kept a gap of 15 days between the 2 appointments so that I could get my surrender certificate in time for the OCI appointment. And it worked perfectly. There is nothing in the system that prevents you from booking an OCI appointment before surrendering Indian passport. I hope this helps the future applicants. I have lived in India for years. Endless waiting to get any application move in India for any purpose has made us find our ways to negotiate the system. Cheers.

  13. Thank you for such an elaborate blog.It was of an immense help to me during surrender and oci application .I have received my U.K. passport and surrender certificate within 8 days ,Applied on Feb 2022 (thankfully no trips to the councellate) .

    In addition to all the documents mentioned in Oci checklist to be uploaded they asked for an address proof too .Thankfully I had my DL on me and uploaded it as well and it saved me.

  14. Hi Aman,
    Appointment completed 14Feb22.
    To help other members here, I am posting a few points after the OCI application submission at BirminghamVFS.
    (1) They took the original surrender certificate and original British passport. Said these will be returned in a week.
    (2) Both times (surrender and OCI applicaiton), it was a struggle to get them to accept our own envelopes as they kept threatening that Royal Mail can take months and that they are not responsible about it. It is an illegal rip off by VFS to charge 15/- for a courier service. For surrender, we insisted on using our own Royal Mail special delivery and it worked well. This time, we asked for British passport to be returned using their 15/- rip off service (oops courier) and OCI card our own envelope. When all their intimidation tactics failed, they then refused to accept our envelope saying (1) it is too big (2) it is a used envelope and they wont be sealing the envelope. In the end we gave up and purchased 15+8 = 23. If we were not planning a travel, I would pay no more than 8+8 = 16.

    The whole Surrender and OCI process need to be streamlined by India, and they should reduce the need of 2 vistis (in all honesty, I fail to see why it can all not be done by post in the UK!)

    1. Hey Shanthi,

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Regarding your point 2), I can see VFS pushing people into using their own courier service using fear and sales tactics but there is nothing wrong with using the RoyalMail ones. I’ve tweeted the VFS customer care here. Please retweet it so it gets some traction so they can answer our query. 😉

      Regarding your point about surrender and OCI separate applications, I couldn’t agree with your more. I hope in the coming years, they combine them reducing the hassle.


      1. will retweet!

        On a positive note, Appointment 14-Feb-22, Acknowledgement by Birmingham Consulate 15-Feb-22, Passport and Surrender Cert received 17-Feb-22

        On a not so positive note, Birmingham IHC has changed OCI timeline as 4-12 weeks for fresh!!! (previously it was 4-6 weeks on the site and VFS said 6 weeks)

        By the way, your site does not send any follow-up comments email to me….

        1. Hey Shanthi, Thanks for your update here.

          I think that’s the promised SLA they’ve updated but the process shouldn’t take that long from what I am hearing from the people who successfully got their OCIs after following my guide.

          Thanks for letting me know about the comments. Did you confirm the optin as I have set it to only send emails if you agree to receive them by clicking the confirmation link delivered to your email?


          1. Thanks Aman. (1) we got OCI in about 4 weeks (posted timeline and details in a new comment)
            The notifications have been coming through fine now – thanks

  15. You are a lifesaver ! The official guides were as clear as mud and had too much unnecessary and confusing information. Not written for the user in a hurry at all ! I was just look for a step by step guide without the jargon and this article is fantastic !

      1. Hi Aman, I made a comment with our experience at VFS Birmingham, thought it will be useful to others.
        But as before, the post is not here …

        1. Hey Shanthi, The comments go into a moderation queue – your comment has been approved now. Thank you for sharing your update here, appreciate it. 🙂

  16. Hi Ambi,

    Thanks much for your kind comment – I’m glad you found this useful. 🙌🏼
    Please consider leaving us a review on Trustpilot, and subscribing to my free newsletter.

    Regarding your query, the requirement now is indeed to use the same photo as the one you used on the digital form. The size needs to be 2x2inch (50x50mm).

    Your options are:

    • Take the digital copy (that you uploaded) to a Boots photo service (or something similar around your area) and get them printed
    • If you have a printer, you can print at home. You’ll need photo paper.
    • Or, you can use this online service; you can upload your photo for a printed version to be delivered at your home (

    All the best!


    1. Thx Aman , information you wrote about OCI is Very useful . With your guidance I got my and my son OCI today

      1. Thanks a lot, Mr Dhillon 😊

        I’m glad you found it useful. I hope you didn’t mind adding your timeline here so others could have a reference – thanks, really appreciate it.

        Also, please consider leaving a review on Trustpilot, would mean the world. 🙌🏼


        1. Hi Aman ,thanks for your guide , its brilliant
          i was literally back from vfs , Cardiff for an oci submit 11/02/2022 even i’ve got couple of doubts ,
          do i need to take one more appointment to collect docs ,i was upload docs under marriage and pio i got no option for them
          vfs guys told me its okay ?


          1. Hi Sun,

            Sorry for the late reply. Comparism readers who used this guide have been telling me, the second visit is no longer required. Your OCI card and the supporting documents are now returned to you by mail.
            Yes, uploading between categories is not a major issue.


      2. Hi Mr Dhillon, will be very helpful if you can clarify a couple of points, our appointment is day after.
        (1) did you have to submit British Passport? If so, how soon did you get that and other original documents back?
        (2) what return delivery service did you use
        Thanks in advance

  17. Hi Aman,

    I recently applied for OCI in London.

    1. On address proof just wanted to add they did accept mobile bill, payslip which has address on it and a letter from my bank Lloyds. You do not necessarily need a utility bill or rental agreement.

    2. They do not take your british passport original. Just need it with you to verify it. And you do not need to go back a 2nd time to vfs to give your british passport. They do not need the original at all.

    3. They do accept the royal mail A4 silver envelope. No need for a hard cover envelope to be given to them.

    4. All documents being submitted need to be self attested. They made me self attest everything i was submitting to VFS.

    They did say OCI currently as of 21.01.2022 is being issued very quickly and did tell me i should receive it in 2-3 weeks.

    Hope this helps anyone looking for advice.

    1. They took our British Passport. It was returned in just a few days in one of the two courier envelopes (we paid £15 for the first courier as we needed passport for travel and opted for the £8 courier for OCI card itself)

  18. Mohammed Hayat

    Hi Aman

    Thank you very much for the comprehensive and helpful guide.

    Do you (or anyone else) know about a possible issue with viewing uploaded documents? The 3rd document I have uploaded (Indian Origin Proof) seems unviewable. Everytime I try to view it to verify, it gives me an error saying ‘Error loading pdf’. I have tried re-uploading as well but no luck. The file size is well under 1 MB.

    I am thinking of starting a fresh application to see if that would help and just abandon this one.


    1. Hi Mohammed, thanks for your comment. 🙏

      Please check if your PDF filename has any special characters? Try once without any (with only alphabets).

      Hope this was the issue.

      Leaving this open for others to add their view as well. 🙂


      1. Mohammed Hayat

        Hi Aman, thanks for accepting my comment.

        I found the issue.

        The problem is not the file, it is the category of ‘Indian Origin Proof’ itself.

        I tried uploading another file under this category (a file that had successfully uploaded under another category and was viewable) and it had the same issue. I also tried uploading my Indian Origin Proof document under another category and guess what, it worked fine. There is definitely something broken about the ‘Indian Origin Proof’ category at the moment.

        Obviously, I had to upload my passport and surrender certificate somewhere. So I uploaded it under the ‘Indian Visa’ category and added an explanatory page at the start of my UK passport pdf, explaining the situation.

        I have my appointment at VFS in Edinburgh on February 2nd. I will update this thread as my application progresses. Hopefully it should be ok!


      2. Ambi vaghjiani

        Hi Aman

        I have had so much headache trying to apply for an OCI on multiple occasions, the process is so longwinded and complicated…gave up and thought I would try it again.

        I stumbled across you ‘very detailed’ guidance – absolutely AMAZING!! THANK YOU!!
        You have made it so easy to follow. My only concern is the photo I have uploaded on the application form is a digital photo and don’t have 2 more that I need when visiting the office – do you think this will suffice?

        Thanks again – your guidance is excellent!!

      3. this issue now seems resolved, I am able to view the Indian Origin Proof, but decided to leave repeat copy of the same I had uploaded in Visa category

    2. I have the same issue. Did a new application, the third document passport and related are 900kb, pdf, but no matter what it is not viewable. hope this helps

      1. An update that Mohammad’s solution worked.
        Also, Aman, my posts do not seem to appear in the Surrender or OCI sections.
        The Application form seems to have changed a bit in the last couple of weeks

        1. Hey Shanthi, Thanks for your update here.

          I can see your earlier comment on the OCI post? Are you facing any issues? Please let me know.

          Also, can you please let me know if anything specific? Anyways, we are going to be applying for OCI in a month or so. So that would be a great opportunity to have the updated 2022 version (with all new screenshots etc) that should then help others for years to come 😉


  19. Hi Aman Bhaji, I want to share timeline for OCI. First of all I want to thankyou that I followed step by step guideline on the comparison website. Very well explained and easy to follow all the steps.
    vfs Edinburgh appointment 29th Nov.21,
    1st December 21 acknowledgment,
    5th Jan OCI Processed and printed,
    6th Dispatched from New Delhi and today 12th Jan 2022 I received my brand new OCI via special delivery.

    I hope this helps and everyone get their OCI very soon.

    Many Thanks,

    1. Congratulations!
      If you had to upload all documents along with the application, please update as requested by Aman in this guide above:
      Did you have to make 2 visits to VFS or was the British passport collected at the first visit and returned?
      Did you require photocopies of everything?

  20. Hi Aman,

    Great guide – I just went by the step by step as prescribed for both surrendering passport and processing the OCI. I have had no major issues. My OCI status says PROCESSED. SO I presume I should get the card in 2 weeks or hopefully less.

    But I had one thing to point out which was a hickup for me. They asked me for an attested Offer Letter (attested by Manager) or Payslips. I had payslips handy, so could go out and get a quick print.

    Another thing is that it was an OCI for me. I had not applied for my wife who is Greek. But they insisted that I should provide the copy of wife’s passport. Thought it should be added to the new list of rules.

    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

  21. Hi Aman,

    Recently i applied for OCI for my 5yr old kid details below –
    Application submitted – 3rd November
    Application acknowledged – 5th November
    Received Passport and other documents after verification – 15th November
    Application PROCESSED and printing – 30th November
    OCI card despatched from Delhi and received in London – 2nd December
    Waiting for OCI card now.

    When i raised case with OCI helpdesk they are telling still the application is UNDER-PROCESS but as per status its already processed and sent to London.Kid tickets booked for 9th december.

    If i dont receive OCI on time, can he travel to india carrying the OCI number or does he need to wait till he gets OCI?
    Also, howmany days it will take for VFS london to despatch OCI card to applicant?

    Could you please shed some light on my queries.

    Really appreciate your help.

    1. Hi Sriram,

      First of all, my apologies for the late reply. I hope you got your son’s OCI in time and that he is getting to travel as planned.

      As far as I understand, unfortunately, the immigration officers in India will require a physical card and not just the number. Having said that, I haven’t come across this scenario before so curious to hear back from you.

      All the best, brother. Would you please mind letting me know how it goes?


  22. Hi Aman,

    I am currently in process of applying OCI for my family of 4. I have filled online application and now need to book appointment at VFS to physically submit application. I am from Birmingham jurisdiction but there are no appointments available in any VFS in Birmingham jurisdiction. I am thinking to resubmit application in London jurisdiction and submit application at VFS Belfast because there are many appointments. I have couple of queries on this

    – Do we need to visit VFS twice, if yes then do we need to same VFS second time to submit British passport when OCI application status shows approved? Or we can visit any VFS in that jurisdiction?
    – I am planning to visit on my own to submit application on behalf of my wife and kids. I will take an authorisation letter from my wife. Is there anything else I need to carry?

    If anyone can answer who has recently submitted OCI application then it will be really helpful.


  23. Hi Piyush, Yes, sorry I completely forgot about the temporary eVisa suspension for British citizens.

    You can try calling VFS at +442037938629 or 09057570045 Monday – Friday 08:30 hrs – 17:30 hrs (except for holidays).

    Alternatively, drop an email to [email protected]

    All the best mate.

  24. I am applying for OCI for 2 children and had appointment on Wednesday. They said I had not uploaded address proof and childrens birth certificates and I should do so by 3pm.
    On the document upload facility there is no option to upload these specific items so I just used one of the other options – was that okay to do ?

    1. Hi Daljit,

      Uploading to the relevant category keeps things organized and straightforward for the caseworker to understand your docs but it’s not the end of the world if you’ve uploaded to a different generic category. Should be okay.


      1. Hi Nisar. In terms of current turn around time. Did you get yours back yet? My partner applied Oct 8th (just after you) & we are waiting desperately! Thanks!

      2. Hi I submitted mine on 14th oct still in under process. Have you got yours ? How long does it at current times. Is anyone else get Their recently? Booked tickets for India really worried about it.

  25. Hi Aman,

    Thanks a lot for all info and details.
    one quick question – which passport number to be given for Appointment booking? India or UK? for OCI


    1. Hey Karthik,

      By the time you apply for OCI, you’re supposed to already have your cancelled Indian passport (to get the surrender certificate) so technically you shouldn’t any longer hold the valid Indian passport. You need to enter your UK passport details, please.


  26. Hi Aman,
    Thanks for this detailed guide. Very helpful!

    I have a question regarding what name to add under Given and last name in OCI application.

    I have had single name in India as surname is not compulsory in India but when I got my British passport they added xxx in Given Name and Aaryaa in Last name with a note that “The holder is Aaryaa (The holder has one name and reference to xxx does not form part of their name)”

    As per my Indian passport my Given/First Name is Aaryaa and Last Name is *blank*

    My bank statements, utility bills etc have Aaryaa Aaryaa as name on them as in UK you can’t have surname blank so I have repeated first name in last name and have had no problem.

    I have emailed at the vfs helpline so many times and haven’t got a reply back and their contact number also doesn’t work.

    Would really appreciate if you can help.


      1. Hi Amanji I have one question my wife and son they had duel citizenship .they had a Oci now they had British citizenship they want to transfer oci .I already apply Update oci application do I need to upload all documents like Indian canceled passport,surrender certificate ,marriage certificate which is these all documents already vfs had when I was apply first time . I upload online photo which I took my home by my self its will be ok for two different photo when I attend appointment one is online and second is studio photo which is I will take new photo by studio .thank I wait your reply

        1. Hi Piyush ji,

          I haven’t understood your case clearly. If your wife and son already have OCI, not sure how they had dual citizenship as India doesn’t allow it. Can you please elaborate on that and I will be happy to help to the best I can.

          Regarding the image, the image uploaded online needs to be the same as on the form. I suggest it’s better to scan the studio photo.


  27. Dear Aman,
    I just submitted my OCI application at VFS Edinburgh & it was done smoothly without any hassle. They just kept my British passport which will come back in post in 10 days & OCI card will take 6 weeks.
    Thank you so much your detailed blog on this, it was very very useful indeed. God bless you.
    Kind Regards

    1. Hey Suhaima,

      Thanks for your comment sharing your experience here. You’re a ⭐️

      All the best – hope you get your shiny new OCI card soon 🙌🏼


    2. Hi have you got your oci ? How long dose it take for processing . I have applied on 14th oct and still in under proses.
      Thank you

        1. Hi
          I’m still waiting for my oci ! It’s still showing under process. Is anyone get their oci in recent time ? How long dose it taking at the moment. Really worried about it all ready booked my tickets for second week of December, how can I contact them any number of contact information plz
          Thank you

          1. Hey Piyush, sorry to hear you’re still waiting on your OCI.

            As I mentioned in my last comment about Daljit’s update, if we refer to the recent timelines, you should be getting yours soon.

            But the thing is: every case is different and your’s could take longer (I hope not!) and you can’t risk your flight tickets which must be very expensive. If I were you, I’d wait about a week and if still no updates, would apply for the online eVisa (this is what I did when mine was under process – you might want to refer to my guide here: You might lose £70ish on the eVisa if you get your OCI in time but that way you’d be reducing your risk if you don’t as changing/cancelling flights would be much more expensive.

            All the best – I wish and hope you get your OCI in the next few days.

            Hope this helps.

          2. Unfortunately evisa is not allowed it’s suspended for British citizens and for regular visa there is no appointments available anywhere. Is there any other options need help
            Thank you

          3. Hi Piyush, Yes, sorry I completely forgot about the temporary eVisa suspension for British citizens.

            You can try calling VFS at +442037938629 or 09057570045 Monday – Friday 08:30 hrs – 17:30 hrs (except for Consular Holiday).

            Alternatively, drop an email to [email protected]

            All the best mate.

          1. Hello! I see you applied for the OCI-foreign spouse. My British/Canadian husband is applying via my OCI – we were married in the UK – so have a British marriage certificate. If your case was similar (ie. married outside of India) – can you please tell me how you got your marriage certificate ‘Apostled / certified by the Indian Mission / Post Concerned’ please?

    3. Hi Suhaima
      thanks for mentioning on British Passport, been asking many and trying to find the current process. very helpful

  28. Hi Aman,
    My kids are 11 and almost 9, I’m wondering if it is worth applying for OCI before they are 20 ?
    They will only travel to india every 3 or 4 years so is it worth paying £200+ now if they have to re-apply/re-new OCI again when they are 20 ? Then evisa would be cheaper – any advice please ?

    1. Hey Daljit,

      Assuming you’d be visiting Indian only twice by the time your kids are 20+, it does make sense to get the eVisa which is cheaper (applying twice). But, you’ll need the admin work to apply it again compared to OCI which is a lifetime visa. If you get the OCI now, you’ll need to get the OCI renewed using the miscellaneous service at 20+ age.

      More of a personal preference which way you want to go, but yes eVisa is the cheaper option based on 2 visits.

      Hope this helps.


  29. Hi Aman,
    Thank you for this page. it is really useful.
    Just one question which is not covered or may be it’s just me 🙂

    While booking the appointment, which passport details do you have to include? Is it the old Indian Passport or the new current UK/EU passport?

  30. Hello Aman, first of all many thanks for the thorough information regarding OCI applications, its really great instead of the official one.
    I managed to book an appointment for my 2 year old son for his OCI at hounslow but the date is 29th September, i can see that there are earlier dates available at cardiff. Can i cancel and book there? I actually live in hounslow but willing to travel if it can be done early.
    My second question is ,do i need to take my 2 year old to the vfs centre or can i go by myself?
    Any advice will be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Felix,

      It should be fine to book your appointment at any available centres as I found the confirmation in small print (updated on 19 Jul 2021 here) in one of the OCI documents on the VFS site.

      Here’s what it says for your quick reference:

      “For the help of our diaspora, applications for any service can be accepted at any place, i.e., London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. So wherever you get an appointment, please go ahead and submit your application as per your convenience and choice, provided that the application is registered and filled up for that particular jurisdiction/center e.g. GBRL registration is for London and will be accepted only in London, GBRB for Birmingham and GBRE for Edinburgh.”

      You don’t need to take your little one along, you can submit on their behalf.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  31. HI,

    Thanks for the wonderful website, I have used it for my daughter’s OCI application.
    Background – me and wife are British citizens, so this OCI application was for our newborn daughter who gained British Citizenship by birth.
    Application center- VFS London Goswell St

    Documents physically submitted, nothing else was asked apart from what is listed below:
    Application form
    Full Birth Certificate
    Daughter’s passport was checked at VFS and returned at the same time.

    Payment only accepted via Debit Card “only”, no other option so dont forget to carry your physical debit card as the POS machine doesnt accept Contactless payment via mobile – yes in this age!

    Documents uploaded via multi-page pdf:
    Daughter’s British passport
    Full version Birth Certificate
    Address proof (was on my name, latest utility bill downloaded from water company)
    Marriage certificate
    My and wife’s OCI (first and last page)
    My and wife’s British Passport (picture page only)
    My and wife’s Naturalization Certificate ( was told this is not needed)
    My and wife’s Passport Surrender Certificate (was told this is not needed)
    My and wife’s old Indian Passport (was told this was not needed)

    Some extra info –
    if you have Indian Passport – then you have to upload Marriage Cert + Parents Indian Passport (1st and Last page)

    If your child had Indian Citizenship then you need to upload their following documents in addition to what have been listed above:
    Naturalization Cert/ Registration Cert
    Passport Surrender Cert
    Renounced Indian passport (1st and last page)

    Let me know if you have any questions regarding the above.

  32. Hello Everyone,
    Does anyone know if I don’t turn up for my OCI appt. (and let the day go by), will I then be able to book a new one for future date. Currently, they are not responding to the email to cancel it and I have no choice but not going due to change in circumstances.
    Please advise.

    Many Thanks

    1. Hey Haneef, it should be okay. You might need to wait for a few days after your current one expires before you book your next one though. If I remember correctly the gap used to be 72 hours. Please update here if that’s changed when you book yours successfully. Cheers.

  33. Hi Aman,

    Thank you so much for helping so many people with this guide. In fact this guide helped me in getting my OCI card a while ago! I now need to apply to get an OCI card for my wife who has a German passport. Is the process significantly different for her application?

    Also, I note that the guide states that we will need to submit a “Marriage certificate registered for not less than two years (if applying on the basis of Spouse’s Indian origin)”, what exactly does registered mean? Our marriage certificate is from the USA when we living there, do we need to register it here in the UK and then wait 2 years to apply?

    Any information will be of great assistance.



    1. Hello Hari,

      Thanks much for your kind words. 🤗

      I am glad to be able to add my small contribution to the community.

      Thanks for your patience with my response – I am a one-person team, as you can understand, so replying to comments sometimes gets delayed 🙂

      Regarding your first query, no, the process in your wife’s case won’t be different from how you have already done yours. I understand you would have applied your application based on your parents or your own Indian origin? Well, your wife’s would be based on your OCI holder status as the “spouse of the person of Indian origin.”

      What the 2 years registered condition means: the marriage certificate must have been registered at least 2 years ago, and no, it doesn’t need to be registered in the UK. You’ll be fine to use your US registration certificate just fine.

      I hope this helps!

      I am not an immigration specialist or an OCI expert, but this is my logical interpretation knowing a thing or two about the OCI process and after reading the “not-so-helpful” unorganised VFS guides (moooorrrrre than a few times). 😂


  34. Hi Aman,

    Thanks a lot for the very detailed guide. I need to apply for OCI for my family of four. You had suggested splitting the application across two appointments at VFS as they do not allow more than 3 to be submitted in the same appointment. Given this, would you suggest having the two appointments on two different days, or will it be possible to have back-to-back appointments and finish them on the same day. If the latter is possible, how much gap should I leave between the two appointments?

    Thanks & regards

    1. Hi Visu,

      I would book the two appointments back-to-back due to the logistical limit of 3 applicants per appointment. I am sure the officials on the day will understand to include all four in a single go (would be a shame if they won’t!).

      There is no set rule about how much gap you should have; I would try to get a back-to-back. If you can’t, I would go for the next one on the same day. If you don’t have 2 available on the day, then I suggest looking for a day when you have two available. This will save you the hassle of visiting the VFS centre twice. Please update here on how it goes, if you can.


      1. Hi Aman thankyou so much for this detailed guide. Much appreciated.
        I have my appointment next month at vfs centre, just wanted to clarify what I need to take with me.
        My original passport
        2 envelopes
        A photo – does this photo need to be a certain size or same size as the one I was told to upload onto the form?
        I’m a house wife, I have used my parents details so I’m assuming I’ll be taking their OCI Card?
        Also not having my maiden name anymore can me & my brother attend the same appointment as a family as we are both obviously using my parents details.
        Thankyou so much in advance

        1. Hi Kamal, thanks for your patience. I hope this is still useful to you.

          Yes, the list looks alright, but I have recently seen it mentioned by other readers that VFS is taking 1 prepaid envelope and not 2. Please update here if you can, after your appointment.

          The photo needs to be 2inch by 2inch.

          Yes, if you’re using your parent’s origin as the basis of your OCI, you’ll need to take proof of origin (OCI in this case).

          You can add up to 3 people to one appointment – so I would think it should be okay.

          Please update about your experience after your appointment so others can benefit 🙂

          All the best!


  35. Hi Aman,
    Great site which helped me immensely after an intense Google search for all things pertaining to Indian Citizenry and OCI. Finally I landed here where your information is precise and gratefully received. The one challenge I’m having is locating the application form to download. When opening ‘which type of service’ on the VFS website, it leads me to the OCI site where one is required to apply for registration.

    As I am researching as a 3rd party on behalf of clients in the UK wanting to apply for their OCI cards, would they have to register on the OCI site in order to obtain the application form for downloading – or – is it possible you have a PDF version of this application form?

    Thanks for your kind assistance,

    1. Hi Atrayah,

      Thanks a lot for your comment 😇

      Regarding your query, you don’t need to download an application form – you need to fill it online. Earlier, you needed to fill the form online and then print it out to include in the supporting documents. The rules have since been relaxed after the pandemic (check my note in the guide, please), and now you don’t need to provide any physical documents; everything needs to be uploaded online. So, no need to print the form as well.

      So, yes, you’re right – they will need to register online to start the OCI process.

      I hope this helps. ☺️


  36. Hello Aman,

    Thanks for the two guides OCI process and surrender of Indian Certificate.
    Do I just need to provide two self addressed Royal mail silver special delivery envelopes for the OCI process?or do I need additional plain white envelopes or hard back envelopes along with this for them to put the documents in along with the silver envelopes?

    1. Hey Sachin, thanks for your comment 🙂

      That’s your personal preference really, I used the Royal Mail Special Delivery (silver) envelope on its own and my documents were delivered just fine (for all my applications so far – Passport renewal, Surrender and OCI). But having said that, I have heard from readers here that’s not the case for everyone.

      So here’s what you could do if you want: add something like this from Amazon.

      Or, if you don’t want to spend additional money on something that would anyways get thrown away and not get reused/recycled, I would simply cut out cardboard from an Amazon delivery box or similar (or a thicker A4 paper if you have it) to fit inside the Royal Mail one – that’s just something to provide some support and protect your documents from folding etc. I hope this helps.


  37. Hi Aman

    Great guide, on the document checklist of stuff to carry to the VFS centre on the day of the OCI submission, you mentioned a letter from the employer, can you please share some more details on that in terms of content and relevance.

    Many Thanks


    1. Hi Anand,

      My apologies for the delay in replying – the letter is pretty standard and needs to mention the details of your current employment (really to say that you’re employed with them!)

      1. Deepak Kovaichelvan

        Hi Aman,

        Thanks for this great blog.

        I have an employer letter from HR. Do I have to submit a self-attested copy of the letter or the original letter as it is? Thank you.



        1. Hey Deepak, great question. It’s almost a grey area for such documents. As you’d be scanning the letter itself to upload it to the portal (which is a copy of the original in a way) to be safe, I would self-attest it. And take the originals with me to the appointment just in case. Cheers.

  38. Hi Aman,
    I just recently applied for my OCI card on March 1st, 2021. Thank you for the detailed guide, it was very helpful! I would suggest you can update the site where one can book an appointment to the one at HCI website, i.e. –
    The one that you share in this article is no longer valid I think. Atleast I tried several times on that site and all of a sudden found the above shared site and that allowed me to book the appointment.

    1. Hi Maulik,

      Thanks for sharing – I just noticed after your comment and seems like the old website has been decommissioned. But as usual, there’s no notification on the official pages (including the VFS official guide) or it is hidden again somewhere on the site that’s not easy to find. I will update the link on the guide now and try to add new screenshots again.

      It’s quite difficult to keep a tab on such changes but thanks to readers like you who help in making that happen. Thanks again! 🤗


      1. One more document was Spouse passport, if your spouse name is listed in your Indian passport and has name different than in your form. My Indian passport had my husband’s name Singh in first name, where as I entered form as Singh as second name, and hence I was asked to upload a copy of his passport which had name matching to my form.

      1. Hi Sandeep, the official is for 6-8 weeks but based on my personal application and another family (of four) application by one of our readers, it took around 4 weeks. This should give you an idea so practically you’re looking at anything between 4-8 weeks. Plus you need to consider any delays caused due to the Covid backlog.

        Hope this helps.

        – Aman

  39. Hey Aman – really great site and informative – thank you so much for putting this together.

    I wanted to apply for OCI as a family ( me, spouse and two kids). I assume it’s filling 4 online application forms and then when booking an appointment book for 4 people – so pretty much repeat the process for 4 people, is that correct please?


    1. Hi Rama,

      Yes, that’s correct but all members of your family need not attend the appointment in person. You or your spouse could submit on behalf of others – please refer to the FAQs section above that talks about this query.


    2. Hi Aman,

      Thank you for this. I submitted my OCI and earlier surrender my passport all thanks to your post.

      Just 2 updates from my experience today:
      1. I was asked to upload address proof in addition to the document you have listed
      2. Since you upload 1 pic, they need only 1 more pic physical copy.

      Thanks once again, your site saved me additional trips to London to submit documents which are not clear on the HCI website!

      1. Hi Shweta,

        Thanks for your comment – I am very glad you found my guides useful. And, thanks for your feedback, I am so proud of the small Comparism community we have here, helping each other! I will make updates with these additional tips.

        Cheers 🙌🏼

  40. Hi Aman,
    I am residing in Cardiff, can you advise as to which High Commission I should chose when applying for my OSI, Birmingham or London.

    Kind Regards

  41. Hi Aman,

    I am in the process of applying for the OCI in Paris, i have a few questions.
    1. Does my photo for the OCI need to be less than 6 months?
    2. All the documents that i have to upload are the originals and not a self attested copy.

    Thanks for your help

  42. Hi Aman
    I’m looking to apply for OCI CARD to my self I have daughter she is British citizen could I apply for OCI CARD for her? her mother is British citizen.


  43. Hi Syed,

    1: The thumb impression requirement applies where the minors below 5 years cannot sign – in your case, your daughters can sign themselves 🙂

    2: The documents needed are pretty much the same in addition to old OCI card. Also, I have recently found that such a OCI card update (misc. service) has been temporarily relaxed so you might as well hold on not applying for one until 31 Dec 2020.

    Here’s the update – I will also add it to the post so others can benefit.
    “In case an OCI cardholder below the age of 20 years has not got the OCI card re-issued on change of passport, he/she may travel on the strength of his/her existing OCI card bearing old passport number subject to the condition that along with the new passport, the OCI cardholder carries old passport mentioned in the OCI card.”

    3: Yes, both parents need to self attest docs for minors.


  44. Dear Aman , should we upload self attested documents online or just simple documents? And pls also advise me should we upload original documents online or just photocopies ( self attested)? And in minor case (10 yrs old girl) who will attest documents the girl or their parents ? Pls advise Cheers

  45. Dear Aman, how are you . I have THREE. questions pla reply – 1- I am applying for oci card for my two daughters 10 years old and 13 years old . Both can sign. But on website it mentions for minor they put their THUMB impression so what should I do ? Thumb impressions OR sign? 2- another question is I am applying for daughters as an miscellaneous service ( renew OCI card ) their passports have renewed recently so I have also renew their oci so what documents should I upload online ? And 3- another question is. Should both mother and father self attest my daughters documents as they are minors. PlS answers my all three questions Best Regards

  46. Hi Aman, great blog. Very helpful. Can I please clarify two things:
    1. There will be total 3 visits to VFS centre: one for surrender and two for OCI?
    2. I recently lost my job due to COVID-19 situation, so how do I show proof of employment? Is there an option in the form? I was thinking of explaining that in a separate letter and attach last payslip + bank statements. Thoughts?


    1. Hey Adi,

      1. I am recently receiving feedback from Comparism readers that OCI now required only 1 visit. I had updated the post for additional feedback but didn’t have people confirm it so I didn’t change on the post yet.
      2. Yes, I think that should suffice, mate. If you have any recent letter of correspondence from the employer you could upload that with a payslip online and that should be alright.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know it goes.


  47. Hi Aman

    Apologies if this has been covered previously, I have 14 and a 10yr old, do I have to upload their signatures on the form ?

    Many thanks


  48. HI – thanks for this guide. I am a little confused on the photograph requirements.

    a) Does the photo you upload to the website and the photo you submit with the application form need to be the same?
    b) Any tips on a good cheap place to get passport photos (and/ or digital files of the same) done in London?


    1. Hi Rahul,

      a) TBH when I did my application, I used 2 different photo versions for website upload and in-person application submission. But, I have heard from a few people who submitted their application recently that they were asked to use the same photo for both. So my recommendation now would be to use same photo version.
      b) You could use any high street vendor – I also have heard good feedback on photo booths which is a cheaper way of doing it compared to high street options.

      I hope this helps. Do let us know here what worked for you.

  49. Hi Aman
    I wrote a long rant on here and cannot see it so assuming I didn’t press send.
    I have some information that may be helpful but worth checking with other before updating t your guide.
    This is for PIO to OCI but should be the same here.

    Royal Mail Envelopes
    The Leicester office refused to use my royal mail envelopes and said I needed to download a declaration form.
    He would not tell me the name of it.
    A long call later , I am told that there isn’t a form and I could have just written
    ” I do not hold VFS responsible for loss or damage on a piece of paper and signed it.

    Employment letter.
    Nowhere on the site does it say you need one for PIO to OCI but the call centre said it is a requirement.
    It does not need to be uploaded but just taken to the office.

    The girl on the call centre would not give her name , would not call Leicester to update to tell them that a hand written letter is acceptable and will not tell the website people to put the correct information on the website.

    I will be writing a letter of complaint and suggestions but after my OCI is in my hands.

    Thanks again for you excellent guide.

    1. Hey Jay, my apologies for the delay in getting these comments on the site. Thanks for sharing about your experience here. I can understand the frustration – it’s really annoying when there is no sync between the different teams.

      I hope this has been sorted for you now?

  50. Hi Aman,
    Thanks for the useful guide. I had my OCI appointment today at the Liverpool VFS. Just a note to people who are applying via Liverpool VFS, they do not recommend using the Royal mail return envelopes and wanted me to use the DX service. But they accepted the two royal mail envelopes after i accepted the risk.

    Also i had to submit my original British passport for the application – I was told that the passport along with the Surrender Certificate (original) will be returned to me within 1 week and the OCI card posted to me within 7 weeks. So if you have immediate travel plans , it is worth booking the appointment after the trip.

    All the best everyone…

    1. Hey Nithin, thanks for sharing your experience here – really appreciate you taking out the time. 🙂

      Are you please able to provide about the timelines about your UK passport – I suppose you must have got your OCI card now?

  51. Thanks for your guide Aman .
    I have only just processed my application for PIO to OCI . I started it 2016, had some issues, they called me every year to complete the process, Finally completed the process , and they said they have closed the case .
    So I started again , got asked for copies of documents that were not listed anywhere as required and told they will call and I can pay online. I think it was all added smoke and mirrors so they could charge the maximum which was double the stated fees ( DX etc. ) I just needed this complete so have paid.
    Wish I had seen your page earlier.

  52. Hi,
    Thank you for the detailed post, it is very helpful.
    I have a question though: my Indian passport has old address and now my parents live at a different address. Can I use my parents’ current address as Native Address? I have no proof however to submit the new address as my passport still has old address.
    Will this cause any issues with my oci application?


    1. Hey Daya, yes you can do that without any issues – I did just the same. Would you be able to provide a utility bill which is in your parents’ name? That way any of your documents having your parents’ names would prove the relationship and explain things better.

      Sorry for getting back to you so late – hoping this info is still helpful for your application. Do let me know how it goes.

  53. Hi Aman, This is a very detailed guide. I only saw this after I submitted my OCI application today. This is definitely clearer than the VFS website keep up the good work.


  54. Hi Do you know what is the courier fees at vfs.? since there is a confusion of taking one envelope or 2. because there is no stamping on passport now.

    1. Hi Valentine – sorry for the late reply.

      I think it was £15 I last checked.

      On the number of envelopes required, I have got mixed feedback so far

      Please check and

      For safe side, I suggest you carry 2 and return the unused one if they take only one. I will keep an eye on this one – meanwhile, I request all our readers to comment on how many envelopes did you submit?


  55. Hi Aman,
    Thanks for writing this very helpful guide. The indian govt website and VFS Global both provide insufficient information on what to bring to the appointment which led to me getting turned away. I’m travelling to India in 9 weeks so I really hope I recieve my OCI via new appointment and correct documents in time for my holiday.

  56. Just an update from my case. Thanks for your excellent advice once again.

    Couple of data points
    Evidence from employer was only a letter saying I was employed there. No need for my job offer or contract.
    They took both prepaid envelopes – one will return my original docs in a week and around 4 weeks for the OCI. No 2nd appointment needed.

    1. Thanks for the update, Rohit.

      Is this the norm with others as well now – can someone who attended the OCI appointment recently confirm this, please?


    2. Hi Aman,

      Many thanks for your detailed instructions.They were so very usefull.Today I submitted OCI Application for my two kids with absolute ease at London Goswell.The only mistake I made was I took only 1 envelope per application, while you had clearly mentioned that we need to take 2 envelopes per application !!!

      I also made sure to take all originals and their photocopies.

      Thanks again,


    3. In case of original documents. Do we have to leave the UK passport and naturalisation certificate with VFS? I have to travel for work to Europe a few days after my intended appointment date. So therefore not usre if I have to postpone submitting the OCi application after the trip. Please let me know

      1. Hey Nithin, Thanks for your comment and my apologies for replying so late. Updating here in case anybody else could use this info.

        Earlier the OCI appointment required 2 visits to the VFS centre – once to provide all the documents (except for original UK passport) and 2nd time to submit your UK passport along with the status report from the site (as I have covered on the post).

        But recently I have been notified of an update in the process where they take all the documents in the first visit itself but return your UK passport within a week or so. If I get validation of this process from a few more people applying for OCI, I will make updates to the post accordingly.

        So anyone reading this comment: if you have recently applied for OCI, please update your experience here 🙂


        1. There has been an update now. They do not take your UK passports anymore and you do not need to visit the centre twice.
          All they take is your surrender certificate during your first visit and they return it via post/courier.

  57. Nikhil Unnikrishnan

    Thanks for this very handy guide. Can you add a line to this article? The photos you submit with the application should be the same as uploaded on the OCI portal. This is not mentioned anywhere and I’ve seen that a lot of folks only get told this when they come for the appointment.

    1. Hey Nikhil, thanks for pointing that out.

      I made a mention of this one of my recent comments for the images to be the same now – this didn’t use to be such an issue as I myself used two different images for the physical and digital copy.

      I will make an update on the post. 🙂


  58. Quick Question Aman- Do i definitely need to surrender my Indian passport (get a surrender certificate)before I can apply for OCI card ?
    Can I not go straight into the OCI process and submit my Indian passport?

    1. Hi there,

      As India doesn’t allow dual nationality, if you have acquired foreign citizenship, OCI is your lifetime visa to enter India avoiding the hassle of applying for an Indian visa every time you wasn’t to visit.

      And for your query, if you have acquired foreign nationality, you would need to give up Indian nationality which is why you need to surrender your Indian passport. Surrender certificate if your proof of cancelling your Indian citizenship.

  59. Hi,

    Thanks for an excellent guide to a complicated process.

    Two questions. I am a British born citizen whose parents were born in India. They have since gained British citizenship. My mother has an OCI card, though my dad is still on a long term Indian Visa.

    For my proof of Indian origin, I understand I have to submit my full birth certificate. Is my mother’s OCI card enough or do I need more documents from her, eg her naturalisation certificate.

    For the employee letter, what do I need to get from my employer? I work for the NHS and have my offer letter of employment and my job contract. Is this sufficient?


    1. Hi Rohit,

      Thanks – I am glad you found this guide useful.

      Your mother’s OCI card should be enough – but could you support with a proof for your father as well? Maybe his cancelled passport or copy of surrender certificate? That provides proof of Indian origin for both of your parents, just in case, they ask for your father’s proof too.

      Your employee letter would basically support that you are still employed with them which if your job contract mentions the end date, then I don’t see why the 2 docs you have (offer letter and contract) wouldn’t suffice.

      To be on the safe side, if it is easier to get the employee reference letter, I would suggest adding that which then raises no concerns for the officer reviewing your file.

      Hope this helps.


  60. Thanks a lot for the detailed guide. It has been very helpful. There has been one change in the process starting 6th December. You don’t need to visit VFS twice, don’t need to submit your UK passport since you don’t get a stamping on the UK passport,
    Just follow all the steps & at the 1st and only appointment submit the original documents (everything else except the UK passport). They are returned in 3 days & OCI received in 4-5 weeks. Seamless process.

    1. Hi Ranjini,

      Thanks for the update – I will leave this thread open for others to confirm as well.

      Can you please clarify which centre was this?


  61. I have a few of questons:
    1) When I renew my UK passport, do i need to renew my OCI?
    2) If I change address, will I need to renew my OCI?
    3) Can I still travel without amending the above?

    1. Hi Praful,

      1) Yes.
      2) No, not unless you want to update the new address on it.
      3) Old OCI with the new passport, no. Address not amended, not an issue.


  62. Hi Aman,

    Many thanks. This was very useful.

    I had my appointment today and found out that the process has changed a bit now. So I wanted to let you know the new process so others can benefit. Here are the new steps –

    – Fill up and print OCI Application form online
    – Take the VFS centre appointment
    – Submit the application form, required documents (original and photocopies) and OCI application fees to the VFS centre. In my case they took kept the following original documents – Surrender certificate, Naturalisation or registeration certificate, and Employer letter. And for kids they also kept their Birth certificate and parents marriage certificate. They checked our British passport but did not keep it.
    – Indian High Commission will verify the documents and send the original documents back to you within 7 days.
    – OCI card will be sent to you with in 4-6 weeks.

    So no second appointment needed now.


  63. Hi Aman

    Thank you for a really helpful guide.

    My question is if my Spouse hasn’t yet applied for OCI, can we all as a family apply at once (wife and three children) or he has to get his OCI first and then the rest will apply on his basis.


    1. Hi Jay, assuming that your spouse is eligible (by birth, based on parents, or grandparents), you can all apply together.

      Your’s (and children’s) will be supported by registered marriage and Birth certificates for all of you along with your husband’s valid Indian Passport. Marriage should have been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than 2 years before you apply. If you need any further details, please try calling the VFS office 😉

      Hope this helps


  64. Hi
    Thanks a lot for these very detailed guides, they are so helpful.
    I have recently applied for my 1st OCI and was required only 1 envelope instead of 2.
    I have a question, my status has changed to received in London today but as I’m travelling most of Dec, I won’t be able to submit my original UK passport until Jan 2020. Do you know if there is a deadline or the latest date by when I need to submit my original UK passport to VFS?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your reply .

    1. Hi Garima,

      Thanks for your comment and I am glad you found these guides helpful.

      I was in a similar situation myself! There is no deadline as such – it will just delay when you get your OCI card. So, don’t worry you can submit it later 🙂


  65. Hi Aman,

    Thanks for the detailed guide.

    I have a question about Miscellaneous Services application for getting OCI re-issued for minor above 5 years.

    Should the minor sign on both the application form Part A & Part B? Can they write just their first name in the signature box or should it be their first name and surname?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rajesh,

      The guideline says “should write their name or sign” so I would suggest full name if they write the name, if signing; it could be anything as it’s the signature 🙂

      Hope this helps.

  66. Hi Aman

    This is a fantastic guide! Thanks for your time and effort to put it together.

    Just a quick question about the time you applied for e-visa. Did you have your OCI application underway already at that point?

    I’m travelling to India soon, so am I able to get my OCI application underway as well as apply for a e-visa to travel to India in the meantime?

    Look forward to hearing from you.


    1. Hi Gurpreet, thanks for your comment!

      Yes, that’s exactly what I did. The eVisa can be applied online without much hassle and minimum documentation from the comfort of your home. All you need is your laptop and scanned copies of your docs.

      Simultaneously, I had started my OCI process and only gave in my original British passport when I could.

      I hope that helps.


      1. Hi Aman

        Thanks for all the helpful guides. I am going through process of getting british passport after naturalisation but also visiting India soon. The evisa application has a section which asks if you have visited India before presuming that everyone visiting India had visited on “a visa”, what about if I visited on my Indian passport. If I select no in that section that’s also not true because I have visited India before but I had Indian passport before. What would you suggest?

        1. Hi Ash,

          You can select “No” as your answer needs to be based on you holding your new passport. When you held your Indian passport, you were a resident and technically not only visiting 🙂

          The form also asks about how you got your current citizenship and also what it was earlier (India) which should link all the information and make things clear for the VISA office.

          I hope this helps.

          I hope that helps.

  67. Dear Aman,

    I have OCI status report dated July 30 2019 for my two kids.Obiviously their British passport is also needed to show them.Can I send all this by post or either me or my kids have to go personally to get OCI card.Kindly advise.

    1. Hi Javid,

      You’d need to submit the passports in person – however, you don’t need to take your kids with you; you can submit it on their behalf.


  68. Hi Aman,

    Thank you so much for writing this, it’s much more user friendly than the VFS website!

    I did my application today and have two updates to add:

    1. The maximum file size for the images is 200kb not 500.
    2. If you have a middle name and put it in Given Names, in the final form it prints out with everything in First Name and nothing in Middle Name. Hopefully this won’t be a problem when I go for my appointment…I will report back if I find otherwise.

    Best regards,

  69. Hello Amanji, Very good and nice job you have done. aaj kal koi kisi ke liye 5 mins bhi nikale to bhi bahut hai lakin aap ne ye bahut badha kam kiya hai.

    its helping many peoples. GOD BLESS YOU.

  70. Hello,

    Thank you for a comprehensive guide. I’m using your guide to apply for my father’s OCI.
    I have a query, hoping you could resolve.
    My dad has recently surrendered his Indian passport (he has Portuguese passport). Can he use this as a basis of his OCI? Does he need to provide birth certificate also?
    And is marriage certificate mandatory?

    Many thanks for your help

    1. Hi Vinanti,

      In my understanding yes, he can apply based on own Indian origin. You could look at the documents list where I mention the ones required for Proof of Indian origin along with Case #1.

      Marriage certificate – yes, it’s mandatory for married applicants.

      Hope this helps.


  71. Hi Aman,
    Thanks a lot for your detailed post, it’s really helpful.
    Few tips on the application form itself – The image (photo and signature) that you upload online is the image that gets printed on the OCI. The OCI website accepts almost any photo within size limits but people behind counter get very finicky about the photo background (should be white not light-grey as they do some Timpsons) and no shadow, light flash etc to appear on the scanned image or the signature if it is very small. They have absolutely no facility to re-scan or re-print your documents at vfs, so be ready to make alternative arrangements if need arises (figure out a public library close to the venue). And some people just got into arguments with people behind counter over process/documents/photo etc, just please DON’T. They’re rubbish but doing what little they’ve been told, it just wastes other peoples time, brings no good and he/she can refuse to serve you.


  72. Hello im Romanian married with Indian soon will be 4 years. I want to apply for oci card i was always travelling to india with e Visa
    My question is do i need to provide his birth certificate? Or just the marriage certificate is enough
    Thank you

    1. Hi there,

      In your case, you’d need to prove your husband’s Indian origin which you can do with OCI card and marriage certificate.


  73. Ramesh Ramachandra

    Hi Aman
    I will be very grateful if you could clarify a doubt I have.
    I am assisting a US citizen of Indian origin in getting an OCI card. He has his old Indian passport(cancelled after he renounced his Indian citizenship). His father and mother were also Indian nationals.
    In the section “Applicants family details” there is a box for “Relation with the Root Indian” with the options: FATHER, MOTHER, GRANDFATHER, GRANDMOTHER, GREAT GRANDFATHER, GREAT GRANDMOTHER, and SELF.
    Which option applies in the circumstances of my US friend of Indian origin?
    Will be most obliged for a reply asap
    Ramesh Ramachandra

    1. Hi Ramesh, sorry for the (very) late reply.

      My understanding is: as the applicant held an Indian passport that was cancelled to renounce the Indian citizenship, they can base it on themselves being Indian citizenship. The option that then applies is “Self”


  74. Ramesh Ramachandra

    Hi Aman
    I’m in India and helping out one of my old schoolmates(73 years old) in getting his OCI certificate as he is bedridden and in a senior citizens home near Bangalore. He can neither go to the FRRO office in person nor sign on the form and on copies documents. I am therefore doing it on his behalf on the strength of a letter of authority.
    I am having my own woes in dealing with the FRRO here and am struggling to comply with the special requirements covering my friends case, but here are some problems that I faced(and others might too), and how I got over them:-
    (i): getting the 1:3 ratio for the signature is tricky. Using the free software available on the internet to obtain it results in elongation/distortion of the image. After many tries I solved it by drawing a 1 inch X 3 inches rectangle on a white sheet of paper and getting my friends thumb print inside the rectangle. I then took a snap of it on my android cell phone, and using its own editing facility cropped it to the rectangle outline. I then sent it by email to my own address and downloaded the image on to the laptop. It was perfect for uploading on to the application form.
    (ii): When I tried to upload the photo and signature(thumb impression in my case,) though the message on the screen on selecting the images said that both were as per the instructions, when I hit the upload button the message was “The format or the name of the file is not valid.” It took me two hours to know what this meant: While the formats were correct(jepg) the names of the files shouldn’t have included any dashes, commas, brackets or symbols [email protected],*, etc. To identify the files, after keying in my friend’s name, I had included in brackets the fact that one was his photo and the other his thumb impression. After deleting the brackets the images uploaded in one shot.
    Just thought this personal experience of mine might help others who are stuck with these two issues.
    Ramesh Ramachandra

  75. Flicton Pereira

    Hello Aman,

    You are the BEST guide I ever read…
    Keep it up man helping people in this website… In return God will blessed you more bro.
    Thankyou so much for this article you did…thank you for the efforts…Godbless you more …
    I hope 1 day I can message you if I get in trouble in applying. Thankyou

  76. Hi Aman – thanks so much for this detailed guide! Really appreciate your effort!
    I have received my British passport in Jan 2019 and have sent the ILR card (cut in four) back to UK Home Office.
    Now since my other priorities are sorted, I am looking to apply for my OCI card and came across your guide. While reading your guide, I saw you mentioned the scanned copy of ‘Proof of Indian origin – Copy of cancelled Indian passport and surrender certificate’. I still have my Indian passport – how did I cancel my Indian passport and get my surrender certificate?

    Please could you advise?

    Many thanks in advance.


  77. Padma Aon Prakasha

    Namaste Aman! Great jon and well done! Navigating through this maze is tough especially with the inadequate instructions given by VFS. I have a question: i travel a lot and need my UK passport. From what i understand from this process: i fill in online form. That takes 6 weeks to process, AND THEN i give them my UK passport which they take for 10 days? So i have that 6 weeks with my UK passport still in my posession? Thanks for the clarity.

    1. Hi Padma, thanks for your comment 🙂

      That is correct – the period before you give your UK passport is between 4-6 weeks and then about a week to 10 days when you will not have it with yourself.


  78. Hi Aman,
    Thanks for the lovely job you are doing here. I am applying for a oci renewal for my 5 year old daughter in-lieu of change of passport and I have two queries
    1 How do I upload all the pages of the oci booklet as a single file online?
    2. Do I need to take a consent letter of the parents if yes is there a copy of the letter?

  79. Dear Aman
    Thanks so much for such a fantastic article
    It has helped so much
    My appointment at VFS office was 11th April, and my OCI is approved and I shall visit the offices Monday between 8.30 and 11am to submit my passport along with the envelope they gave me ( courier charged) apart from the passport and confirmation letter of processing being complete… is there anything else I must take ( any original docs etc?)
    Thanks so much

  80. Hello,
    I am planning to apply for OCI for my child who was born in UK. Both the parents are Indian citizens. I’m applying from UK. However, one of the parent is in India (visit UK on a visitors visa).
    So would I need both the parents to self attest supporting documents for a minor?
    My husband is not in the UK and I plan to file the application myself.

    Many thanks

  81. Indira Pemberton

    Hi Aman
    Thanks for your detailed guide . It has helped me a lot .
    I would appreciate if you let me know that what type, size and how many self addressed envelops do I have to take to VFS centre ?
    Do I get them from the post office with the stamps and how would I know the weight of the packages and hence the value of stamps to attach ?
    Also could you please give me the contact number for VFS centre .
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Indira,

      You’d need the A4 size special delivery envelope (silver one) – the £7.30 one would be enough to cover for your documents to be returned. The VFS website suggests 2 envelopes per application which is what I took with me when I did mine but some of the readers have comments the VFS now ask for only one.

      VFSs contact number is +44 203 788 4666 (if you do call them, please do me a favour and update here) 🙂

  82. Habeeb Abdulkader

    Hi Aman,
    Thanks for this highly detailed blog! Its very helpful. I have a question which I hope you can clarify. I am currently filling the online Part A of the application. There seems to be a question which I assume is relatively new since your post. The question is “Relationship with the Root” and is right at the end of Page 1 under “Family Details” section. The question is drop down value type with options Self/Father/Mother/Grand Father/Grand Mother. I am not sure what this means to be honest. Any idea?


    1. Hey Habeeb, my apologies for checking this only now. I am adding a response here in case this could help others.

      This question is to establish the basis of your application; spouse/parents/grandparents/self (being the person(s) of Indian origin.


  83. Hi Aman,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation fro OCI application. Its very helpful. I have couple of questions and if you can provide you input that will be really helpful.

    1, Can we apply OCI for baby born in the UK but both parents have already surrendered their Indian Passport and got UK passport last year. Or should one parent has to apply OCI first and then apply for the baby OCI application?

    2. For copy of the cancelled passport , do we just take first and last page or all pages ?


  84. Thanks for detailed article. I think, I’ll surrender Indian Passport and apply eVisa and apply OCI next year in free time. I don’t understand why are they calling twice in person to office, simply waste of time and money.

  85. Hi Aman

    First of all thanks for this useful information guide page for OCI registration online.

    I have a question regarding OCI miscellaneous Service.

    I have to re-new OCI because I got new Italian passport.
    So,far I have completed part-A and uploade image and signature and it is alright.
    Now I am stuck part-B because there are couple of question I don’t understand:
    -First question is
    Have you / any member of your family applied for OCI registration earlier? Yes/No
    If yes, give details (Reference No., when and where applied and what was the outcome)
    This is my first time I’m applying for OCI re-newal.
    I think the answer is No but I’m not sure.
    We got issued OCI card from India.
    – second question is method of acquisition
    My father lived in Italy and we came after my father and lived there for 13 years then we got citizenship so What should I opt out. For aqusition method. Because my father first came then family in that country. I don’t know what should I opt out.

    Amanjot k

  86. Hi Aman,

    Again, many thanks for this very useful and easy to follow guide.
    I have surrendered my Indian passport, exactly followed what you said, received the cancelled passport and surrender certificate.
    Now in the process of applying for OCI.

    1.My children are born outside India before 2008. They have the birth certificate issued by that country with stamp of respective Ministry. Do I need to authenticate the birth certificate from the Indian Embassy of that country for OCI submission?

  87. Hi Aman,

    Thank you for your detailed guide – I found it highly useful. I’d recently applied for a conversion of PIO card to OCI for both myself and wife. I’d like to mention a couple of things. For whatever reason, Employment letters were not asked to be seen. And in the case of married couples, a Marriage Certificate is apparently a must ( as pointed out by one of your readers).

    One weird thing I experienced is that when I went back to the Goswell Road centre to submit the original passports and old PIO cards (along with the OCI Status Report and the pre-paid Royal Mail envelopes), the chaps at reception checked these documents, put a rubber band over each set, put them away behind the counter and told me “That’s it.” I got no formal acknowledgement, no nothing! Took me by surprise as I thought there would be some kind of an acknowledgement (after all, when I submitted my application personally on the earlier visit, I was asked to sign a declaration that no originals had been handed over to VFS). This has left me a little worried. Has any one else experienced something similar?

  88. Hi
    Just wanted to let you know a few things after my submission yesterday:
    1. The VFS at Hounslow asked me to submit my marriage certificate although my application is not based on my marriage to an Indian citizen, I am an ex Indian citizen sobi don’t understand why they forced me to submit my marriage certificate.

    2. They no longer require two self addressed enveloped, one is sufficient and it has to be tamper proof and not a paper envelope. When asked why their website asks for 2 self addressed enveloped they say they don’t know and that their IT team has not changed it yet.

    Overall I was quite frustrated with the service they provide.

  89. Hi Aman
    Thanks for the detailed guide.
    i would like to know what is the Signed Declaration Form ?
    I am having a tough time finding it
    Can you please help me out


    1. Hi Elvis,

      Please use the link under the OCI Documents list now – the VFS made a change to the link and it stopped working. I have now corrected it and you should be able to download the form.


  90. Mohammed Faiyazuddin

    Hi Aman Paaji,

    I am applying for an OCI card for my 6 month old daughter. I am a British citizen and my wife is an Indian citizen. Therefore, the method of acquisition is ‘By Birth’ as my daughter is born in the UK.
    I have few questions if you can clarify please.
    1) I’ve uploaded only British passport of my 6 month old daughter during online application submission. Is that ok or should I have had submitted any other docs.
    2) As my daughter is minor, will I need to place thumb impression of her. It says parents should not sign in behalf of the children.
    3) Should my daughter be physically present at the time of submitting the online application form along with the relevant documents.
    4) Where does the photograph go on the form. Will it go on the already present image. I could not find the photograph size guidance. Please can you help.

    Many Thanks in anticipation,

    Kind Regards,


    1. Hi Mohammed,

      Here’s my take:

      1. Please upload the full birth certificate with both parents’ names on it and your marriage certificate. You can refer to Case #3 for more details.
      2. That’s correct – children below 5 years need to provide the thumb impression.
      3. No, you or your wife can submit the application.
      4. I suggest don’t paste it yet and just take them along to VFS. The size details are on the post already (2in. x 2in.).

      I hope this info helps.


      1. Mohammed Faiyazuddin

        Thank you very much Aman paaji.
        Much appreciated.
        You are doing a great and very kind work.

        Warm Regards,

        Mohammed Faiyazuddin.

    1. Hi Mohammed,

      I had clarified on one of the comments before – by 2 sets they mean one set of originals and the other set of photocopies.

      Please also refer to the “Tips” section where I talk about this in the post.


  91. Hi Aman,

    Thank you for this excellent, thorough and much-needed piece. I have what I hope is a quick question: do the copies of all your documents need to be self-attested?

    I ask because when my husband applied for his OCI in India, everything needed to be signed, attested and dated before it could be scanned and attached to part B. However, I am applying in the UK and can’t see any requirement to self-attest.

    Also, when you were booking your appointment: how far out could you book? E.g. If I submit my application now, in March, could I book for May? Or do they only open up a few weeks at a time?

    Thank you so much and warmest wishes,

    1. Hi Liz,

      Thanks a lot for your comment and I am glad you found this useful 🙂

      Yes, all the originals need to be supported with a self-attested photocopy.

      Regarding the appointment availability, I took the earliest available appointment so didn’t try this.

      But I checked this now for you just now and I could see the whole of April available until the 30th and shows May as well on the calendar but the appointments for May don’t show up and instead it showed an error to give a call.

      I am not too sure if this is an error or 6 weeks is the period! I will try again in a few days and let you know 😉


  92. Thanks for the wonderful guide Aman. I followed your instructions to surrender my passport today!

    Just a note re OCI- I was informed by the kind lady at the counter that when I apply for OCI “Marriage certificate ” is now a mandatory document for all married applicants even if “spouse” is not the basis of your application. I cross checked this in VfS website and it seem to be the case. So carry marriage certificate and a copy along I would suggest even if you are applying solo

    1. Thanks so much Jay for the update.

      Yes, I have checked the VFS website and I could notice they have now moved the “marriage certificate” to the mandatory documents list.

      It would be easy to know of such updates if VFS had a log of changes they make to their pages but anyways, thanks to you I have now updated the post 😉


  93. Aman,

    Just want to thank you for time and effort on creating this page. It has informative and helpful. Thank you

  94. Dear Aman,

    First of all my sincere thanks for your post making the complicated application process simple for first time applicants of OCI. I wish the official site had the insight to simply matters like you did for the common man.

    I have four queries which I hope you can help me with or if needed create another informative post.

    1. I and my family already have an OCI card. My sons have crossed 20 and both myself and my wife have crossed 50. We now have new British Passports and want to apply for OCI Miscellaneous Services to renew our existing OCI. As usual, I found the information for this and navigating the OCI website problematic. Would you be able to advise or guide us with this, similar to what you have done for first time applicants?

    2. Approximately how much does it cost for each renewal of OCI application? Does VFS charge an extra in addition or is this included in the fees.

    3. You mentioned the two Self Addressed Special Delivery A4 envelopes for each applicant. I presume this is possibly true for the renewal as well. Roughly, what amount of stamps do you have to put on each? Do they both have to be given at the time of depositing the application or when you have to go again to deposit your original passport for stamping of the OCI sticker?

    4. Just to clarify, I presume one of our family members can present all the documentation on behalf of the family at VFS. Do they need to have an authorisation letter from the others as well?

    Thanking you in anticipation for your response.

    Best wishes,


    1. Hello Syed,

      Thank you so much for your comment – means a lot to me! 🙂

      Let’s have a look at your queries one by one.

      1. As your sons have crossed 20, they no longer need to apply for a renewed OCI card. As per the rules, the re-issuance of OCI certificate is not mandatory each time a new passport is issued between 21-50 years of age. They can still opt to get an updated OCI card if they want to. I haven’t done a separate guide on OCI card re-issuance and have been trying to help on this post only. I can do a separate one if that’s what readers want but will try to help you here first 😉
      2. The fees for OCI card re-issue on getting a new passport is £21.00 – VFS charge a separate fee of £7.44 per application.
      3. I will need to check this requirement as I couldn’t find this info yet; I will call the VFS helpline to find this out for you.
      4. Yes – any one family member can submit the application and no authority letter is required for submission.

      Apart from this, please note in case of re-issuance of OCI on getting a new passport, you need to briefly follow these steps:

      • fill the miscellaneous application form online
      • upload copy of existing OCI certificate (all pages) and the new passport
      • upload copy of the old passport, if you still have it
      • Once done, you will need to take the originals of these docs along with 2 photos, marriage certificate (for married applicants) and the print-out of the online status of your application.
      • the requirement for proof of employment is the same as a fresh OCI application

      I hope you find this helpful.


      1. Dear Aman,
        Thanks for your message. I appreciate your wonderful service.
        I went to the VFS Office at Hounslow on Wednesday (20th March).
        I thought I should update you and your readers with the latest requirements.
        1. Though mine was a Miscellaneous OCI Services application and when I got the online documents printed 3 weeks ago, there was no mention of submitting a marriage certificate for married applicants, I was asked for copies of my marriage certificate for myself and my wife. I was prepared with all eventuality and even took my Surrender Certificate, Citizenship Certificate and Marriage certificate with copies, anticipating the wasteful nature of MEA. I asked the nice lady at the counter if this was something new and she replied that the new requirement was 2 weeks old!! THEREFORE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE (for married individuals) IS A MUST FOR ALL TYPES OF OCI APPLICANTS – NEW & MUSCELLANEOUS.
        2. Only one set of Self Addressed Envelopes is required per application. I took two sets for each!!! The lady on questioning told me that this has been the case for sometime but unfortunately the website is not updated. The SAE was scanned and a sticker was stuck on it and returned back to me to bring back again with the original UK passport, Old UK passport and OCI card. THEREFORE ONLY ONE SAE ENVELOPE IS REQUIRED (and not Two) as in the past.
        I hope that this helps.
        Thanks again.

        1. Hi Syed,

          Thanks for sharing your experience here 🙂

          1. Yes, the change to marriage certificate was quite recent and I updated the guide last week to include Marriage certifiacte on the mandatory list of documents.
          2. I know of this issue on the VFS guide and I talk about this issue in the “Tips” section on the article. By 2 sets of documents, the VFS mean one set of originals and the other set of photocopies – but clearly, they don’t convey it well on their guide.

            Thanks for letting me know on the SAE requirement as well – I have noticed this pattern on some of the recent comments here. I will keep a check in the coming days and will update the guide 😉


  95. Hi Aman, Thanks for your wonderful guide without which many would find difficult to understand OCI UK process, as it’s scattered across all over the place. Today I had an appointment at Goswell VFS office and I found a few things different to what is mentioned here

    1) As mentioned in your guide I have taken two Self-addressed envelopes, but VFS officer confirmed only one is required for OCI process. ( As a precaution, I checked the same person twice and also another VFS officer both said the same, only one envelope is required)

    2) And they did not take even the single envelope from me this time instead, a bar code sticker attached to the envelope and instructed me to bring them same envelope when called again. I am too confused now,
    not sure the process changed now or its scrappy VFS office. Please, can you help me, if you any have info on the same. Thankyou

    1. Hi Raj, thanks for your update 🙂

      I have now got this feedback from at least 5 readers – I will give VFS a call and clarify this as I had required two at the time I did mine and the great VFS online guide still says 2. I will find this out and update on the post.


  96. Hi,
    My wife will be applying for an OCI as her grandfather’s nationality was Indian – on her mother’s side. For uploading purposes do you know which documents would be required?

      1. Hi Aman,
        Many thanks for your prompt response.
        I’ve contacted VFS helpline for clarification on three separate occasions and unfortunately am no wiser from the experience! I’ve received conflicting advice.
        Thanks to your case #2 information and also working it out for ourselves, we think we know what documents are required.
        When speaking to VFS, they insisted that my wife’s parents’ marriage certificate was needed which to my mind is superfluous; the link to her grandfather’s Indian origin can be made without it.
        In actual fact, we can produce the marriage certificate with a seal, but the VFS advisors suggested that it may not be recognised as my wife’s parents were married off by their church priest. If it indeed is asked for when submitting the documents, what would your advice be Aman?
        Incidently, from what I have recently learned, the option of providing the VFS centre with two RM special delivery envelopes for return of documents, is no longer an option.

  97. Thanks a bunch from the UK! The Indian OCI website is soooooooooooooooo frustrating that I had to resort to finding online help and found your page.
    Best regards
    S Ray

  98. Aman,

    One more correctoin or clarification. In your FAQs, you write:
    Do you need to get a new OCI card when your passport is renewed/re-issued?

    Yes. It is mandatory to get the OCI card re-issued every time you renew your passport up to the age of 20 years and after 50 years because of frequent changes to facial feature in this age group.

    I’d rewrite the answer as:
    Yes and No. Even though OCI is a lifetime visa, it is mandatory to get the OCI card re-issued because of frequent changes to facial features for the following two age groups:

    1. Every time you renew your passport up to the age of 20 years
    2. One and only one time after 50 years.

    Note that if you get your OCI for the first time after turning 50 years old, you do not have to ever renew it again. Also note that if your passport was issued/renewed at any age before 50, you do not have to get the OCI renewed immediately upon turning 50; rather, you can wait until your next renewal date kicks in.

  99. Hi Aman

    Thanks for your detailed guide. It has helped me alot. I have my VFS appointment in 2 weeks.

    I am applying OCI for myself and my children. Do i need a Declaration form for my minor children too?

    Please help..

    Thanks in Advance.

      1. Hi Aman,

        Thank you so much for your detailed OCI guide, it helped me a lot. I submitted the OCI applications for myself, my husband, my adult daughter and a minor. I wanted to let you know that now they are asking for only ONE special delivery envelope. At the time of submission of OCI application, VFS is no longer taking originals of the supporting documents, hence VFS doesn’t need the second one to send back the originals.
        Another point I wanted to make for the parents of minors – Both parents need to sign a consent letter for the OCI application, a template of which can be obtained from them. Along with the British passport and naturalisation certificate, cancelled Indian passport and surrender certificate, birth certificate (under Relationship proof) and marriage certificate (under Marriage Certificate) also needs to be uploaded. All photocopies for the minor have to be attested by both parents.
        Don’t forget to take Bank Statements for 3 months if applying like me as a housewife who doesn’t work.
        There is also a Self – Undertaking form given by VFS which need to be signed by each applicant.

  100. Hello Aman,

    Your guide was most helpful.

    I am a British citizen and applying for my OCI card as I regularly travel to India all the time.

    I am applying for the OCI card on my own basis as I was born in Delhi. I was naturalised before 2010 and have misplaced the indian passport I came to uK on.

    I recently acquired a non availability certificate for births and deaths from the municipal corporation for Delhi. This has my full name , my fathers and mothers full name too.

    I am in India at the moment visiting for a few months so decided to go to the FFRO office which is the equivalent to OCI centre in UK.

    They are saying I need my parents old passport to proof they were Indian but I am applying on my own basis. Both of my parents are deceased and have no idea of there passports.

    Please can you advise me how to. obtain my OCI card as I regularly go to India and now want to settle here.

    Many thanks

  101. Aman, early on in your guide, you wrote, “Consequently, applying for OCI by post is not an option and you have to do it via only VFS in the UK (and CKGS in the US of A).” This is not true for US of A–you can apply for an OCI by post as far as I know. I would recommend folks applying in USA to check this out. It would be very expensive and unnecessary to fly to San Francisco for almost 7-8 US states in the CKGS San Francisco jurisdiction.

    1. Hi again Mez Baan, 😀

      You are absolutely right – thanks for letting me know.

      After reading your comment, I did a bit of research and yes, you can send over the documents by post in the US.

      For this, the CKGS courier service can be purchased online (here) which is pretty convenient to send and receive your documents.

      Even I would recommend this to the Comparism readers from the US as this will save you the need to travel to the CKGS Application Centre locations; thus saving a lot of valuable time and money spent on travelling. Unfortunately, in the UK, you still need to submit the originals in person as a VFS location.

      Thanks again for your help in keeping this guide updated and relevant to the current rules and process 😉


      1. Aman, thanks for the compliment. You may want to change the content, which still has the original language.

  102. Hi Aman,
    Great piece of work. Wonderful !
    Could you please advise about the signature upload for a minor??
    My son is 4 years old and I have uploaded his photo but what about signature? Should i take a photo of his left thumb impreszion in aspect ratio 3:1 and then upload it??

    1. Hi Sachin,

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Yes, you got it right – children below 5 years need to provide the thumb impression and you can follow the same rules for the upload!

      I hope this helps.

      And, my apologies for the late reply…


  103. Wow! Thanks a lot, your article was in so much detail, unlike other sites I’ve visited. Although I’m still unsure about a few points. I’m basically a British national and would like to apply for an OCI card, my parents are both from India.
    Which documents am I now supposed to submits and where do I do that? Online or in person? Would I need any other documents apart from my parents’ Indian passports? Please please do revert back. I’m in a bit of a situation.thanks a lot.

    1. Hello Jasneet, thanks a lot for your comment – I am glad you found this piece useful.

      Regarding your query, if you have your full birth certificate with your parents’ names on it along with their Indian passports, you should be alright!

      I have already covered this scenario in Case #2 under Additional Documents section.

      Also, what documents to upload online and which ones to take to the VFS centre is covered on the post above under sections here and here.

      Please check and let me know if you have any further issues 🙂


      1. Dear Aman,
        I am a British National ( English mum, Indian origin Dad)
        My dad has a British passport and OCI card,
        I want to apply for OCI cards for myself, my six-year-old daughter and British husband
        You mentioned your wife applied for a family of four… how is this done pls? What documents do I supply from my dad,
        Also, I changed to my married name via deed poll, do I take (upload that?) which birth certificates are needed?
        Thanks so very much 😊

        1. Hi Jyoti,

          Thanks for your comment and apologies for the delay in replying.

          It wasn’t my wife – it was Nakul, one of our readers on Comparism 🙂

          I think you can refer to Case #2 on my article as you would be applying on the basis of your dad, your daughter’s OCI will be on the basis of parents/grandparents and your husband’s application would be on your basis (spouse).

          I hope this info helps.


  104. Francis Fernandes

    Hi Aman , thank you for taking the effort to post this wonderful piece of info. I need to know that after I submit the documents , can I travel outside the UK?

    1. Hi Francis,

      Yes, you can in the first part of the process where your British Passport is returned to you. For the second part, you will need to drop your British Passport along with the printout of online OCI status.

      Just thought of mentioning, if you plan to travel to India when your OCI application is in progress you would need a valid Indian Visa.

      I hope this helps.


  105. Hi Aman

    Thanks a lot for the elaborate OCI guide.

    Do I need to put in the address on my cancelled Indian passport in the native address column or can I give a different address?
    Do I need to give address proof if I give a different address?


  106. Hi Aman,

    As per case 1 of additional documents needed, do i need to submit birth certificate or school leaving certificate….i my case i don’t have either of them…but i got surrender certificate and cancelled indian passport
    I did read throughout your post ,which says not necessary if i have surrender certificate or cancelled indian passport…..just need your confirmation on this that i read it right,.
    Thank u in advance

  107. Hi Aman,

    Quite detailed and helpful guide.

    I have one question, when we upload pictures at first step, can we click it on phone and than upload? As photo specifications say it has to be very high quality, background, not distorted etc and long list.

    Or is it worth to get clicked by photographer and ask them to provide digital copy of same ?

    Gurpreet Malhi

    1. Hi Gurpreet,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I would suggest going with the latter – you anyways need to get it clicked for the visit to VFS; just ask for a digital copy. Some photographers could charge about £5 in the UK.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Hi Aman,
        Your guide for OCI application was very helpful. I managed to fill the online application form and get it printed. However, the vfsglobal site to schedule an appointment isn’t working. I’ve been trying for 3 days now. Can you help me with this?
        Thank you

        1. Hello Valeria,

          I tried the appointment booking link just now and it works fine for me – can you please give it a go again? If you face any issues, please provide more details if you are getting any error…


    2. Hi Aman
      That’s a very helpful guide.
      I was just wondering about my situation as I have my British citizenship now and soon would apply for British passport followed by OCI . I want to know whether my spouse and children who are not Indian nationals and they would be British citizens in March 2019 be eligible to apply for OCI on the basis of my OCI?


  108. Hi Aman

    Thanks for a very helpful step by step guide. Could you let me know how many days (approx) does it takes to get you OCI card and passport back through post (after the Collection of OCI process?


    1. Hello Nidhi,

      If you mean just the posting of the OCI card and the British Passport after the OCI application has been processed and OCI issued, it’s just a matter of 1-2 days to reach you.

      If you meant the time taken once you have submitted the original British passport along with the OCI status print out (the second visit to VFS), from there on it takes under a week.

      I hope this answers your query.


  109. Thanks Aman,

    Thank you very much, your guidance and notes are much appreciated.
    For this entire process, your notes always helped me to look into and verify/ provide correct details.

    Kind Regards,

    1. That’s great, Dara. I am glad you found this guide useful. Please do subscribe to my newsletter to get regular updates 🙂


  110. Prathima Murthy

    Hello, I am applying for my 18 month old daughter who holds a British passport. Will I have to take her along with me for the VFS appointment?

    1. Hi Prathima, you can apply on your daughter’s behalf. Having spoken to a few readers via comments on this post, they submitted the OCI application pack on behalf of their family members without any issues.


  111. Hey,

    Does the online photograph that I upload have to match the photograph I physically give with the application form in person?



    1. Aman/Gurdev

      I am not sure your response is correct. From the US San Francisco CGI website (not from CKGS, the official agent akin to VFS in UK) the photo MUST be identical. I do not think this should even be a question, but I respect Aman’s knowledge and his answer. Here is the source of my reasoning and my own experience, which is still fresh in my memory. On the other hand, the photo in your passport (at least in the case of a new OCI due to renewal of a passport) MUST NOT match the new OCI photo.

      Item 10: PHOTOGRAPH: if photo is uploaded online then it must be identical to the photograph affixed on the form.

      Again, UK process may be different, though, for this case, I highly doubt it. And, it is quite possible that I am misunderstanding your question. In the latter case, my apology in advance.

  112. Hi both my parents were born in India but I don’t have their India passport as they came to East Africa in their teens and now they are both dead all I have is their British Passport with born in India I have my full birth certificate with both their names can I apply for OCI

    1. Hello Dee,

      I think you’ll be fine with your full birth certificate with your parents’ names. Please let me know how you get on.


  113. Hi Aman,
    Thanks for sharing such detailed information around OCI.
    Do you know how much time it would take for renewal of OCI for a minor. I will be renewing the british passport for my son n need to get the OCI renewed too. Need to travel in December end this year.


    1. Hello Priya,

      The timeline for the minors is the same as an adult application; 6-8 weeks as advised by VFS and 4-5 weeks on average based on 2 applications I based this post on.


  114. Hi

    After submission of OCI application and getting status as “processed” do I need to book an appointment with the visa office again to submit my British passport?


    1. Hi Ashok,

      No you don’t need to; you can simply walk in on any working day between 8:30 am – 11 am.

      I have covered this query in the FAQs section in details 🙂


  115. Hi Aman / Nakul / anyone who has applied for minor,

    Can I ask a question for Minor OCI documents.
    I was about to upload birth certificate for minor under “Relationship certificate” dropdown and it had following guidelines :
    Instructions for Relationship-certificate upload
    * Scan and upload the array of birth certificates from the applicant to parents/grand parents.
    * Birth certificate issued from a competent authority is only acceptable.
    * Foreign issued birth certificate is to be get apostle/authenticated.
    * Scan and upload the apostle/authentication stamp page also.
    For point 3, what does that mean ? Do we need to get it certified/authenticated from some solicitor or anyone ?
    I will be attaching original official copy of course which registrar stamp etc

    Kindly could you advice.
    Thanks for your help.


    1. Hi Suresh, my sincere apologies for the late reply!

      I guess you’d have done your application submission by now?

      The 3rd point is for the case if the birth certificate was not issued in India in which case it needs to be authenticated by a registered authority for doing that…

      I am curious to know what did you do in your case?


      1. HI Aman and Suresh

        I would just like to point out that if you are uploading and submitting a minor brith certificate the it must be the full Certificate with both parents details contained and not the short version (UK Birth Certificate). I had this issue when I applied for my daughter who had UK Birth Certificate and had to submit the correct version after it was rejected first time around,

        Kind Regards


        1. Hi Harish, thanks for your comment.

          Spot on!

          On this post, I did already mention that because I found “Full Birth Certificate” as the requirement for OCI application to VFS.

          So just for my knowledge, do you get 2 versions of the birth certificate?


          1. Hi Aman

            Yes, that’s correct.

            You get a short and a full version of the Birth Certificate in the UK. The short version basically only contains the Name, DOB , sex and place of birth. However the full version contains all the Parent details as well as the details in the short version.

            Hope that helps

            Kind Regards


  116. Thank you …
    What are the documents required in oder to process his OCI .both of us are Portugese passport holders and have our OCI.
    Hence I am planning to show our original OCI, Passport copies,Civil Marriage certificate (Marriage to plaxe in India) ,& my son birth certificate attested by the Council of Aberdeen at the time of submission . I managed to attach only the OCI on his online form.

    Kindly help ….

  117. Christine Defontaine

    Dear Aman

    Thanks for a wonderful document, I am in the process of filling it in, but am slightly unsure of what address to put into NATIVE PLACE ADDRESS – I don’t have an address in India only in London – is this sufficient?
    Thanks for your help

  118. Hi Aman great Guide.Just 1 Question when taking an oci appointment for my son . IT doesn’t allow me to put only his details . We both pa rents have our OCI . How do i do this?
    Thank you

  119. Hi Aman,

    I am having trouble uploading my Indian Origin Proof document. the file is less than 1mb. however every time I upload I keep getting an error message ‘error:file number or document selected are not correct’ and it is asking me to re-upload. Not sure why this is happening I have tried several versions of pdf files and still no luck. Please could you advise any further?
    Thank You

    1. Hi Shabbir, Did you try this again after logging out?

      I haven’t had any reader reporting such an error so it could be intermittent…


      1. It could be that the type of document you selected from the drop down for Indian Origin Proof is incorrect. From what I remember, it is very fussy about what is considered proof for what. It may have nothing to do with the size of your file. Also, without insulting you, do check the file number. I have been embarrassed a few time in my life by being smug, only to eat crow later. If you have the right size, I agree that this should not be an issue.

  120. Hi,
    I am a divorcee and have remarried, is it possible to get OCI for my son? I have no contact with the father of my son.


    1. Hi RS,

      I tried to find an answer to this particular scenario but I’m afraid, I am unable to help you with this as I don’t want to provide any wrong information. I hope you understand.

      If I may suggest, can you please call the OCI helpline and update here what they advise, please?

      I am sorry – I wish I could help further…


  121. Thanks Aman for your good work !

    You have specified it as 3:1 ratio (see below ) however in the OCI website it provided as “The height and width of the Signature Photo must have aspect ratio 1:3”

    “Note: For signatures, I signed with a black pen on a plain paper and took a picture using my phone camera. Later, I used editing software to fit it to the 3:1 aspect ratio (900px by 300px).”

    Not sure this is typo error

    1. Hi Joshua,

      It’s the same – VFS have mentioned it in height:width format while I have used the standard convention how image sizes are defined in width:height format 🙂

      So basically when you sign you obviously cannot sign vertically (top -> down) hence 900px is the width and 300px is the height (signing horizontally left -> right).


  122. Hey Aman,

    Thanks for detailed guide, as we can see its being helpful to so many of us. So a token of big thanks for taking effort to pull it together. GBU.

    I’ve some questions for which I wanted to seek your advice –
    I received my naturalisation in Feb this year and British passport in March. For some personal reasons, I couldn’t initiate passport surrender and OCI process until now. In between, I had travelled to India on British passport after acquiring eVisa (its a bliss !) .
    I’ve just started Indian passport surrender process and will apply for my OCI after.
    We had a baby last month ( British Citizenship) and I’m going to apply for baby’s OCI soon.
    Questions –
    1) Do I need to wait for my OCI to come back to apply for baby’s OCI – is there any dependency ?
    2) Or I can initiate both OCI processes in parallel (for me and baby).
    3) Any additional document we need for baby’s OCI ?

    Note – My wife is an Indian citizen and holds Indian passport.

    Kindly advice.


    1. Hello Suresh,

      Thank you so much for such kind words. It feels wonderful to be giving back my tiny bit to the community and reading the comments. 🙂

      Please do subscribe to my free newsletter (form on the right) so you don’t miss any future posts.

      And, big congratulations for your baby. 🙂

      Let’s look at your queries…

      1) I don’t think so: Your surrender certificate (once you get it) and your wife’s India passport along with UK BRP/Visa is the parents’ proof of Indian origin.
      2) Yes, you can.
      3) Please see Case #3 in the post. In addition, you need to get your baby’s thumb impression (left hand) and you & your wife need to sign on Part B of the form.

      I hope this helps.

      1. Thank you again Aman for responding.

        For point 1) – I will have to submit my surrender certificate in original as part of my OCI application correct . So in that case, will I send photocopy of my surrender certificate during baby’s OCI application ? (as I want them to be processed in parallel) ?

        One more stupid question probably around surrender certificate.

        Above link quotes one of the document required
        “If the applicant is born in UK /abroad and obtained foreign/British Nationality on the basis of Birth in the country and not by naturalisation then applicant is required to provide a photocopy of the full Birth Certificate.”

        I’m really confused on above comment. How can a newborn who never had an Indian passport, and had directly acquired UK citizenship, have to get a surrender certificate ? Really ?
        It doesn’t makes sense to me, unless I’m missing something.

        In other words, does this imply that we have to get surrender certificate even for baby (who never had Indian citizenship) before applying for baby’s OCI ?

        Thanks again for your time.


        1. Hi Suresh, As you will be submitting the applications together the copy should be fine. Anyways, you can discuss with the officer reviewing your docs at VFS 🙂

          In the snippet you’ve mentioned, the requirement is for the full birth certificate and not naturalisation certificate. I think there’s a confusion and you’re right how would anyone who’s never had an Indian passport can have a surrender certificate.

          Which means: you don’t need a surrender certificate for your baby, you need his/her full birth certificate from the UK.

          Hope this helps.


  123. Hello Aman,

    Thanks for detailed step by step procedure to apply for OCI.

    Why do they need Employment Letter? what is the purpose?

  124. Dear Aman

    Do they do biometric for OCI card is that a contribute to the lengthy process at VFS office ?

  125. Hi Aman,
    Thanks for your wonderful guide!!!
    Just a couple of quick questions
    My daughters were respectfully 19 and 17 when they got their Oci’s on their current passport. They will need to renew their passport in 2023 when they will be 28 and 26. So my question is will they need to have their OCI re- issued as the website says ‘OCI registration Certificate have to be re-issued each time a New passport is issued up to the completion of 20 years of age’ as neither were 20 when they originally got their OCI.
    My other question is that you say we can provide 2 x A4 Royal Mail Silver Special Delivery envelopes for returning our documents but on some forums people are complaining that they have forced to use their courier service expensive envelopes!! Also if were to use their courier service and you are not at home when they deliver what happens to the delivery? At least with Royal Mail your parcel will be taken to the nearest depot for you to pick up. Please advice . Many thanks and keep up the good work!!!!

    1. Hi again Nilaben,

      I have answered your first query on your earlier comment.

      Here’s my take on the Royal Mail delivery envelope query – the VFS executives have no right to force you into buying their expensive query. The VFS website mentions you could bring in the Royal Mail envelopes OR use their service as an option.


  126. Gurvinder Dhillon

    Hi Aman
    Just want to know what to do you are 20 years old but student,but they were asking employment letter for all applicants over 18 . Furthermore do self addressed envelopes have to be special delivery and for self attesting photocopies can you sign anywhere and do you have to write anything with signatures.
    And Thanks very much for all the information.

    1. Hi Gurvinder,

      Hmmm, that’s a good question. I couldn’t find any mention of this case on the VFS website at all. I think in your case, you can provide a copy of your student ID card? But, if you can please call the VFS helpline to clarify and update here, that would be great.

      Special delivery envelopes are secure and you can rest assured that you will get your documents back safely.

      For self-attesting, yes, you can sign anywhere – I normally follow this format:

      (Full name)


  127. Hey Aman

    Do you have to use the same photos online (jpg) as you do for part B form where you attach them? Or can you use ones from photo booth?

    BTW, great instructions for getting OCI, ten times better than instructions from the Indian Gov site. They should hire you 😉

    Tip : When you want to review your form at a later date, always use their Calendar (drop down menu) to enter your birth date. If you add it manually, it appears not to retrieve the document.


    1. Hi Kumar,

      You can use any photos that meet the specifications that I have mentioned (courtesy VFS).

      Thanks a lot for your kind words; if they hire me, my writing could end up being the same, haha. 😛

  128. Hi Aman

    First of all, thank you for the guide. Very detailed.

    My mum has her surrender certificate but has not worked for years. Can i show she has been on benefits for last 3 months? I have bank statements.

    Also i am applying on as her son and came to UK on her passport. Do i still need her birth certificate or marriage certificate? If we do not have these can i still apply?


    S Patel

    1. Hi Snehul,

      Thanks 🙂

      I think proof of the benefits along with bank statements should suffice. You could also show the proof of last employment, if possible.

      Here’s what I feel for your case:

      You would surely need your birth certificate with both your parents’ names on it. You can then show a copy of your parent’s Indian passport along with your mum’s Surrender certificate. These both put together could act as a proof of Indian origin.

      I would still recommend calling the VFS helpline for OCI to discuss your specific case and if you do, please update here what they advice.


  129. Hi Aman

    This is a great guide. There are so many help guides on various forums, but nothing this comprehensive and written in simple easy to understand english.

    I must say, some of the english language words used on the OCI website should be reconsidered.

    Helped me out so much being an applicant from the UK.

    Many Thanks


      1. Hi Aman

        I thought I would provide you with some of the issues I faced when attending the Cardiff Visa Office.

        1. Firstly the photo that was taken in a typical UK passport photo booth was not accepted as they said the quality was not acceptable. The booth did state “photos for India Visa”, however it still wasn’t accepted. I therefore now have to attend a photography company which was recommended by the clerk. Apparently they do high quality photos!. Thought you may want to know the quality of photo booth images can be an issue.

        2. The Relationship Certificate they require must not be the short birth Certificate , but has to be the full version. i.e which contain all the parents particulars.

        3. If you are applying for a minor they must also sign the printed declaration. Both the Parents Signatures at the end of the form alone is not enough.

        Hope my feedback helps future applicants.

        Many Thanks


        1. Hi Harish,

          Thanks for the update with your personal experience.

          Yes, the UK photo specs are different to the Indian passport/visa specs (35×45 cm vs 50×50 cm).

          I did mention on the post to include the full version birth certificate. Thanks for the reminder via your comment.

          I am going to update this post to include details for minors based on feedback from the readers in comments 🙂


        2. Hi Harish,

          Regarding the point number 3:

          For minors less than 5 years, do they need to do thumb expression at the end of the form. As you mentioned parents signature won’t be enough.

          1. Hi there,

            Here’s my take based on the info I found on VFS spec:

            Children below 5 years of age need to place the thumb impression (left hand in case of girls and right hand in case of a boy – I am not sure why it’s different).

            Children above 5 years need to write their name or sign in the box.

            In addition to this, the Signature/thumb impression of the child applicant is also required on the declaration on Part B of the application form.

            Also, both the parents need to be signed in part ‘B’

            I hope this helps.

  130. Hi Aman, will appreciate if you can help me with this.
    I am applying the OCI for my daughter.
    I have done Form-A and got the email with the temporary application number. Now I want to re-login and upload the image file for signature (thumb impression) and photo but I am unable to login. I have tried it several times with passport details and the temporary application number that came in the mail. Is there a number to call in such a situation when one is stuck like this?

    Thanks a lot for the help.


    1. Hi CK,

      If you have completed Part-A, you should have got the OCI reference number starting with GBRL (check out the screengrab just before Step 2.1 above).

      Hope this helps.


  131. Hi Aman
    I want to apply fro minors (under 18)
    When i select date to make appointment when everything else is uploaded, it wont let me proceed
    Website is complete useless as it does not give indication what you have to do
    Any advise?

    1. Hi Praf,

      Are you getting any error? If the error is due to the Date of Birth for minors, you can book the appointment with your details.


  132. Hi Aman
    Do yopu know anyone who will actually process application fro OCI?
    Your instructions is very detailed and helpful
    Many ppl dont have time to go through all this
    So just wondering if there is a 3rd party who can do the work for a fee

    1. Hi Praf,

      No – the OCI application can only be submitted in-person which means you cannot use any third-party agents. Even if you had to use an agent, you would be the one to actually prepare the file.

      So, don’t worry as you can follow this simple step-by-step guide and it’s a pretty straight-forward process (if you follow the checklist).

      Any issues, please let me know.


  133. Hi Aman,
    Thank you for your fully detailed guide and I am now confident in applying for my OCI because of my spouse.
    Just a quick question regarding renewal – my spouse got his OCI when he was 55 on his previous passport so does he need to have his OCI re-issued or can he just carry his old passport, his new passport and OCI Card when he travels to India?
    Also, my daughters were 19 and 17 years old when they got their OCI but their passport is valid till 2024 so a bit confused as to whether they will need to have OCI re-issued when their passports are renewed in 2024 as by then they will be 28 and 26 respectively.
    Many thanks for all your work – much appreciated!!
    Keep up the good work as the OCI application is like a minefield!

    1. Hi Nilaben,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the late reply…

      Yes, as your husband got his new passport at the age of 55 years, you would need to use the miscellaneous service for getting OCI re-issued. The rule is for the OCI card to be reissued on receiving a new passport for ages up to 20 years and above 50 years. But, if the OCI card itself got re-issued after the age of 50 years, you don’t need to get it re-issued again.

      Your daughters, on the other hand, won’t need to do that as they would fall in the bracket of 21-50 years.

      Cheers and my apologies again for getting back so late!


  134. Hi Aman,
    Iam applying for my three kids along with mine as well,
    My kids are 11,8 and 5 years, unfortunately they cant sign properly,in this case can i upload my signature for them or do i need to upload their thumb impressions.

    1. Hi Lenin,

      For minors, here’s what the VFS website says:

      “Signatures should be in the box provided. Children below 5 years of age should place the thumb impression (left hand) and children above 5 years of age should write their name or sign. Signature/thumb impression of the child applicant is also required on the declaration on Part B of the application form (2 page).

      In case of minor children, both the parents need to be signed in part ‘B’ or parent’s consent letter is mandatory (if divorced) or court order having custody of children.”

      Because of a number of queries around OCI application for minors, I am thinking to add a separate section with all the details in the coming weeks. But I guess this info should help you proceed with the applications for now.

      Hope this helps.


  135. Hi Aman, excellent guide. I have a couple of questions, if you or any other members could shed some light on. First, my wife has just applied for her surrender certificate today at Leicester vfs, is it possible I can go to the appointment for Oci application on her behalf? Second, her Indian passport has her given name as ‘Rajdeep Kaur’ and surname section is blank. But in the British passport, they have put ‘xxx’ in the given name section and ‘Rajdeep kaur’ In the surname section. We enquiried the British passport office and were told that it is normal procedure to put complete name in the surname section, in the absence of surname in the foreign passport. Now my confusion is how should we fill the oci form on the basis of British passport? We would really appreciate your advice. Thanks

    1. Hi Dil,

      For your first query, yes once you have got the surrender certificate for your wife, you can attend the OCI application appointment on her behalf.

      For your second query, nobody could help you better right now as this was exactly my case 😉

      Somehow Indian passport deptt has this issue with common names like Singh, Kaur, Khan etc and it’s a very common problem. What you have been told by HMPO is correct as they would only issue a passport in the name which was on the native passport (which in your case is Rajdeep Kaur )

      Now you have 2 options.

      1. Fill the OCI form exactly like your British Passport (if you notice this is how I started filling up my OCI form initially and it shows in the screenshot on this post). The disadvantage of doing this is, the XXX stays on your legal document for India forever. No harm as such but you might have to explain this if you plan to provide OCI as a legal proof (maybe?) – it’s your personal choice but I don’t recommend this option.

      2. This is what I did as I didn’t want an unnecessary XXX in my name :P. I re-applied for a replacement British passport to get my name rectified (First name – Amandeep and Last name – Singh). For this you need to get a deed poll (it’s free – there are some services that charge like 30-40 GBP. You don’t pay a single penny, let me know if you need more details on this) and any document where it shows you using the name already (without the XXX which is not an issue at all as that’s the correct name anyways).

      Once you have the British passport with the correct name, apply OCI without the XXX 🙂

      This is the process I followed and now my British Passport doesn’t have XXX and same would be the case for my OCI 😉

      Any issues, please let me know.


      1. Hi Aman. Thanks for such a quick and detailed reply. You are absolutely right, the ‘xxx’ in given name section looks very strange. We have decided to follow your advice and get the name changed in the British passport before applying for the OCI card. I have just checked online and there are quite a few websites offering to make a deed poll for a fee. Could you please advice how to get it done properly and how long it would take for the whole process. And yes we have all other documents(driver licence, bank statements, bill etc.) in correct name. We look forward to your answer.
        Thanks again

        1. Hey Dil,

          Glad you found my reply useful 🙂

          As I mentioned, you don’t have to pay a single penny to any of these websites. As a deed poll, a declaration from you in writing even on a tissue paper would hold good, but let’s not take that route. Let me explain the process I followed. 😛

          (As I write this, I thought I will do a separate detailed post on this topic. But, for now, let’s help you out.)

          You can skip those websites that provide these deeds with fancy stamps on them (you don’t need them!)

          Simply head over to this free alternative ( – that’s what I used. Select “Normal Deep Poll” and simply enter your details (old name, new name, address along with details of 2 witnesses) and that’s about it – this tool will generate a deed poll for you in no time. Save the file.

          Buy parchment paper (A4 100 gsm); you can order on Amazon ( and print it at home. The parchment paper is thicker and is used for such declarations (and looks professional) but there’s no legal obligation for you to use it – you can do with a normal paper too.

          Once printed, simply sign it along with signatures of your 2 witnesses. And voila! You’ve got yourself a deed poll.

          If my tip saves you ££, you owe me a drink haha! 😉


          1. Most definitely bro😁, the money your advice has saved me, I owe you two drinks atleast👍. Just waiting for the British passport to come back before we apply for the OCI card.
            And yes you should totally do a separate post about this issue as it will help others like me( as most people have only given names in their Indian passports and they end up getting the ‘XXX’ in the British passport). Thanks a lot again for doing all the leg work, it has saved me so much hassle👌🏼

          2. Hi Aman,
            Thanks for helpful information.
            Can i use it to change my son (minor) name.

          3. Yes, this is the standard process I found to change name on British Passport if you couldn’t change it on the Indian passport.


  136. A very well done guide.
    Just one thing, when filling up the form for babies, what points to keep in mind?

    Thanks a lot

  137. Hi Aman, very well done with your guides.
    I’ve used it to apply for surrender certificate and now for OCI. (It’s really really helpful)
    However, I have a new query in regards to OCI and just wanted to know your take on it.
    So I have a friend who had a British passport and OCI. She has now gotten married and hence changed her surname. She has already amended the details on her British passport ( So now she has a new passport with new number on it). Does she need to amend the details on her OCI as well? and does she need to transfer the u-visa sticker to her new passport or can she travel with her old+new passport and previous OCI?

    1. Hi Wilfred,

      My sincere apologies for the late reply – in case this reply is still relevant for you (or anyone is looking for similar info in the future), here’s my take on this scenario:

      As per the rules, with every passport change up to the age of 20 years and only once after 50 years, you need to apply for renewing your OCI card due to biological changes in appearance.

      If the age is between 21-50 years (both inclusive) at the time of getting the new passport, you don’t have to apply for OCI miscellaneous services to get OCI card reissued.

      I hope this helps.


  138. Wow.. such a detailed steps. Indian government should pay you for taking the efforts. Thanks a lot

  139. Amolak Singh Sunnerd

    Was just wondering, I went to Birmingham vfs to lodge oci and was told that it is minimum of 6 months processing time to apply via Indian spouse. Is this correct because you mention it takes 6 to 8 weeks.

    1. Hi Amolak,

      That’s the timeline as confirmed on VFS website in any kind of OCI application. Mine was a single application based on my Indian residence in the past and I don’t have a case study for any of my knowns. Let’s wait for one of the readers to write about their experience with spouse OCI 😉


    2. Hi there, I checked with VFS directly by ringing them and they told me it would take 6-8 weeks whether single or on behalf your spouse.

  140. Hi Aman,

    Such a awesome document, amazing. Really appreciated what you have done, I have quick question, for Proof of Indian origin I have surrender certificate, apart from that do I need to submit my birth certificate ? please clarify.

  141. Hi Aman. Thank you for detailed guide. I am considering applying for OCI but my situation is that I was born in India, I no longer have my old Indian passport and I only have a naturalisation certificate & an Affidavit from India (instead of a birth certificate).
    Therefore I think I will fall under Case #1 scenario. How easy is it obtaining a Notarized Affidavit? I would be interested to know if anyone else tried this option and how successful they were. Many thanks

  142. Hi Aman
    Having been given the go ahead from my parents who have sorted out their OCI cards being south African citizens, I am now considering getting mines done. I have moved to the UK about 10 years so and so have a British passport, unlike my parents who have south African passports. Hopefully the application prices will go smoothly, and with your detailed guide is exactly the helping hand I need. Will keep you updated, many thanks and best regards

  143. Excellent OCI guide here!!!

    Many Thanks to Aman for taking such efforts to put everything together nicely and in order for anyone who’s ready to apply for OCI.

    I did follow Aman’s draft OCI guide (when it was not even live here) and also shared my experiences in the process, thanks Aman for mentioning my name few times 😉 But I was simply glad to provide any pointers.

    Finally, I did apply for OCI for family of 4 on 30th May 2018 and got my OCI at home on 30th June 2018, that’s total 28 days which I felt was simply awesome.
    Thanks Aman again and keep up the good work!

    1. Cheers man!

      Thanks for your comment and your valuable inputs during your OCI process.

      Congrats on getting your OCI and British passport back well in time for your trip to India!

      See you around and have a great vacation back home 😉

    2. 28 days!!!! That’s amazing Nakul! Well done.

      I am due to do for 4 of us too (mine from my spouse, and spouses from Grandparents, kids from Grandparents who both have their OCI through one of their parents)- do you think I can do it in one go?

      Also does anyone know if I can submit Grandparents OCI as proof of Indian origin or do I need to submit the documents they submitted to get OCI.

      I thought e-visa was complicated – and this was going to top it but Aman your guide has made it so much easier! It’s permanently on my browser tab!!!

      1. Hello Dimpy,

        Thanks a lot for your comment – you’re very kind!

        First, my sincere apologies for the delay in replying to your query. I am getting a lot of comments daily and being a one-person army, content creation and responding to each comment personally gets a bit overwhelming. There is a lot more content I want to produce but need to juggle up between things – I hope you understand. 🙂

        I’m sure by now you would have applied with some positive news to share here?

        Regarding your query (if you’re still looking for an update), yes you can submit just the OCI card as proof of Indian origin. No need to provide the documents your grandparents submitted.

        I wish you the best of luck, and once you have the OCI cards for your family, you can copy the link, share with your friends and finally, close the tab 😉

        Still, I recommend you bookmark the deals section I have here so that you can use the most effective ways of sending money to India.

        And eVisa is not that complicated too – a clear, no-nonsense guide coming soon! 😉


  144. Hi Aman,

    Your blog is very helpful when applying for surrender certificate.

    I think as on today while I am applying for OCI few things have changed. I just realised after completing part A/B. I was literally stuck where documents needs to be uploaded. It won’t let you go back to forward on the website till you get it right.
    It asked for passport number and online registration numbers. (This will be your British passport number and OCI 12 digit file no starts like GBRBXXXXXXXX).

    Tanks again for your details set by step guidelines has been of great help.


  145. Great Guide Aman Ji. One of the best detailed explanation to be found anywhere on the web. Some points I can add

    1) Applicants are advised to prepare scanned copies of Photo, Signature, PDF of their documents well in advance before even starting the application. Many times people start the application and then get lost in scanning. One can always re-upload if there are some anomalies.

    2) In small VFS center like non-London city, there are no security personnel who can help with document check or copies. So better to go well prepared.

    3) People of small child should note the process of thumb impression and the place where parents can sign.

    Many people are exploring the option of applying OCI in India thru FRRO offices. That will be a great topic of new post.

  146. Hi

    Those applying OCI for babies or toddlers under 5 years age – need ‘left hand thumb impression’ preferably with Black ink. Tip – take a Gel pen and lightly scrub it over the thumb and gently place the impression on a white paper and follow my previous comment to save it as a JPEG.

  147. Thank you, Aman, for a brilliant job.

    Tip for Window users to resize their photos and save as JPEG format and also to shrink or reduce PDF size. No need for third-party software/app – your sensitive data is not secure with third parties.

    Resizing JPEG photo for Windows users:- Right Click the photo and choose Edit (it will open the photo in MS Paint) and then click Select and further Click Select All. Click Resize and then Pixel (by default its Percentage), Uncheck the Maintain Aspect Ratio and enter 602 width and 602 length (you can do 200×200). 602×602 gives a good result – if 602 doesn’t work for you do 884×884 (less than 900). Click OK and then drag the ratios and make sure not to leave white space around the photo. Click File and chose Save As and chose JPEG. Give the file a name and save it in a desired folder or Desktop.

    Resizing/Reducing/optimizing PDF with PDF reader:- You don’t need PDF Pro or CS5 etc software. Simply scan your docs and save as PDF. Disconnect your printer (Though you may not need to). Open the PDF and Click Print (or Ctrl +P) and from the Print pop-up window – chose Print to PDF (or Microsoft Print to PDF) from the drop-down menu on the top. Uncheck the Print to Greyscale (if you have selected this previously to avoid printing colour pages and to save ink) and Click Print at the bottom left end (as you normally print your docs). A new window will pop-up and prompt you to save the PDF – save the PDF with a new file name as you wish in a folder or desktop. Bingo, a new reduced size PDF is saved on your machine. It will reduce massively, for example, from 1.80MB to 110KB.

    Another tip for photos: – Go to any photo booth that offers Indian or US visa photos (normally around £8 and you need to attach it with form) for 4 or 5 photos. Take a picture from those printed photos on your phone camera and save it on Desktop and then follow as above. Or you can download (I know but hey its Microsoft) Office Lens and scan your photo using Office Lens and transfer to Desktop and follow as above.

  148. Hi, appreciate your guide. Writing from the US but as you noted, most steps are similar. I have only one advice — READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS MANY TIMES EVEN IF FOR THE SAME THING BUT PRESENT IN TWO SECTIONS OF CKGS/VFS WEBSITE OR ON GOVT OF INDIA AND CKGS/VFS SITE. I had to edit my application several times, upload the supporting document several times, and even seek a refund for my application once because I entered the first name as just that and not include the middle name in the “first” name because I thought you include both only when being asked for “given” name.

    Also, I was simply asking for a new OCI card because of re-issue of passport for someone under 20 years. This is an onerous and as detailed and in some ways more demanding procedure than even a new OCI card (primarily because of extra CKGS/VFS fee and notarization needs that weren’t required for the original OCI application, albeit over 10 years ago). I have read that the officials at the Indian airports don’t particularly care about this rule (reissue of OCI every time a passport is issued for under 20 years old or once after 50 years old) but I want to be safe because they can technically invoke this rule anytime they wish. Frankly, this new OCI card due to the reissue of passport needs to be made easier than it is. As I said, in some ways, it is more complicated than a new one is and serves little purpose than satisfying some egos and a conduit for CKGS/VFS to make money when it shouldn’t be a need in the first place.

    Finally, I noticed a HUGE difference, and there are a lot of confusion/changing rules on the submission/requirement of original foreign passport with a new/renewal of OCI booklet. Because the U-Visa sticker is no longer being affixed in the passport, and only the booklet is sufficient for travel, there is NO NEED TO BE ASKED FOR FOREIGN PASSPORT SUBMISSION. At best, they MAY ask to see it for verification, and you need to submit a notarized copy in the USA anyway. I was not asked nor did I submit the original US passport at any stage during this process.

    A shout out to the MEA site — very user-friendly except jpg and pdf formats and pixel sizes of documents (by the way the tool allows you to crop the photo to trim it to the required size). Great retrieval and update status, and very efficient. CKGS has a bad rep here (mostly deserved) but in my case, everything worked like a charm despite my reservations. But, it was because I literally reworked my application 8-10 times to get everything right. The CKGS site, even though intending to be excruciatingly accurate, is confusing and sometimes plain old incorrect/out of date.

    Some key pointers:
    1. do not print double sided
    2. photo on the passport cannot match the OCI photo (at least for OCI renewal due to passport reissue)
    3. always enter the first name as given name (i.e. first and middle name, if such is the case)
    4. have you upload documents ready before filling the GOI website.
    5. check everything at least 10 times.
    6. make sure information common to different forms matches EXACTLY.
    7. use CKGS/VFS courier service, especially if travel time and parking/travel costs are high.
    8. no use fighting the archaic and seemingly unnecessary steps (for instance asking for Indian origin proof when you are simply renewing an OCI status due to the reissue of a foreign passport).
    9. pray like you have never prayed before.
    10. expect rejection of the application and possible fees. If you are successful the first time, count your blessings.

    There, you have it. A final note — if you carry every possible original document, applying in person may be helpful as you can likely supply any missing information/document assuming the person checks it thoroughly rather than just accept your application)

    1. Hello Mez Baan,

      Thanks a lot for your detailed comment with your personal experience with applying OCI in the US (I loved your point #9 :D).

      Regarding the Middle name, you need to make sure it matches how you have it on your foreign passport. I had mentioned it in the post, I have now clarified to include the middle name too.

      I completely understand your frustration about re-issue of OCI card on renewal/re-issue of the passport but that’s how the current rule is, and that is indeed the requirement. I have no experience of how airport officials treat this.

      The requirement of submitting original foreign passport here in the UK is how I have penned it here. This is how VFS process is and thanks for clarifying the difference of submission in the US. Again, I will update the post if the process in the UK is any different than what VFS told me over the phone.

      What is the MEA site that you referred to in your comment?

      Thanks for your review of the CKGS site – when I compared it to the instructions on VFS site, I found the CKGS guides to be better. But you might be right that they aren’t that good on their own, all I did in this post was a comparison, and for the incorrect bits on CKGS site, you can anytime use my guide – share it, please 😉

      On your point to use CKGS/VFS courier service, here in the UK Royal Mail is pretty good and less than half the cost, so I recommend Royal Mail over courier service provided by VFS. Do you have a similar provision to submit pre-paid envelopes and save on CKGS courier?

      Again, thanks for your detailed update on your experience with the OCI process – really appreciate it.


      1. Aman, the MEA website is the same as GOI one–where you upload photos etc. Sorry if I confused you. On shipping, they MAY accept US Postal Service, but first, the rates are not that different, and second, as much as I want to save on this cost, I recommend sticking to UPS or FedEx in USA for both sides-submission of application and receiving the new documents. The cost of time off, gas/public transport, parking, etc. is much more than the cost of courier at least in the USA.

        If someone has specific questions for USA, I am happy to answer. The most annoying thing in the reissue of OCI for change of passport for minors under 20 is a circular argument asking to prove something again that was already proven when the original expiring OCI booklet was issued and asking for copies and notarization of documents that add costs and are completely necessary in my opinion. But, my opinion counts for nothing, and everyone has one. So, don’t fight, suck it up, and get on with the program

        1. Hey Mez baan, thanks a lot for your helpful response. I am sure anybody applying for OCI from the US can make use of this info. 🙂


    2. Hi,
      Thanks for the nice guide.
      I wish I found this before I gave Indian PP and couldn’t submit first time.
      I have status shown as Processed. but there are two other dates
      dispatched from MEAD at New Delhi and
      Received at ** are still empty.
      Should I wait for other dates to appear or can I submit the submit my UK passport?

      And the timings are they really 8-11, can’t I go after 11?


      1. Hi Giridhar,

        Thanks 🙂

        I am sorry for the late reply – do you see those dates populated now?

        Yes the timings are 8-11AM only.


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