NEW DELHI: The ministry of home affairs has stripped writer and journalist Aatish Taseer of his Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, which he was issued in 2016. A controversy has broken out over this as Taseer had been critical of this government in a Time magazine article, where he called PM Narendra Modi ‘Divider-in-Chief’. TOI takes a look at who is eligible for an OCI card.


The Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card was introduced in 2005 to make it easier for overseas Indians to come to India. On January 9, 2015, the PIO card scheme was withdrawn and merged with the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card scheme.


A foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on January 26, 1950, or was a citizen of India on or at any time after January 26, 1950, or belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947, and his/her children and grandchildren, is eligible for registration as an OCI. Minor children of such persons are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.


1. Multiple entry, multipurpose lifelong visa to visit India
2. Exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in India
3. Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
4. Parity with resident Indians on airfares in domestic sectors; same entry fee as Indian visitors to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.