OCI cardholders no longer need to carry old passports for India

New Delhi: People of Indian origin and Indian diaspora having overseas citizens of India card are now not required to carry their old, expired passports for travel to India, as required earlier, the Embassy of India in Paris said on Tuesday.

According to the Embassy of India in Paris, the Overseas Citizens of India card is required to be re-issued each time a new passport is acquired by the cardholder up to the age of 20 years. "OCI card is required to be re-issued once on acquiring a new passport after completing 50 years of age," the Embassy said.

"The requirement of carrying old and new passports along with the OCI card has been done away with. Henceforth, an OCI cardholder travelling on the strength of the existing OCI Card bearing old passport number is not required to carry the old passport. However carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory," the embassy added.

The OCI card is issued to people of Indian origin globally which gives them almost all the privileges of an Indian national except for the right to vote, government service and buying agricultural land. The OCI card gives them visa-free travel to India.

As per media reports, The Indian government relaxed the second provisions last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The timeline has been extended multiple times so far. However, this is for the first time that the guidelines have been relaxed for carrying old passports and the new passports along with the OCI cards for overseas Indians.

Old OCI rules desired that the overseas Indians carry the old passport as well along with the new passports and the OCI card.

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