I am writing this because there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding out there about the applying process. I am hoping that this entry will make your journey painless and less anxious than mine.

If you are reading this, you already know what the OCI is and you are looking to apply for the same. Perhaps there are different routes (preconditions) thro’ which one can apply for OCI. Here is mine:

With the above at hand, here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Fill Part A of the application form here. You will need to take a print out of this; if you do not have immediate access to a printer, don’t fret, you will be able to print the same at a later stage. To do so, go here enter the required details; and click the print button; the details that you entered earlier will be displayed and you can print from there. When you print, ensure you are using IE (I used IE 8) – the print layout seem to change when I used chrome & firefox. Make note of the registration number on your application form (starts with GBR… ) – you will need this for all future correspondance.

Step 2: Fill Part B of the application form. This is nothing but the missing bits on the print out from Step 1. It is a fairly straight forward application form, there was little or no room for confusion.

Step 3: Additional documents required for applying for the OCI

  • Photocopy of your British passport. If your passport was issued recently, this will just be the page on which you find your details.
  • Photocopy of your Naturalisation certificate.
  • Photocopy of Surrender Certificate of Indian Passport
  • Photocopies of all non-blank pages of your cancelled / revoked Indian Passport(s).

Note: You will only need one copy of each of the above. You will need to self attest  – sign, print your name and date it; all the above mentioned photocopies. Ensure that you take color photocopies – I do not think they accept photocopies in blank & white.

Step 4: The application requires your most recent photograph. Ensure that you have the photograph that meets the required standards. At the time of my application, they needed a photograph that was 51 mm x 51 mm. I got them from Snappy Snaps near to where I work; the moment I mentioned the purpose, they knew exactly what I (or should I say the HCI) needed.

Step 5: Depending on how you choose to submit your application, you will need 175 GBP in Postal Order or in Cash (they do not accepts other methods of payment).

With the above completed and ready; you are good to submit your application. You can submit the application to the High Commission of India (HCI) by two methods – by post or in person. Given the ambiguity of information that was available, I choose to go with the latter.

*NOTE:* HCI seem to have updated their requirements / procedure for OCI applications (effective 02-Apr-13). Here is the changes that I noted form when I made the application: 

  1. They now require your original Surrender certificate (along with a self attested photocopy of the same). They will return the original by post. You are encouraged to include a special delivery envelope failing which they promise to return your original document by ordinary post.
  2. If you don’t happen to have your passport for any reason (lost / submitted to UK home office when you were naturalised) you will need to submit notarised affidavit in original and also a police report in case you lost your passport when it was valid.
  3. Issue of tokens for submitting the application starts at 0830 (for first 100 tokens) and 1030 (for final 75 tokens). If I go by experience, I would read that as “Max number of tokens for submitting the OCI application on a given day is 175 and tokens are issued at 0830 on a first come first served basis.”
  4. Opening times for counter for submitting the OCI application is: 0930 – 1300.  

Submitting the application

In person 

Depending on where you live, you will need to apply with the CGI / HCI near to you. You can use this post as a guide to ‘where to apply‘. I applied with the HCI in London – Aldwych, London WC2B 2NA. At the HCI, you will note that they follow their time tested process to any service – you will need to collect a token upon arrival, do your time – wait for your turn, and be seen by a member of staff. For OCI submission, the HCI start issuing tokens at 1230 (that’s the time the HCI website says). I arrived at 1245, the token number I received meant I had to wait until 68 people were seen before my turn. Depending on what interests you, and how you want to keep yourself engaged at that time of the day; I would suggest you take carry a book / ipod / something to keep you occupied. It took about 3 hours before my number was called. The submission itself took less than 45 seconds. I had carried all the original documents for which I was submitting a photocopy; however, they did not ask to see the originals in my case. Once you submit the application, you will be able to track its progress here using your file number / registration number and your passport number.

By Post

For me, submitting it inperson was going to be reassuring that the documents that I was presenting was indeed what the HCI required. There was no way of knowing that for certain unless I went there. Having done it, I now believe applying by post could have saved that 3 hours spent at the HCI. Having done this once, if I will be applying for another family member in the future, I would do so by post.

Postal applications are just as straight forward; with all the required documents; one would need to get a crossed postal order for 175 GBP in favour of “High Commission of India, London” and write the online registration number (what you get from Step 1 above) on the reverse of the postal order and send it to “OCI Section, High Commission of India, Aldwych, London WC2B 2NA”.

Useful links

What I observed at the HCI:

  • Most people who had gone over to submit their application were not sure about what required to be submitted.
  • There were a number of them who did not have the needed documents. Perhaps, they had not done the required research before making the application.
  • Many had brought along standard passport size photographs – their applications were not accepted.
  • Carrying the originals would be helpful. They might not need them; but, they have a right to ask for them.
  • There were a few submitting applications as proxies – the applications they carried were not accepted; unless, it was of a family members’ application and they were able to prove so.
  • People who did not carry 175 GBP in cash had to run to the nearest cash machine.
  • If one had all the required documents; the only not-so-good bit will be the wait time, otherwise it’s a painless process.

145 thoughts on “Applying for OCI

  1. Hi TT – Thanks for the excellent article. It helped me immensely when I applied for OCI last week for me, my wife and two daughters. At the moment status is still showing “Under process”.

      • Hi TT – It seems that things are moving preety fast these days. I applied in person on 19-Mar at HCI London and below is the status of the application. Hopefully it should be received at London this week.

        Date Of Acknowledgment 19-MAR-2013
        Application Status
        Photo/Signature at Mission : Scanned On 09-APR-2013
        Registration Status at Mission : Granted On 10-APR-2013
        Documents Printing Status PRINTED On 12-APR-2013
        OCI No. Visa No.
        Dispatched From MOIA (OCI ): NEW DELHI On 16-APR-2013
        Documents Received at LONDON NOT YET

  2. Hi,

    I went to HCI London to submit my OCI application today, Got there around 11.15. The website said the tokens are issued at 12.30 so I thought getting there around that time I would at least get a space somewhere in the middle of the line.

    As it turned out 150 tokens (which apparently is the max tokens given out) were issued earlier in the day, in the morning around 9 to the people who lined up. And everyone else was then turned away.

    There was a Sikh Gentlemen answering everyone’s question. I have to say he kept his cool as people were very angry about getting turned away, me being one of those. He said there was a problem yesterday in the queuing system, some people apparently started pushing in and it turned hostile and police were called to calm the situation. So yesterday they handed out the max tokens to the crowd to disperse them and to calm them down. And they decided to do the same today to insure there was not a repeat of the problem. So i will try my luck again tomorrow and get there early and just line up.

    The reason for this crowd is because there has been a rumor going around in the Indian community that the prices are to be changed for OCI application, from £175 to £400 (Big jump right? It would make sense to apply now). There were some people asking the Sikh gentlemen if this were true, He neither confirmed or denied and said as far he is aware this is not the case. A lady even asked him to put it writing that the prices won’t change. And he said no and said something about the constitution (I didn’t quite catch what he said).

    HCI website doesn’t mention anything in regards to changes in price. If there was a change in price there would be information available on the official website. But If someone has any more information about this matter please let me know.

    I will try my luck again tomorrow and line up early and see how it goes.

    • Hi there, Many thanks for sharing your experience. And sorry if what you read above wasted your journey to the HCI and you might have gone there earlier. I hope you managed to secure a token and submit your application the following day. Good luck with the rest of the process. Indeed £175 to £400 is quite a big jump! I’m afraid I have no more information in this regard than what you know. Surely, some one here might know more and hope they will share with us.

    • Hi I went yesterday and I had been before. I had complained in a long email to the head of OCI who didn’t bother to respond but she has taken some action to one suggestion to allocate time slots to a ceryain lot of submissions( she’s done that without applying enough thought, sorry to say, so sent another email yesterday to ask her to make slots available online, what about all the extra people who will turn up in bitter cold). I have also asked to add a declaration on hci/oci website that fees is NOT increasing. This I can confirm as I went to reception to speak to her, wasn’t allowed but given ph no which she would not pick. At that time a very senior looking official was returning from lunch and told me about manhandling at oci side and police etc and that so many ppl were pouring in ‘due to a false rumour circulating which is completely wrong. Fees is not increasing.’ And I do believe that is true even before he told me because fee has only recently been increased from £160 to £175.

      And I would advise you to send your application by post… I am doing that.

  3. Hi – I came accross this blog – really good, thanks for this. I have a question…. My mother falls under the same categories as you applied. I am also wanting to apply (i am not a minor over 18) – therefore do I need to apply seperately or can I do on the same form? I beleive its seperate and if it is, can I apply at the same time or do I have to wait until she is granted her OCI before I can apply?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi there, Your understanding is correct. You will need to make two separate applications one for your mother and the other for yourself. There is no bearing on the times at which to make the application – you can apply for both at the same time as they will be treated as two individual applications. HTH. Good luck with your application.

  4. Hi , We sent 2 postal applications approx. 5 weeks ago for my adult son & daughter with :
    completed oci application form ,copy of maternal grand fathers passport ,copy of current British passport, copy of full Birth Certificate , copy of parents Marriage Certificate , copy of Mum’s British passport ,A crossed postal order for £175 duly endorsed with the appropriate OCI application number for both and all copies were self attested .

    Unfortunately the applications have been sent back without any cover letter or any other indications whatsoever which can help in identifying the reason(s) . Perhaps a cover note or letter was omitted in error.

    Was wondering if the lack of feedback is a one off error or known to happen often. What should I be doing next? Also, we have other family members who will also be making postal applications which have been put on hold now so any feedback would be much appreciated . Will email them with references but am not sure if this will be responded to as previous two emails have not had any responses unfortunately .
    On a positive note our own submissions done in person 6 weeks ago has proceeded perfectly and have been promptly updated on the oci tracking website .

    • Hi there, The supporting documents in aid of your postal applications seem to be all that’s required for OCI. Indeed, it is unfortunate that the application was returned and more so without any explanation – which is known to happen with the HCI. I think they even state on their website that the ‘documents will be returned and not processed’!. Here is what I would encourage your to do: Send a fax to the HCI explaining your situation and quoting the application / reference number. HCI don’t seem to respond to any phone or e-mail but are quite diligent in responding to fax! Also, if you can make time, the best way to get something out of them is to talk to them in person for which you will need to make a trip to the HCI. This would definitely help with applications for your other family members. Sorry for not being of much help, but the key word is ‘fax’! Good luck.

  5. It is a shame that date for receiving the OCI card on CGI, Edinburgh website keeps changing.
    I had applied for OCI on 11the Dec 2012 at Edinburgh office. Till date I have no clue what is happening except for a message on their website which said earlier that, that people who applied before 30th Dec 2012 should have their OCI cards by 29th march 2013. I was hoping that I would receive mine. Since I have not received mine yet!! I went on web link again and found that
    the date is expected to be 15th April 13. It is very disappointing.
    It is even more frustrating that IN CGI, the Edinburgh office — NO ONE EVER PICKS UP THE PHONE.

    • Hi, Sorry about your application. I can imagine who frustrating it can be when things don’t go to plan and there is no feedback. I think e-mailing or phoning the HCI / CGI will yield not results. They are very aware that if they pick up the phone they are going to get a mouth full and e-mail can be actively ignored. For reasons unknown, they seem to response to fax – so I would encourage your to send them a fax with (a) explaining your situation (b) quote your application / reference number (c) express your urgency with the applications (perhaps your might want to travel due to an emergency etc). HTH and hope you get a positive response soon.

  6. Thank you for your response ! It is much appreciated .
    Will take on board your comments regarding fax. In the meantime I have noticed that the the hcilondon website has changed since my application but with it I have noted the following comment regarding postal applications :

    “Application sent by post should be individual or family (husband/wife and minor children) only. Applications will be retuned if the envelope contains more than one application.”

    Based on my printouts of the old website and recollection I do not think that I had come across this on the old website .

    The applications for my adult son & daughter were sent in a single recorded post envelope .I wonder if this could be the reason for the applications being returned 5 weeks on without feedback ? Has anyone experienced a similar experience ? If this is the reason, it would help others by highlighting this in case they were thinking of doing the same.

    • That might well be the reason. You are right in noticing that the website has changed with that they seem to have changes a few rules as well. I haven’t really had the chance to compare and contrast with the procedure for OCI from when I applied. I think children as long as they are minor can apply as part of ‘the family’ however, once they are not categorised as minor, they will have to make individual applications.

  7. Hi
    I wish to submit my mother’s OCI application and mine. Does my mother have to be presence when submitting application in person or will they accept it with my submission I deliver.

    • There’s an alternative….you can submit your mum,s appln but will have to take an authorisation letter signed by her that you are submitting on her behalf. She will need to self attest all her copies of docs.

      • I went to the Indian High Commission in London yesterday. What a nightmare. We did not get a token. Staff were rude and very unhelpful when you wanted to ask a question. Some people were not allowed to present their parents application even if they had the authorisation letter. The rules keep changing daily.

        I will look at Postal application. Does anyone know if I have submit original documents with copies or will copies be accepted. There is conflicting information on the Indian High Commission website.

        Thank you tickling tiger for this website. This has more information available than the Indian High Commission.

      • Hi, The requirements seem to have changed a little bit. If you are making a postal application – you need to include your original documents, self attested copies of the same and a self-addressed special delivery envelope. Once your original documents are verified, they will send back the original documents in the self-addressed special delivery envelope. Some who might have applied recently may be able to vouch for this.

  8. When do you know that your OCI card is ready for collection? The online status currently says it has been dispatched from Delhi but then below it says documents received at London….NOT YET. A line is scrolling along the bottom saying congratulations your OCI card is ready. Does that mean it is time to go to London to collect now?

  9. Hi there, I was glad to see your website detailing people’s recent encounters with the OCI application process. Very useful! I hope you can assist with my query. I’ve submitted my mother’s application which was received by the HCI on 1st March 2013, I’ve checked the online status and it has not yet been acknowledged and I’ve also checked with the post office and they said the postal order has not been cashed. I thought they acknowledged applications within 4 weeks, or is this incorrect? Should I wait a little longer? Hope you can help!

    • Hi, It is possible that the HCI might have had a spike in the number of applications received and working in full capacity – not that the bank holidays would have helped get through them quickly. If I were you, I would give it another week. If I still don’t see progress, I would send a fax to the HCI explaining the issue by quoting the passport number, the File (Acknowledgment) No or the Online Registration No. Hope you get a positive response.

  10. i have submitted an application for OCI in early march 2013. It went off without a hitch thanks to you. I wanted to make an application for my 3 adult children. Is it better to wait to apply for them after i have received mine? AND can i do this on their behalf?

    • Hi there, The outcome of your application has no bearing on your adult children application/s. Also, since your children are adult, they will have to represent their individual applications. As a parent one can represent the child only if the child is a minor. However, I believe HCI have been accommodative in cases where the applicant is directly related to the person representing the application and is carrying an authorisation letter form the applicant.

  11. hi there thanks for useful info about the OCI, I am conseidering applying thro post I might sound really silly but should I be sending my original British passport as well as naturalisation certificate or will just copies be ok,many thx

  12. Hi ,
    In view of your recent comments for the revised postal applications requiring original documents , if you are applying on grandparents or parents Indian origin and have had British nationality from birth , and therefore no surrender documents as such , are any original documents still really required or will self attested copies do?
    In the case of my adult children I will be resubmitting these by post individually but am concerned that they may come back without feedback and possibly now because originals were not included .

    This is a bit confusing. Surely if 2 adult members from the same family apply at the same time with 2 independent postal applications relying on a single original , it would be impossible to send with “2 originals” for both applications in this manner .

    Also ,perhaps as a suggestion , the HCI can produce a standard form which is ticked to highlight problem areas with the application instead of just sending back documents without any feedback . It would be interesting to know if they have provided feedback to others on returning the applications and was an error in our case.

  13. hi, thanks for the detailed info.
    I m planning to submit OCI application for me and my wife in person at london. Could you please clarify my doubts:

    1. We have no kids. Can I submit a ‘family’ application (with marriage certificate)? or does it need to be two separate ‘adult’ applications?

    2. If family application is ok, does my wife have to be present for the submission?

    3. As far as I know, once Indian passport is surrendered and cancelled, it is considered ‘invalid’….is it necessary to submit photocopies of the cancelled indian passport?

    With the new token system, it is going to be difficult to be present at 0830 hrs for the token collection.

    Keenly awaiting your reply…

    • Hi there,
      Hope the below helps:

      1. We have no kids. Can I submit a ‘family’ application (with marriage certificate)? or does it need to be two separate ‘adult’ applications?

      Yes indeed, you are a family of 2, you can submit as a family.

      2. If family application is ok, does my wife have to be present for the submission?

      She need not be present. If you happen to go over to submit, please carry an authorisation letter from her for the same.

      3. As far as I know, once Indian passport is surrendered and cancelled, it is considered ‘invalid’….is it necessary to submit photocopies of the cancelled indian passport?

      At the time when I did my application, they required: Photocopies of all non-blank pages of your cancelled / revoked Indian Passport(s). I assume the same holds good today as well.

      If you are there by 8/8:30 am, you should be fine. Good luck!

  14. Hi- I’m an OCI holder . I applied for an OCI on behalf of my son(who is a minor) about 6+ weeks ago. The website says they provide an acknowledgement (online) after 4 weeks. Unfortunately, when I check for status online, it says “This case is not yet acknowledged by Mission” . My emails & phone calls have gone unanswered.

    I sent the foll documents:

    -Duly filled application form with photos
    -Son’s birth certificate(original)
    -My passport and OCI photocopies
    -My Indian surrender certificate photocopy self attested(just incase)
    -Return Envelope to return the original documents

    As I urgently need to travel to India, I have now applied for a Long term visa(coughed up another £157!).

    Any suggestions on how to proceed on the OCI application? Anyone else with similar experience? Suggestions welcome.

  15. Hi TT,
    We have applied for OCI for me and my 2 daughters by first half of march, 2013. Our timeline is as below
    Date Of Acknowledgment
    Application Status
    Photo/Signature at Mission : Scanned
    Registration Status at Mission :
    On 03-APR-2013
    Documents Printing Status
    OCI No.
    Visa No.
    Dispatched From MOIA (OCI ):
    Documents Received at LONDON

    Wondering when the documents are scanned why it hasn’t been dispatched from Delhi yet. Please if you can guide.

    • Hi there, I am hoping you have received it by now! If not, you should expect to receive it soon. Don’t read too much into the dates – the statistician in me failed to reason the trends that I notice. If you are not hard pressed for time (no imminent travel), just relax and have a cup of tea and you will see the status change!. On the other hand, if you intend to travel soon, I recommend you send a fax to the HCI with the reference number identifying your application and a credible reason to back your urgent enquiry and you will hear from them.

  16. Hi, i want apply OCI for my 1 month old kid.
    I have OCI card and my wife had Indian passport.
    can i apply by post ? if so, do i need to send original infant passport ?
    any help would be much appreciated
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there, For applying for OCI, you don’t need to send the original passport. You might want to send them a photocopy of the same (please make sure you attest the photocopy).

  17. Hi again, my mum’s application has been returned yet again as they now want the original Indian birth certificate showing her parents names. Unfortunately the only birth certificate she has is the one she has submitted (it does not show her parents names), how does one get hold of an original Indian birth certificate showing parents names? do they issue these? Do you think a notarised affidavit given by her mother (father has passed away) would be sufficient? or would she need to go to India to get the birth certificate. It seems very unfair that they now require this. Hope you can help. Many thanks.

  18. I forgot to ask also, the website mentions something about a Nativity Certificate, does anyone have any experiences in obtaining one of these?

  19. Hi,

    I sent my application via special delivery post on the 2nd of April so they should have received the application by the 3rd or latest the 4th.

    I wanted to know how long does it normally take for the application to get acknowledged? It nearly has been a month and still no acknowledgment #.

    I would like to know from anyone who sent their application by post, how long it took for them to get their application acknowledged?

    Kind regards,


    • I posted for hubby on 1st April not acknowledged bur on website said 4wks to acknowledge…so hopefully next week.

      I applied in person for kids n me on 19March…docs recd in London on 25th April…so 5 weeks for in person processing of OCI these days…

  20. I managed to get a reply back when asked by email, they are dealing with postal appln from 21/03/13 and have ashed to wait 2 weeks more before status update will show up…

  21. Hi- I’m an OCI holder .
    I’m plan to apply for an OCI on behalf of my 2son(who is a minor)
    this is my check list,
    -Duly filled application form with photos
    -Son’s birth certificate(original)
    -My passport and OCI photocopies
    -Return Envelope to return the original documents
    Please advise for below Questions
    do i need submit my wife passport xerox ? with self attested?
    and all xerox copies need in colour xerox? and self attested?
    in application form B signature column ((applicant is a minor) so father OR mother has to sign OR both?
    Thanks in advance for your time,
    BS Kumar

    • You will need to attest all photocopues…these do not hv to be coloured but visible enough…if u filled in form then u need to sign all paperwork on minor’s behalf. Mum doesnt need to…but add in signed letter from mum stating she is supporting the minor’s appln.

  22. Many Thanks for you Response Ritsbiz

    Sorry for confusion
    I did not understand below, your saying its in covering letter do my wife sign or do we need to write a letter that mum stating she is supporting the minor’s appln? or is it necessary because i’m signing the application from and i’m OCI holder

    Please advise

    Thanks in advance for your time

    • Just an additional cover/supporting letter from mum…to avoid time waste if they want to see something from her…

  23. Hi,

    My husband got his PIO in 2013. Are any requirements for him to convert this to OCI? or can he still travel to India with his PIO status.

  24. Hi, there is some talk about converting PIO to OCI. What is the latest on this? Please advise. i left a message a year ago. No reply!

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