One of the good bits in the OCI process is the online status enquiry. To enquire application status, you will need your passport number and either the File (Acknowledgment) No or the Online Registration No. as input for the “Online OCI Enquiry Form” and in no time, you will know the status of your application.

From that I observed, the moment you submit your application you could track it’s progress online. At first it will only show the Date of Acknowledgement, subsequently the other states show as your applications moves from one desk to another. Below is a screenshot of my application status enquiry – this should give you an idea of how long it took for my application to get processed.

Now, it was ready for collection from the HCI. I learnt one could collect it either in person or by post. HCI, on their website affirm their responsibility for my important document with this: “High Commission will not be responsible for loss of documents sent by Post.” (underlined and in bold) – for this reason, I choose to collect it in person. Below is how it went:

Documents required for collection:

  • Print out of the online status report
  • British passport

In Person

The collection has two parts to it:

(a) Submitting the above listed documents

The HCI in London accept documents for OCI stamping only between 0830 and 1200. I arrived at the HCI at 0830, there were two queues – one to go into the HCI (for application submission & enquiry) and the other for submitting the documents for OCI stamping. Make sure you are in the right queue, else you are burning time. If you are visiting the HCI in London, the queue for ‘submitting the passport for OCI stamping’ (or collection as they call it) is the one outside the HCI which leads on to the small counter in the wall (like the ones you’d queue to buy cinema tickets back in the day). The queue was fairly short and it moved quick. Upon submitting the passport and print out of the online status report, the person at the counter gave me a token (a small piece of paper with a number on it) and asked to return the same evening at 1630 for collection. Do not loose the token, they may ask for it at the time of collection.

(b) Collecting the OCI document and the passport

At HCI, London the stamped documents are available for collection only between 1630 and 1700. Arrived at 1625. As I turned into the road that lead to the HCI, I noticed a huge crowd gathered outside HCI – thought there must have been an incident / some sort of trouble. As I closed in, I noticed a member of HCI staff standing just outside the counter where I had submitted the documents that morning: he was shouting out token numbers – he would collect the OCI document and the passport from the counter and hand them over to anyone who had the token number he called out! It was chaotic to say the least; luckily, my number got called within a minute of my arrival. I handed over the token and collected the documents – passport with a Indian visa & a separate OCI booklet (what looks like a passport without pages): there was a sigh of relief when I verified the documents and found everything to be correct. There ended my OCI journey.

By Post

Some of my friends had availed this option about a year ago and it worked for them. To collect the OCI documents and have the OCI visa stamped on your passport, you will need to send in your passport and a print out of the online status report along with a special delivery self addressed envelope to:

OCI Section,
High Commission of India, London
India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA

In this case, the lead time to get back your documents might be about 4 – 7 days.

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