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OCI Application Process in Canada: From Start to Finish

The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a valuable document that connects people of Indian origin to their roots and heritage while allowing them certain privileges in India.

The OCI card grants individuals of Indian origin certain rights similar to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), such as lifelong multiple entry visa to India and the ability to live and work in the country. It's essential for those seeking a deeper connection with their Indian heritage.


If you're a Canadian resident of Indian origin looking to apply for an OCI card, this article will guide you through the entire process from start to finish.


Step 1: Understand OCI Eligibility Criteria Before you begin the application process, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for OCI. Generally, individuals who are either a citizen of another country, or were a citizen of India, or were eligible to become a citizen of India on or after January 26, 1950, can apply for OCI.


Process Overview:

  1. Pre-Application Stage:

    • Understanding eligibility criteria and necessary documents- Please ensure that you are applicable for OCI card. There are certain conditions to be met before the application process

    • Gather Required Documents Collect all the necessary documents for your OCI application. These usually include:

      1. Proof of current citizenship (Canadian passport)

      2. Proof of Indian origin (birth certificate, old Indian passport, etc.)

      3. Proof of renunciation of Indian citizenship (if applicable)

      4. Proof of marriage (if applicable)

      5. Passport-sized photographs

      6. Any other specific documents as per the instructions on the application form


Step 3: Fill Out the Online Application Visit the official OCI online portal and create an account. Fill out the application form carefully, providing accurate information. Upload the required documents as per the specified formats and sizes.


Step 4: Pay the OCI Application Fee Pay the prescribed OCI application fee online through the portal. The fee varies based on the applicant's age and other factors. Keep the payment receipt for future reference.


Step 5: Book an Appointment After submitting your online application and fee, schedule an appointment at the nearest BLS Center or Indian Mission/Post that offers OCI services. During the appointment, your biometric data (fingerprints, photograph) will be captured.


Step 6: Attend the Appointment On the scheduled date and time, visit the chosen BLS Center or Indian Mission/Post for your appointment. Make sure to carry the required original documents along with photocopies.


Step 7: Track Your Application After the appointment, you can track the status of your OCI application online using the reference number provided to you. Be patient as processing times may vary. Usual timeline is 6-10 weeks depending on the application.


Step 8: Receive Your OCI Card Once your application is approved, you'll receive an email notification to collect your OCI card. You may need to visit the BLS Center or Indian Mission/Post again to collect your OCI card in person.


OCI card is delivered over mail so please ensure to give correct address. Also, PO box is usually not accepted as a delivery address.


BLS International Services


BLS International Services is a facilitator for various consular services, including the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card application process. The journey through BLS International Services involves website navigation, appointment booking, submission, biometric data collection, and post-submission processes, making the OCI card application straightforward and accessible for those in Canada.


Website Navigation:


1. Accessing the BLS International Website:

  • Go to the BLS International Services website (specific to the country of application).

  • Navigate to the OCI section or consular services for India.


2. Creating an Account and Understanding the Interface for the OCI Application:

  • Register an account using personal details and email verification.

  • Login to access the OCI application section.

  • Familiarize yourself with the application interface, which includes form sections and document upload areas.


3. Appointment Booking Process:

Step-by-Step Guide for Booking an Appointment:

  • Access the appointment booking section within the website.

  • Select the desired service (OCI in this case) and follow the guided steps.

  • Choose a convenient date and time from the available slots.

  • Confirm the appointment and receive a confirmation email.


4. Submission and Biometric Data Collection:

Guidance for the Submission Process at BLS International:

  • On the appointed date, arrive at the BLS International center.

  • Present the required documents and filled forms at the submission desk.

  • Verify your details and submit the application.


5. Biometric Data Collection:

  • Follow the instructions provided for the biometric data collection.

  • The process usually involves fingerprint scans and sometimes a facial image capture.


6. Post-Submission Process:

Tracking Application Status:

  • Log in to your BLS International account on the website.

  • Use the reference number provided during submission to track your application's progress.

  • Check for updates or any additional requests by the authorities.


7. Guidelines for Collection Once the OCI Card is Ready:

  • Await an email notification indicating the readiness of the OCI card.

  • Visit the BLS International center on the specified date with the receipt or notification email.

  • Collect the OCI card along with any documents specified by the authorities.


Tips for a Smooth OCI Application Process

  1. Double-check all the required documents before submitting your application.

  2. Ensure your photographs meet the specified criteria, such as size and background color.

  3. Follow the online application process carefully and provide accurate details.

  4. Keep a digital and printed copy of your application and payment receipt.

  5. Be prepared to attend the appointment and provide biometric data as required.

Remember, the OCI application process might be subject to changes and updates, so it's crucial to refer to the official website of the Indian Mission/Post or BLS for the most up-to-date information. By following these steps and staying informed, you can successfully navigate the OCI application process in Canada and strengthen your connection with India.


Conclusion

The process of obtaining or renewing an OCI card through BLS International in Canada offers a simplified and systematic approach for individuals of Indian origin. The application process, from start to finish, ensures a seamless experience, connecting NRIs in Canada with their Indian heritage and facilitating easier access to the country.


Disclaimer: Please note that the application process, requirements, and guidelines might vary or be updated. It's crucial to refer to the most recent information available on the BLS International Services website or the official website of the High Commission of India in Canada for accurate and updated instructions.


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