With the world getting smaller with every passing day through better communication with the internet and cheaper airfare with a better flight system, the number of people who are travelling the world is regularly increasing. Looking out of the window during a pandemic might not provide an exact picture of the changes taking place, but they are.
While most people have different reasons for flying from one country to another, India and Bangladesh seem to have the largest percentage of their population migrating for better work prospects. The largest Indian diaspora is currently housed in the United States, with the United Arab Emirates not too far behind. While India has an 18 million strong diaspora globally, they have already given out six million OCI cards to some of the people who applied for them allowing them to travel back to India without having to keep getting a visa and while holding a foreign passport. Through the Indian diaspora, the country receives billions of dollars every year, which people are likely sending to the country, to support their families back home.
It was created by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in August of the same year and the process of getting an OCI card was long, tedious and quite inconvenient.
Over the last decade and a half, the process went through some significant improvement, and people can now apply for their OCI cards with ease. The OCI application process is online, and people can get through it no matter where they are, as long as they are near one of the many Indian missions around the world. Applicants can now download the forms and fill them out at ease. They can also get through the process by filling out the forms and printing them out and submitting them in person at the mission.
To apply for an OCI card, a person has to have a foreign passport since the card is associated with a passport. Additionally, they need to have roots that lead back to India, and they can prove it. The only exception to the rule is that people from Bangladesh and Pakistan cannot apply for an OCI card since there have been political tensions between the countries. However, in 2019, the Home Ministry decided that they would consider OCI cards for Bangladeshi citizens, but they have not gone through the requirements for Pakistan OCI cards yet.
For people who are not making trips to the country often, they should consider getting a visa depending on the purpose of their trip, the process might need a lot of paperwork, but an OCI card only makes sense for multiple trips to the country. Additionally, the fees when applying for an OCI card vary around the world, depending on nationality, but are in a similar ballpark.