India has tightened rules for some Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders.

Key Points:

  • Special Permits required for some activities. OCI cardholders will still be able to visit, live or work in India without obtaining a visa. However, officials have reiterated that OCI cardholders will be required to obtain a Special Permit in order to:
    • Undertake research.
    • Undertake missionary or tabligh activities, mountaineering or journalistic activities.
    • Work or complete an internship at a foreign diplomatic mission in India.
    • Visit any area that is protected, restricted or prohibited by the central government or the competent local authority.
  • Changes in permanent address and occupation. OCI cardholders will continue to be exempt from rules requiring foreign nationals to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) or Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs). However, OCI cardholders normally resident in India are now required to contact the appropriate FRRO or FRO by email to notify them of any changes in their permanent address or occupation.

Additional Information: Additional information on OCI holders’ rights and obligations is available in this notice from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should make sure that OCI cardholders obtain a Special Permit, if required, and provide notice of any changes in their permanent residence or occupation.

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