Sunday, July 8, 2012

Indian transformation 70% complete



Well I've done it. After worrying about the limitations of my 10 year visa while in India, I decided to go a different route and looked into obtaining OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) or PIO (Person of Indian Origin) status. Oddly enough, I only qualify for the "Person of Indian Origin" status as the OCI does not make allowances for spouses.

The differences are not that much. PIO is only for 15 years while OCI is granted for a lifetime. The PIO also costs more ($365 vs $275) and overall has little less rights (such as I have to register if I plan on staying more than 180 days), but way more leeway than a normal visa. I can pretty much go and come as I please - that is the main reason I applied even with 6+ years left on my visa.  There is also talk of merging the two types and I'd rather pay more now than possibly lose out if they don't want to include spouses in the future. I could get lucky and shifted into lifetime status! (A girl can hope.) 

Gathering the paperwork and filling out the forms was pretty tedious. You need to make sure all your "t's" are crossed and "i's" are dotted. After gathering all of your paperwork, you need to make sure you have copies made of the right things (such as your drivers license or husband's documents), and that everything is in the right order. After quadruple checking everything, I was finally satisfied enough yesterday to hand it over to FedEx guy, even while giving him a slight Big Eye. I get edgy whenever my passport leaves my possession.

Hopefully by this time next month I will be able to tell people I am  officially a "Person of Indian Origin". As a blonde hair, blue eyed, fair-skinned girl, I can't wait to see the confusion among my friends here in the states. Even more so when I have to present it at travel points in India! I can hear it now, "wait... what?" Better bring along my visa just in case...

6 comments:

  1. Hiya I just came across your blog, all the best on your journey fingers and toes crossed for you! I've got my oci and agree it helps with the visa situ hoping u are a person of Indian origin soon x

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  2. How cool is that!!??!! Good luck!!

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    1. Yea, I'm pretty excited. Hopefully it will all go well.

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  3. The restrictions of the 10 yr so called "multiple entry" visa really bugs me coz you can't really make multiple entries within 60 days. OCI sounds like a great option for you. Good luck!!

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    1. That's the big kicker for me as well. You can get exceptions, but I have no idea of that process. It's probably a case-by-case thing.

      PIO is the option I can do - OCI is not available for spouses (wish it were!)

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