I’ve been in the process of applying for my Overseas Citizen of India “permit.” The name “overseas citizen” is a bit of a misnomer as India’s constitution only allows for single citizenship. It’s more of a special visa/licensing scheme that is life long and allows you free entry/exit in to India without reason plus all the benefits of a citizen (such as around property ownership/etc). I’ve wanted dual citizenship for quite a while and this is the next best thing.
I applied for it early September. Well, actually, I first went to apply in June or July with photocopies of all my and my parents documentation showing their citizenship and my birth as their child (and how I used to be on their passports/etc). The first round of the application was denied based on the fact that they didn’t have the originals. My parents, being in the states and me being in China made it hard to get originals of my birth certificate or other such consular documents.
When they made it out here for a holiday they brought the paperwork with them, so I submitted then in early September, along with copies of just about everything that proved I was me, plus photos, signature samples and money.
Last Thursday I received a phone call from the consulate saying my photos were rejected from Delhi stating that they had the wrong background color (white). Mind you, nowhere on the application forms, the internet forms, etc had it mentioned that photos require a *red* color background. They were kind enough to forward me a sample photo. The Word document that it came on was titled “Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Diaspora Division, Undersecretary – Diaspora Service.” I guess when there are millions of overseas Indians, it makes sense to have an entire Ministry for it.
In any case, I got the pictures taken yesterday and dropped them off along with new application forms this morning. Hopefully this set will be accepted and the process can move along. I’m supposed to hear back in 10 – 14 working days so I’ll post more when I hear more. The entire process takes about 2 – 3 months assuming no snafus (such as this picture one).