The Ministry of Home Affairs has acknowledged through a gazette notification that OCI cardholders are of Indian origin but they are foreign passport holders and will not have all rights same as citizens of India. The notification says that the OCI cardholder shall be required to obtain a special permission or a special permit from the competent authority or the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Indian Mission to undertake research, Missionary or Tabligh or Mountaineering or Journalistic activities. As well as to undertake internship in any foreign diplomatic missions or foreign Government organizations in India or employment in any foreign diplomatic missions in India and visit any place which falls within the protected or restricted or prohibited areas as notified by the Central Government or competent authority.
OCI cardholder will no more be eligible for admission against any seat reserved exclusively for Indian citizens. New speculations are being spread that OCI cardholders will no longer be eligible for multiple entry / lifelong visa for visiting India for any purpose. Nevertheless, the present gazette notification does not mention such point. However, the notification says that the OCI cardholders who are normally residents in India shall intimate the FRRO by email whenever there is a change in permanent residential address and in their occupation.
The MHA said that in respect of all other economic, financial and educational fields not specified in the notification, the OCI cardholder will not have the same rights and privileges as Indian citizen but only as a foreigner.