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How to apply for an OCI card in the USA for minors?

Updated: 6 days ago

OCI for Minor: To apply for an Indian OCI card for minors or children born in the USA, you would need to go through the OCI document checklist. I will be discussing the OCI application for minor child checklist in detail.

  • New OCI checklist for minors

  • OCI application form

  • Photographs, OCI signature for minors, thumb impression (left or right)

  • Consent letter for OCI application

  • Parental authorization form

  • Fee payment & courier

By following this blog, you can ensure that you have all the necessary documents ready when you begin the OCI card India application process for your child, and it's filed accurately. You will learn how to fill OCI application for a minor child. In the end, I will also point out some common mistakes that you can avoid.

Table of Contents: OCI Application for Minor Child

New OCI Checklist for Minor (US national by birth)

To start the OCI application for a minor child, you must first download the OCI checklist. You can download the checklist from the VFS website. You can also download the pdf from below, but it's always a good idea to refer VFS website to get the latest checklist form as it might change over time.

Download PDF • 257KB

Note that the "OCI checklist - For minors" and "OCI checklist - For minors (US national by birth)" are two different checklists available on the VFS website. You would need US nationals by birth for the minors born in the USA.

Related: How to apply for H4 EAD

In the OCI checklist you would need to fill out the following items:

  • Applicant's name (newborn)

  • Email ID: It's better to create an email ID for your newborn. Gmail allows you to have parental control created for minors under the age of 13.

  • US passport number: See my previous post on how to apply for a minor's passport if you haven't applied for their passport yet.

  • Mobile number: One of the parent's mobile numbers.

  • Signature: You need to have the left thumb impression for newborns instead of the signature at the end of the checklist.

This completed checklist will serve as the cover page of your OCI application for a minor child when you courier the package to VFS Global.

OCI Application Form

The second step is to fill out the online OCI application/registration form. You can fill out the new OCI registration form online through the OCI website. OCI application has two parts, A and B, you will notice this when the final pdf is generated after the submission.

OCI application

Click on "Proceed" and accept the terms and conditions and you will get the following two options.

  1. Either you can fill out the new OCI application

  2. Or you can retrieve the partially-filled previous application form with the "Temporary Application ID" (generated in the top right corner when you save the form, see the screenshot in the next section)

OCI Application Form - Part A

OCI application for a minor child will ask you for basic information like:

  • Place of submission

  • Applicant's personal information

  • Applicant's passport details

  • Applicant's family details.

If you are applying from the United States then select the place of submission as USA.

OCI application

Next, you would need to online upload the following:

  1. Photograph: 2 by 2 Inch photograph (guidelines for photo): You must post the same picture with the package that you upload online.

  2. Thumb Impression: The left thumb impression needs to be uploaded. You can buy fingerprint ink from Amazon, I bought these and it worked really well. Obtain their thumb impression on a white paper while they are in a deep sleep. Capture several impressions and then scan and select the best one.

For minors OCI application, there is some relaxation for photos but try to capture an image that has both ears visible and eyes open. Note that the maximum size limit for photos and thumb impressions to upload is 500 KB each.

You can also take a passport photo from your phone camera and edit the picture. On iPhone > Go to photo > Edit > Crop > Square (1:1 ratio) > Paste it on word document > Change the height and width of the image to 2 inches > Copy-paste same photo side by side > Print (atleast you will get 9 photos). Read more.

Next, you would need to upload all the relevant documents based on your case. I uploaded a scanned copy of the following documents.

  1. Passport: Minor's passport

  2. Scan copies of Indian passports for both parents: If you no longer possess an Indian passport, copies of Indian passports belonging to your grandparents or great-grandparents will also suffice.

  3. Address proof: Driver's license (both parents)

  4. The legal status of parents: Scan copies of green card (both parents)

  5. Or I-129S approval notice for L1 visa holders, or DS2019 for J1 visa holders, or I-797A for H1B visa holders

  6. Relationship certificate: Scanned copy of the applicant's birth certificate

  7. Parental authorization form: Original and notarized

OCI Application Form - Part B

In part B, other details of applicants will be asked where you would need to answer yes/no, this is applicable to all the categories. Additionally, it will request information about the family member/relative's name, address, and relationship with the individual staying in India.

After completing OCI application parts A and B, you'll need to submit the OCI application form. This will generate a PDF that you'll need to print. The OCI application form needs to be notarized as well.

In the case of a minor, any one of the parents can sign the form (Declaration - Application for minor child).

Register with VFS Global and Fee Payment

For OCI application fees, you need to first register with VFS Global here: VFS Global website for courier services. Select Overseas Citizenship of India from the given options.

OCI fee for minor

It will ask you to create a new OCI application where you have to fill out your respective details. I have also provided a sample snapshot below. Additionally, I used a debit card/ credit card for payment mode.

Related: How to apply for a B2 visa for parents
OCI application for minor

Once you hit proceed, your OCI application fee details will be shown, refer to the below screenshot. These fees might vary in the future.

OCI card fees

After this, you will be asked to register yourself and make the final payment.

OCI registration

After you make the payment, a fee confirmation letter pdf and a courier label will be generated. The courier label will have the Indian consulate address where you need to send your package. You need to download both PDFs and print them out.

OCI Document Checklist & Final Submission

This is the OCI document checklist for minors which I followed while submitting the application for my son. This document checklist might vary a little based on your immigration status but overall it should not vary much. Please check the checklist pdf for the supporting document you would need.

OCI Registration form

Print the OCI registration pdf which was generated in the previous section. This form needs to be signed and notarized. You might be able to get it notarized from your bank for free, I used USPS notary service where I had to pay $15 per notary.

Photographs and signature

You need to send 2 passport-size photographs. These photographs should be the same ones you uploaded in the OCI registration form part A.

Parental Authorization Form

Your sample parental authorization form can be downloaded here. The parental authorization form needs to be notarized and it needs the signatures of both parents.

Download PDF • 54KB

Birth Certificate

You need to submit a copy of the birth certificate (issued by county) for minors and it should clearly reflect the name of both the parents, date of birth, and nationality. Please do not submit the birth certificate issued by hospitals, those are not accepted by VFS.

Related: How to apply for a passport for minors born in the US
Current Passport

You need to provide a copy of the first 2 and last 2 pages of the applicant's passport. This should be self-attested which means minors who can not sign need to have their left thumb impression on the copy of passport pages.

Parents' Indian Passport

In the case of minors, parents also need to provide a copy of their Indian passport i.e. first 2 and last 2 pages. The passport should be valid at least for 6 months from the date of submission of the application at the VFS consular application center.

Related: How to apply for J2 EAD
Consent Letter for OCI Application

In the case of minors, parents also need to submit a consent letter that clearly states that the Indian consulate is authorized to make an edit and correct the mistakes made in the OCI government form.

You can download the sample consent letter for the OCI application which I used from here. You can also find a few more samples here.

Sample consent letter for OCI applicaton
Download PDF • 396KB



The Consular Officer,

Consulate General of India, _________

Subject: Consent to restore Details, Application ID: ___________

Dear Madam/Sir,

I, _____ mother of _____, hereby provide my consent to the Indian Consulate/Embassy to be authorized to make any edits and correct the mistakes made in the OCI Government form on behalf of my minor child.

The application reference number is __________


Mother’s Name & Signature:

Father’s Name & Signature:

Marriage Certificate

A copy of the marriage certificate is required, you can self-attest it, however, it's not mandatory to self-attest this copy. But it's safer to self-attest by both parents.

OCI Address Proof for Minor

You need to provide a copy of proof of address for one of the parents. You can submit a copy of any one of these documents - Driver's license (not expired), State ID, Utility bill, Lease agreement, Income tax return, or Mortgage document. You can find the complete list on the VFS website. I submitted my driver's license.

OCI Fee Payment & Couriers

You need to include the printout of the fee payment confirmation letter and courier label which you will need to paste on your package.

OCI Card India Common Mistakes
  • It's mandatory to complete the VFS online registration process before sending out the physical application.

  • The physical application should be completed and sent within 70 days once the online application is submitted.

  • The envelope should mention "NEW OCI - MINOR (US NATIONAL BY BIRTH)".

  • The OCI application form & parental authorization form needs to be notarized.

  • Do not staple the documents.

  • Include the fee payment and courier printout in the envelope.

  • Please fill out the OCI checklist and include it as your cover page. Tick ✔️ in front of each document that you have included in the envelope.

  • The photograph should be the same i.e. what you upload online and what you send in the physical form.

  • It's always a good idea to self-attest all the copies of the documents you are sending.

  • Use left thumb impression for minors whether it's a girl or boy.

OCI Card India Processing Time

I am sharing my timeline for the OCI card. It took approximately 6 months for me to receive the OCI card. I applied on November 3rd, 2022, and received the OCI card in my mailbox on May 11th, 2023.

VFS Global website states it usually processes in 6 weeks but it was not true in my case. Though I had no issues with my application the processing time was six months. I followed up a couple of times for my application and it was always in progress and finally, I received it after 6 months.

OCI Card India Validity

There is no expiry period mentioned on the OCI card. I was thinking probably it's valid for lifelong, but that's not the case for applicants aged < 20 years. According to the CGI-SF release in April 2021,

A person who has got registration as an OCI cardholder prior to attaining the age of 20 years will have to get the OCI card re-issued only once when a new passport is issued after his/her completing 20 years of age, so as to capture his/ her facial features on attaining adulthood. If a person has obtained registration as an OCI cardholder after attaining the age of 20 years, there will be no requirement for the re-issue of an OCI card.
With a view to updating the data regarding new passports obtained by the OCI cardholder, it has been decided that he/she shall upload a copy of the new passport containing his/her photo and also the latest photo on the online OCI portal, each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age. These documents may be uploaded by the OCI cardholder within 3 months of receipt of the new passport.
However, in the case of those who have been registered as OCI cardholders as spouses of foreign origin of a citizen of India or an OCI cardholder, the person concerned will be required to upload on the system, a copy of the new passport containing the photo of the passport holder and also the latest photo along with a declaration that their marriage is still subsisting each time a new passport is issued. These documents may be uploaded by the OCI cardholder spouse within three months of receipt of his/ her new passport.

When you receive the OCI card you will see the date of issue as you have on your Indian passport, but there will be no expiry date.

OCI Card India Benefits

When I started applying for an OCI card, I was wondering what benefits we get with an OCI card. Instead, I can get an Indian visa in a few days which costs around 40 dollars, and it's fast. On the other hand, an OCI card has a validity of 10 years and costs around 300+ dollars. So why not just get the visa?

Well, I soon realized the benefits of an OCI card and applied for it. These are some major benefits:

  • The right to work and study: OCI card holders can work and study in India without the need for any additional visas.

  • Access to certain financial services: One of the significant benefits is that you can purchase property, open bank accounts, and take loans like other Indian Citizens. This is a big benefit as once you become a US citizen you have to lose Indian citizenship and this would be a significant setback if you want to buy any property in the future.

  • Lifelong multiple entry visa: OCI cardholders are entitled to numerous entry, which allows them to visit India as many times as they want without the need for a visa as long as the OCI card is valid which is 10 years.

  • Same privileges as Indian citizens: OCI cardholders enjoy the same privileges as Indian citizens, except for voting and some political rights, similar to permanent resident rights in the US.


Which documents are to be notarized for OCI minor?

You are required to have two documents notarized. The first is a fully completed OCI application form, and the second is the parental authorization form that also needs notarization.

Which thumb impression is required for an OCI card?

For an OCI application for a minor child, a left thumb impression is needed, regardless of the applicant's gender, whether it's a girl or a boy.

Next: Passport Renewal

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