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How to Apply for an OCI Card in the USA for Minors?

Updated: 5 days ago

OCI Card for Minor (US citizen): 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 for a minor child

  • 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 directly from the VFS website. I have added the new links below. Try reloading the page if the VFS checklist page doesn't open.




Note: I applied for OCI in October 2022. You can find the old checklist here. One of the key differences between the old and new checklists is the notarization of the OCI application, which was mandatory earlier; however, the current checklist does not mention that anymore.

OCI application notarization

Before you begin the OCI application, you will need the following items:


  • Minor's Information: Like name, date of birth, place of birth, visible identification mark, etc.


  • Email ID: It's advisable to create an email ID for your newborn. Gmail allows you to have parental control created for minors under the age of 13. This email ID can also be used for various purposes in the future.



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


  • Thumb impression: You need to have the left thumb impression for newborns instead of the signature. You can buy fingerprint black ink from Amazon, I bought these and it worked well.



How to Fill OCI Application for Minor

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 pdf is generated after the final submission.

OCI application

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


  • New Application: Either you can fill out the New OCI Application.


  • Retrieve Application: Or you can retrieve the partially filled previous Application with the "Temporary Application ID" (generated in the top right corner when you save the application, 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 (see note below)

  • Applicant's Information

  • Applicant's Passport Details

  • Applicant's Family Details


Note: If you are applying from the United States then select the place of submission as USA and select the mission closest to you. You can find the Indian embassy's details here.


OCI application

Next, you would need to online upload the following items:


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


  • Thumb Impression: The left thumb impression needs to be uploaded. Obtain their thumb impression (in black) on 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 a Word document > Change the height and width of the image to 2 inches > Copy-paste same photo side by side > Print (at least you will get 9 photos). Read more.


We have an HP printer and it works well for scanning and printing, if you don't have one you can also get one from Amazon. This will be useful in the long run.


Next, you would need to upload all the supporting documents. I uploaded the scanned copy of the following documents. These document lists may vary for you, depending on the OCI checklist.


  • Passport: Minor's US passport.


  • 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.


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


  • The legal status of parents: Scan copies of Green Card (both parents), or it can be an I-129S approval notice for L1 visa holders, DS2019 for J1 visa holders, or I-797A for H1B visa holders.


  • Relationship certificate: A scanned copy of the applicant's birth certificate.


  • Parental authorization form: Original and notarized.



OCI Application Form - Part B

In OCI Application Form Part B, other details of applicants will be asked where you would need to answer yes/no, this applies 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 and sign.


I got the page 3 'Declaration' notarized when I applied for OCI. In the case of a minor, any one of the parents can sign the form (Declaration - Application for minor child).



Registration and Fee Payment

For OCI application fees, you need to visit 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.


OCI application for minor

OCI Card Fee

VFS service fee for an OCI card is $15.90, in addition, there is a consular fee of $275 and an ICWF fee of $3, plus taxes. 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

Registration: 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 applying 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. I got the form signed and notarized (declaration page). 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 color 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.


parental-authorization_PDF
.pdf
Download PDF • 54KB

One parent may sign the Parental Authorization Form

  • For a minor with divorced parents, if only one parent has legal custody (with no visitation or child support from the other parent), provide the court order for legal custody. If the court order is in a language other than English, include an English translation by an authorized translator.


  • If one parent has passed away, provide a copy of the death certificate.


  • For a single adoptive parent, include a copy of the adoption document.


Birth Certificate

You need to submit a copy of the birth certificate (issued by county) for minors and it should 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: FNU name

Current Passport

You need to provide a copy of the first 2 and last 2 pages of the applicant's US passport. This should be self-attested, in addition, I also got the applicant's left thumb impression on the copy of the passport pages.


Note: On a U.S. passport for a child under 16, a parent should type the child's full name on the signature line. The parent should also sign their name next to the printed name of their child, and note their relation to their child (for example: mother, father, or guardian).



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. We self-attested these copies. If your passports are expiring soon, I would recommend renewing them. Refer to this for passport renewal.


Proof of Legal Status of Parents in the USA

Please provide a self-attested copy of one of the following documents: Green card, US visa, I-797 Notice, or Employment Authorization Document (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 consent letter for the OCI application from here.



Affidavit in Lieu of Originals

This requirement for the OCI minor's application has been added recently. You must submit a notarized affidavit affirming that the documents accompanying the OCI application are true copies of the original documents, especially when only copies are being provided. Use this link for the format.


Undertaking by the OCI Applicant

This requirement for the OCI minor's application has been added recently. When I submitted my application, it was not part of the process. You can download the format from here.

Marriage Certificate of Parents

A copy of the marriage certificate is required, and you need to self-attest it.


  • If parents are divorced, a self-attested copy of the divorce decree is required.

  • If one of the parents has passed away, a self-attested copy of the death certificate is required.


OCI Address Proof for Minor

You are required to submit a self-attested copy of proof of address for one of the parents. Acceptable documents include a not expired Driver's license, State ID, Utility bill, Lease agreement, Income tax return, or Mortgage document. I have submitted a self-attested copy of my driver's license as proof. Check the OCI checklist PDF for the complete list.

Proof of Native Address

People who are not U.S. citizens but are living in the USA with a valid long-term visa should provide a self-attested proof of address from their home country. If there is no address proof available, a notarized statement must be given, providing details of their home country address.


OCI Fee Payment & Couriers

Include the printout of the fee payment confirmation letter and courier label with your OCI application. Additionally, paste the printout of the courier label on your package.



OCI for Minor 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.


  • If you are applying for a new OCI then the envelope should mention "NEW OCI - MINOR (US NATIONAL BY BIRTH)".


  • Do not staple the documents.


  • Include the fee payment and courier printout 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 for Minor Processing Time

I am sharing my processing time 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 for Minor Validity

There is no expiry date on the OCI card, but it needs to be reissued once the individual reaches the age of 20. Initially, I thought it was valid for a lifetime, but that's not the case for minor applicants under 20 years of age.


According to the CGI-SF release in April 2021:


  • A person who has registered as an OCI cardholder before 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, to capture his/ her facial features 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.


  • To update 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 notice 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.


FAQs on OCI Card for Minor

Which documents are to be notarized for OCI minor?

The following documents need to be notarized for the OCI card application for minors:


  1. Parental authorization form

  2. OCI application form (I notarized declaration, page 3)

  3. Affidavit in lieu of originals

  4. Proof of native address (if applicable)


Which thumb impression is required for an OCI card for a minor?

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


Do we need to send the original passport for the OCI minor?

No, you don't need to send the original passport for the minor's OCI. You need to send the copies.


For OCI, which thumb impression for a baby boy?

You need to take the left thumb impression for OCI application (minors who can not sign) whether it's a boy or girl.



How to take OCI minor signature?

You can take a left thumb impression (in black ink) for OCI minor in the place of signature.


Does the OCI card need to be updated with the new passport?

No, you don't need to renew your OCI card but you need to upload a copy of the new passport (online) and a recent photo (not older than 30 days) each time a new passport is issued. This is needed up to 20 years of age and once after 50 years of age.


What is the required proof of native address for non-US nationals living in the USA?

Non-U.S. residents living in the USA on a visa can use their Aadhar card, Indian Driver's License, or Passport to prove their address from their home country. If they don't have these documents, they can provide a notarized statement with their address details.


What to do if there is no visible identification mark for the minor?

You can simply write N/A if the minor does not have an identification mark.



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45 Comments


Hi,


Do we have to self attest every documents before we upload it on the OCI Part -B section? Or Can we self attest the documents while sending the application in postal?

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Replying to

The documents you are posting and uploading should be the same, so self-attest and upload online, then post the same documents. Thanks.

Like

Thank you for this post, really helped a lot. Do I need to paste the piece of paper where I took baby's fingerprint for scanning to upload on the OCI website or can the baby do a fresh thumb impression on the application page under the photograph?

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Replying to

Sorry if I misunderstood your question. However, you need to take a thumb impression under the photograph. You cannot paste a piece of paper with the thumb impression there. Thanks.

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Anand V
Anand V
Apr 23

Should i glue the original photograph on the application or just attach it by a paper clip?

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Replying to

The instructions were not clear, so I glued the photograph onto the application form. Just below, we took the left thumb impression and also paper-clipped two passport-size photographs.



Like

Hey Hina, Thank you for the updated details. What was the time line and when did you receive the OCI for you child?


Regards, Sumeesha

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Replying to

Hi Sumeesha, I applied on Nov 3, 2022, and received the OCI card in my mailbox on May 11, 2023. Thanks.

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Hello, Thank you for the detailed steps, Quick question regarding multiple notaries, Can we upload the "parent auth" without notary first, then submit the online form, so that we can get notary for both, then upload "Parent auth" form using " OCI document upload/reload" option in online ?. and for parents passport pages- Do we need scan all pages or only informational pages for upload online?

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Replying to

Thank you .. Much Appreciated.

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