OCI Eligibility Restored for Goan Citizens with Portuguese Nationality


In a pivotal moment for Goan citizens with Portuguese ancestry, recent amendments to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) laws have ushered in a new era of hope and opportunity. This article talks about:
The Previous OCI laws and how it has impacted Goan Citizens
• The New MEA Memorandum for Citizens with Revoked Passports
• Outlining the Key changes mentioned in the new memorandum.
• Benefits of the New Law for Goan Citizens with Portuguese nationality
• Steps to obtain the OCI card.

Under the Order referenced as VI/405/04/03/2021 dated November 30, 2022, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, Indian Passport Issuing Authorities were instructed to issue revocation orders under Section 10(3) of the Passport Act 1967. This mandate applied to Indian citizens who obtained, rectified or reissued their Indian passports after registering their birth in Portugal.

A ‘surrender certificate’ issued by passport authorities has so far been a requirement for those who want to apply for OCI cards. After November 30, 2022, PIA began revoking the Indian passports of people from Goa, Daman, and Diu, who had acquired Portuguese citizenship, for “suppressing material information” about acquiring foreign nationality under section 10(3) of the Indian Passport Act. Passport authorities then stopped handing out surrender certificates to such people, thereby rendering them ineligible to obtain an OCI card.

In February, the Ministry of External Affairs responded to an inquiry from South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha during the Lok Sabha session, revealing that the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Panaji had received over 2,000 applications in the past three years from individuals seeking to surrender their Indian passports following the acquisition of Portuguese nationality. The MEA further disclosed that out of these applications, the RPO had revoked 114 passports.

Many Goans found themselves adrift, grappling with a sense of displacement and uncertainty about their identity and belonging. Exhausting all available avenues, they sought a resolution to their plight with determination. This pressing concern resonated with legislators in the recent assembly sessions, prompting Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant to pledge his commitment to addressing the profound challenges faced by Goans holding Portuguese passports to the MEA, New Delhi.

With the latest directive, Order No. VI/ 125/1/10/2023(PT) dated 4th April 2024, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, significant relief has been extended to individuals hailing from Goa, Daman, and Diu. The MEA has consented to grant OCI status to Portuguese Nationals from these regions, including those who were previously issued a revocation of Indian passport certificate instead of a surrender certificate.

This now means that OCI will be granted to people from erstwhile Portuguese territories in India (Goa and Daman & Diu) who are currently holding a revocation order from the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

This development holds immense significance for every individual holding a Portuguese passport, offering a pathway to relief and opportunity. Families, including those with children and elderly parents whose births are registered with the CRC in Portugal, can now breathe a sigh of relief. They can confidently pursue OCI status, ensuring compliance with legal requirements regardless of their chosen place of residence worldwide. This landmark decision brings assurance and empowerment to countless families, fostering a sense of security and belonging.

Benefits of the New OCI Law

The new OCI Law states that OCI will be granted to all Portuguese Nationals from Goa, Daman, and Diu, holding a revocation order from the Ministry of Externa Affairs, New Delhi. Here’s how Goans will benefit:

Reclaimed Rights: With an OCI card, Goans can once again enjoy the privileges associated with OCI status, such as property ownership rights and simplified travel procedures.

Strengthened Cultural and Familial Ties: The ability to obtain an OCI card strengthens the cultural and familial bonds of Goans with Portuguese citizenship to India. Families with members holding Portuguese passports can now apply for OCI together.

Understanding the intricacies of OCI applications, especially under the new law, can be a complex process. Travco Holidays Pvt Ltd has always been present to serve our Goans in need of answers regarding this crucial matter. We are here to help with issuing OCIs for all those Portuguese passport holders who have been deprived of having an OCI and those who are seeking assistance with their OCI status. Travco ensures that all Individuals have access to professional support throughout the application process. Schedule a free consultation or contact us at +91-9860090341 to further enhance the efficiency and ease of obtaining your OCI status.

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