Monday, December 28, 2009

Applying for the OCI at the SFO consulate

Instructions for the OCI application process is somewhat confusing. I didn't find all the relavant in one place on any website. So, I thought that I will post the information that I have gathered. Hope it helps. Would love to hear your comments.

Documents to mail in the OCI application packet:
  1. Two copies of Part A and Part B of the application form
    a. All documents should be submitted in two individual sets for all the applicants. Each set should comprise of Part A, Part B and supporting documents.
    b. Signature- The signature of the applicant should be WITHIN AND IN THE CENTER of the Signature box of Part A of the OCI Application form. For children who cannot sign or write their name, left hand THUMB IMPRESSION must be put within the signature box. Make sure it is a DARK PRINT. Parents should not sign for children in the signature box.
  2. Two - (2" X 2") - size photographs
  3. Current US/ foreign Passport in original
    a. In order to save dispatch time of US/foreign passport and OCI card, the applicants are requested to mail their passports in original along with OCI application. However, if the applicant is traveling or has any plan to travel while OCI application is in process, i.e. within 30 business days, kindly do not send US/foreign passport in original. Mail your US passport once the file number appears on
  4. Two self-attested photocopies of the first (second?) and last pages of the current US/ foreign passport for determining present citizenship of applicant (s).
    a. * Self attestation means- signing the photocopy of the required documents stating as "true copy of the original". In case of minors, documents should be attested by either of the parent.
  5. Two photocopies of the birth certificate of US/foreign born children. This should be attested by either of the parent.
  6. Last Indian Passport held in original (this needs to be sent with the application forms).
  7. Two self-attested photocopies of the first two and last two pages of the Indian passport.
  8. PIO card in Original and self- attested copy of PIO card, if applicable.
    a. The original PIO card be sent later, if needed.
  9. A Self Addressed Stamped USPS Express Mail Envelop for Returning Documents.
    a. Please record with you the USPS tracking number for tracking documents when mailed by the Consulate.
  10. Postal money order of $ 275 (two hundred and seventy five only) per applicant
    a. It should be payable to “Consulate General of India, San Francisco”
    b. One Postal money order for entire amount is sufficient
    c. Cash, Personal Cheques, credit cards or any other form of banking instruments are not accepted.
    d. A PIO card holder applying for OCI status will pay a fee of US$ 145/- by postal money order.
Mail the above documents to…· OCI Cell, Consulate General of India, 540 Arguello Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94118

Organizing the application packet:
  • Always remember, 2 sets of application forms, signed/thumbprinted in original – for each applicant. And 2 sets of supporting documents - one for each application form. 
  • For the documents to enclose, treat as if every family member was applying separately. This suggestion is for enclosures only, the application forms still remain only 2 sets for each applicant.
  • Since each family member gets their own registration number when you register online, verification of documents in Delhi for each family member could potentially be done by different people.
  • Therefore separate out the docs into separate sets, one "COMPLETE SET of enclosures" for each family member. e.g., for your kids, put another photocopy of your foreign and Indian passport in his/her set of enclosures also, since their requirements need proof of parents being eligible for OCI.
  • Use a lot of paper clips
Tracking progress of your application

Useful links for preparing the OCI application·


vikram said...

did your photos have a light background or a white background ? how did you get your photos ?


TheBlogAuthor said...

I got the photos done in Costco (costed $5 for 4 photos). They had a white background.

vikram said...

thanks, can you post your OCI timeline on ? i have white background 2"x2" photos taken for the citizenship app, which I will also be using for US passports. was wondering if I can use the same for the OCI app.


TheBlogAuthor said...

Yes...I used 2"x2" photos as well (used similar photos for my citizenship/passport app as well).

PN said...

Very useful post! Has all the relevant information in one place. Thanks for posting this!

Kumar said...

Thanks for the information. Did you send 4 photos in total (including the two pasted) or just 2 photos pasted on part A

Anonymous said...

hey, can you post your timeline ? i've applied to the SFO office a few days back, and would love to have a reference of a recent app.

TheBlogAuthor said...

Kumar, I sent only a total of two photos for each applicant

TheBlogAuthor said...

A few of you have asked for the timeline of my OCI it is.

4th Jan -- Application delivered to the SFO consulate by USPS
13th Jan -- application acknowleged by the consulate
15th Jan -- application processed
19th Jan -- docs dispatched from India
2nd Feb -- docs received by SFO consulate

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the comprehensive details.

I had a question about name change. My middle initial which was expanded in India passport is now abbreviated in USA passport

My USA naturalization certificate has my name exactly as in my India passport which has my middle initial expanded.

As I didnot change my name, does it mean I just need to attach a copy of my naturalization certificaiton and need not do the change of name affidavit etc.

Please let me know


TheBlogAuthor said...

Hi Prasanna....since your situation is somewhat unique, you may be better off e-mailing the SFO consulate for clarification (email is ). They usually respond within one business day.

TheBlogAuthor said...

Check out for a related discussion

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your useful post. I have a question regarding applying OCI for a child.
In Section 24, I see signature asked twice after the lines "I/We .... do solemnly and sincerely etc". Is it necessary to sign in this place for a child by both the parents?
I see that there is a also a specific section for Application for Minors below it. (I am applying only for myself and my kid as my spouse has already obtained OCI)

Anonymous said...

they also need a proof of residence, see below:

Proof of Residence:
Driving license or
PG&E, Water or landline telephone bill displaying applicant’s address or
House Lease Agreement
Note: Bank/credit card/mobile phone statements are not accepted as residence proof

Anonymous said...

Hi There,
Thanks for the useful post.We want to apply for OCI in US and get the stamping done in India.

Is this possible? And what address should we put in the address field?

Our permanent date to r2i is on May23rd. So I'm not sure if this time frame is enough to get it stamped here.

I'd appreciate your inputs.


TheBlogAuthor said...


I'm not exactly sure about the process for getting a stamp from India. You may want to post your message on

Anonymous said...

how long did your OCI process take?

TheBlogAuthor said...

My OCI process took 6-7 weeks to complete.

chandra said...

I am a naturalised US citizen but my wife is still an Indian citizen. My daughter is a US citizen. I want to apply for OCI for myself and my daughter.

When I fill up the online form, should I use individual or family group.

The problem is that if I use family, then they ask for spouse information but she is not applying for OCI.

So how should I proceed?


TheBlogAuthor said...

@chandra, seems like a similar question at ( hasn't gotten a response. You best option may be to send an e-mail to the consulate about this (email-id is ). They usually respond within a business day or two.

Shirish said...

Does San Francisco consulate accept the application for Surrender Certificate and OCI together?

Shakti said...

I have the same Q as Shirish...
'Does San Francisco consulate accept the application for Surrender Certificate and OCI together?"