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I'm a US citizen with an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card; the closest thing to dual citizenship that the countries have.

I apparently have all the rights of an Indian citizen except:

  • The ability to buy agricultural land
  • The ability to vote / run for a political (or judiciary) office
  • The ability to hold an Indian passport

In case of situations besides the above where the eligibility criteria mentions that the applicant must be an Indian national, am I eligible? For example, there are a lot of educational programs or scholarships open only to Indian nationals. Do I count?

5

Your definition of OCI is correct.

In practice, OCI is more of a liability than a help. It does not help you with most officialdom, because you deal with low- to mid-level people who have no clue what it is. You may find someone who can be persuaded to accept it in lieu of your foreign passport, but that's rare.

Every office, such as property tax, or gas, or motor vehicles etc. has its own list of what is considered acceptable as a proof of identity, of birth date, and of local address. OCI is not listed there, nor are many other types of documents, such as bank correspondence.

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