Travelling abroad with your kid is an exciting experience, but it can also be a tough task when it comes to securing necessary travel documents. Many parents struggle when it comes to choosing between OCI and Visa for their minor kids. Both OCI and Visa seem similar, but they come with a set of unique benefits and drawbacks.
In this article, we’ll discuss OCI vs Visa for a minor, their benefits, drawbacks, and which one could be the best for your kid.
- OCI cardholder minor kids are eligible to apply for a single OCI or multi-entry visa.
- OCI benefits include lifelong validity, multiple entries, no requirement of police registration, and no requirement for a visa every time you travel to India.
- Visa options for minors include tourist visas, business visas, visit visas, and student visas.
- Visa benefits include faster processing time, no need to surrender the original passport, and a higher visa validity period in comparison to OCI.
- OCI card is more appropriate for minors who wish to stay connected with their Indian origin, whereas Visa could be a better option if you are planning a short-term stay or travel to India for educational or business purposes.
- If your minor kid is a citizen of India but holding citizenship of another country, you should apply for OCI rather than a visa.
OCI vs Visa for Minor: Which One to Choose and Why?
OCI for Minor
OCI stands for Overseas Citizen of India, providing lifelong visa-free travel to India along with certain benefits, including:
- Lifelong validity with a multiple entry.
- A smart electronic travel card that carries a person’s personal details and biometric information.
- No need for police registration within days of arrival unlike in the case of a visa holder.
- No need for a visa every time you travel to India.
OCI is a handy travel document for minor kids who wish to visit India now and then. The Indian government would communicate on the changes in OCI guidelines for minor children, and you could refer to the same here.
Visa for Minor
Unlike OCI, a visa is a short-term document that enables travelers to visit India for a limited period. Visa options for minors depend on several factors, including the purpose of travel, diplomatic or official passport, and so on. Some common visa options for minors include:
- Tourist Visa
- Business Visa
- Student Visa
- Visit Visa
One significant benefit of a visa is that it has a shorter processing period than OCI. For example, an e-visa or a regular visa would be issued within 3-4 working days, which is faster than OCI’s processing time. Another major advantage of a visa is that you don’t need to surrender your original passport for visa processing.
Which One is Best for Minor: Choosing Between OCI and Visa
Choosing the right document for your minor kid depends on their unique travel requirements. If you are born in India but are a citizen of another country, applying for OCI could be an excellent way to stay connected with your roots. OCI cardholders have a lifetime validity that doesn’t expire, and they are not required to get a visa every time they visit India.
If your minor kid is traveling to India for a short period, such as for tourism, business, or studies, applying for a visa could be the best way to go. The visa validity period differs based on the nature of travel; for instance, a tourist visa could have a validity of one year or more, whereas a student visa would be issued for the entire duration of the course.
In conclusion, OCI and Visa for minors are two different documents that cater to unique travel requirements. As a parent or guardian, it’s essential to consider the child’s age, reason for travel, and duration of travel before making a decision. While the visa has a quicker processing time and is more appropriate for short-term stays, OCI could be the best option for minors who wish to stay connected with their Indian roots.
1. Can minor kids hold both OCI and Visa?
Yes, minor kids can hold both an OCI and Visa, and OCI cardholder minor kids are eligible to apply for a single OCI or a multi-entry visa.
2. Can I apply for OCI in the name of a minor child?
Yes, you can apply for OCI in the name of your minor kid if you are an Indian citizen living abroad or a foreign national who was once an Indian citizen.
3. Can I apply for an OCI card for my child who is a citizen of India?
Yes, if your minor kid is a citizen of India but has citizenship of another country, you should apply for an OCI rather than a Visa.