Centre decides to delegate powers to FRRO in state

All those interested in obtaining OCI card status should apply for OCI only to FRRO Goa and their applications would henceforth not be accepted in the OCI cell of the Ministry of Home Affairs at New Delhi from December 1, 2012

PANAJI: The Union Home Affairs Ministry has decided to delegate the powers of grant of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) to foreign citizens of Goan origin to Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in  state with effect from December 1, 2012. 
All those interested in obtaining OCI card status should apply for OCI only to FRRO Goa and their applications would henceforth not be accepted in the OCI cell of the Ministry of Home Affairs at New Delhi from December 1, 2012.
The move comes following repeated steps taken by the government of Goa to bring to the attention of the authorities in New Delhi the inconvenience and difficulties faced by non-resident Indians of Goan origin holding foreign passports in getting OCI card status. 
Acting upon the request, as a first step, the government of India vide Ministry of Home Affairs Notification dated May 14, 2012 had appointed a full fledged FRRO for the jurisdiction of the entire state of Goa, including Goa International Airport and Mormugao Sea Port with effect from May 31, 2012.  
Pursuant to this appointment, the question of delegation of powers to FRRO Goa to accept and process the OCI applications of  foreign citizens of Goan origin was taken up by the Commissioner for NRI Affairs with the Union Home Minister so as to facilitate NRIs of Goan origin holding foreign passports, including elderly ones, who intend to permanently settle down in Goa on the strength of their OCI card status.
The government of India had introduced OCI Scheme to persons of Indian origin who have migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, with effect from December 1, 2005. 
Accordingly, the powers of granting OCI card status to eligible foreign citizens of Indian origin were delegated to Indian missions abroad in their respective jurisdiction and to FRROs in Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. 
In so far as foreign citizens of Goan origin were concerned, those intending to apply for OCI card status had to submit their applications to the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi either personally or by post or through the services of an agent, and once their applications were granted, they had to make personal trips to Delhi for collecting OCI cards on production of their foreign passports for getting life long multiple entry visa.