Home / Business investment Articles / Angel Investment and benefits of an OCI Visa for India

The United Kingdom is the largest western investor in India and is the fourth largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. Since the start of the millennium, British channels have been responsible for what is estimated to be greater than fifty billion dollars of FDI into India. Yearly, in 2017 and 2018 the UK directly invested over $800 million into India which represented 7% of all FDI that year.

In the last two years alone, Britain has created an estimated 50,000 new private sector jobs in India, and, since the year 2000 British companies have created over 450,000 jobs in India.

British firms are attracted to invest in India for a variety of reasons. India is a huge, growing market with a rising middle class, a skilled, youthful workforce and has recently witnessed the introduction of several new business policies and reforms that make doing business in the country easier. One of the recent changes in policy is the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, which makes paying taxes as a business much more streamlined.

“As the 6th largest economy in the world and as the most improved country on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index, India is now firmly placed as a very attractive investment destination. Continued investment by British companies in India is a testimony to India’s growth as a vibrant economy. Key reforms like the Goods and Service Tax (GST), Real Estate Act (RERA) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) have played a significant role in achieving this significant progress in the last 3 years.”

Vishesh C. Chandiok, CEO of Grant Thornton India

OCI & Angel Investment

OCI stands for Overseas Citizenship of India. This status grants the holder a multiple-visit, multiple-entry visa into India and grants them parity status with citizens of the country in most regards. There are no limits to how long an OCI holder can stay in India and holders are exempt from police registration in the country. This means that any and all capital investments that one may make in India are manageable as one is allowed to stay in India without requiring a business visa. To open a business account you will require a PAN card and an Aadhar card, and an OCI card holder is instantly eligible for this.

Benefits of OCI over an Indian Visa

According to oci-help.com an online resource guide for OCI applications from the UK and worldwide, the benefits of an OCI visa over an Indian e-tourist visa or business visa are as follows:

  • An OCI Visa provides Multiple-entry, life-long Visa entry to visit India
  • An OCI card has a one-time application cost
  • OCI card holders have parity with Indian Citizens in economic, financial, and education fields; except in the capital investment acquisition of plantation and agricultural properties. This is an important consideration as land prices are booming in India.
  • OCI holders have no need to report to authorities for any length of stay in India

Potential Disadvantages of an OCI card:

OCI card holders can not undertake any Missionary, mountaineering and research work in India and prior approval will be needed from the Ministry of Home Affairs in India if you are planning any of this on your trip to India.

Also, holding an OCI card does not mean that one is an Indian citizen, and as such one does not have the right to vote in India.

Who can apply for an OCI card? (OCI eligibility):

You can be granted Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) status if you have migrated from India or are married to an Indian, or if your parents or grandparents were from India.

Documents Required for an OCI Application:

•          VFS Application form that you can fill from this link.

•          Signed Declaration Form

•          2 photographs 50mmx50mm, white background

•          British Passport copy (valid for at least six months) – you need to carry the original passport as well for verification.

•          Marriage certificate if you’re married

•          Naturalisation certificate (or relevant document for any other method (like Registration) used to obtain British Citizenship)

•          Employee Letter

•          If unemployed, you can provide proof of last employment along with bank statements for the current account.

•          If you own a business in the UK, you can provide proof of Tax Returns submitted to HMRC along with Company incorporation documents. A letter from your accountant would suffice as well.

•          Proof of Indian Origin

•          If you were born in India, held an Indian passport and obtained foreign nationality after May 2010: Indian Passport Surrender Certificate or, Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate (if you cannot produce the surrender certificate for any reason

The list is accurate in March 2020 however is constantly changing and is something that users must be vary of if they are intending to apply for an OCI card.