As a result of 26/11, the Government of India has taken appropriate steps to secure their borders. I do not travel often to India, but was somewhat surprised by the new visa requirements, their costs and their durations. Fortunately PIO and OCI cards are available and are quite cost effective, but tedious for individuals who have family in India.
The process is more involved and requires significant background reporting. Our family’s original application was returned once as it was missing some signatures and proof of identity for my wife. The completed application was resubmitted and received 12/28/2010. The OCI cards were issued in India 1/26/2011 and were received by us 2/12/2011. I was extremely pleased with the rapid processing of the documents. I had originally expected a 90 day time line but instead we received our documents in just 33 business days.
I applaud the Government of India for improving the national security policy and was very impressed with the implementation with the Consulate General of India, San Francisco office. For those considering an OCI application, follow the process to the letter and be prepared for the time line as promised by the consulate. I understand that Travisa will be taking over processing of the OCI application and would be interested in hearing others experience.