I was Indian Citizen and I have NRE accounts in India. I recently became US citizen but I don't have OCI card yet. So the period between acquiring US citizenship and getting OCI card is 3-4 months. Am I still consider NRI without having OCI?
What are the RBI guideline about NRE account during this 3-4 months period when I don't have OCI? Do I need to cancel them and open them again after I get OCI?

1 Answer 1


No, you do not need an OCI card to continue to have an NRE or NRO account. You are now classified as a PIO -- Person of Indian Origin -- (and you don't need to have a PIO card issued by the Government of India to prove it) and are entitled to use NRE and NRO accounts just as you were when you were a NRI (NonResident Indian). But, you should inform the banks where you have NRE and NRO accounts that you have changed citizenship, and they may need to go through their KYC (Know Your Customer) process with you all over again.

If you don't get an OCI Card, you will need to have an Indian visa stamped into your new US passport to visit India, and please do remember to send your Indian passport to the nearest Indian Consulate for cancellation. Keep the surrender certificate and cancelled passport in your safe deposit box forever; your grandchildren will need it to get visas to visit India. (My granddaughter just did).

If you do get an OCI Card, you will need to have an OCI stamp put into your new US passport, and when you renew your US passport, you will need to get the new one stamped too (and pay the fee for that, of course). You cannot enter India with just an OCI Card and a US passport without the OCI stamp in it; that stamp is vital. If you move from one residential address in the US to another, you will need to get a new OCI Card issued because, unlike the US "green card", the OCI card has your residential address on it. Once again, a fee is involved. All these processes take many weeks because the whole paperwork has to go to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, and meanwhile, your passport is not available to you for a trip to Europe or Japan or Taiwan or China if you need to go there on business (or for pleasure).

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