It is common knowledge that an application for an OCI status in Toronto is a 
Labour of Hercules, no exaggeration.

The tasks within the process are divided between the Consular office and 
private third party company both of which are located quite some distance (at 
least 30Kms) from each other. You are more likely than not shuttled between the 
two due to some odd division of responsibilities. Neither can properly answer 
your questions.

If you have misplaced your old expired Indian passport, or if you are of Indian 
origin but never had an Indian passport (East African Goans) the process can 
turn ugly.

The Indian birth and educational certificates you provide to prove your Indian 
origin are not accepted at face value. You need to send them to be attested by 
the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi. If you think attestation 
means they are checked for veracity, you are mistaken. There is just too much 
volume to do that. All they do is take a fee and rubber stamp them.

If you have not “surrendered” your Indian passport on getting foreign 
citizenship, there is a heft fee for that.

If your documents needs attestation in Toronto, there is a whole other process. 
You get it notarized by a notary or lawyer, then you get the notarization 
validated by the provincial authorities (to certify the lawyer is in good 
standing) and you then submit to the Indian consulate who will take a fee and 
finally “attest” it.

More people than ever are lining up for OCI since apparently you need that to 
sell property in India. There is no rule or law that requires this except that 
the buyer demands it on some misconception to cover himself.

You will be lucky if when applying for OCI you get away with taking 3 days off 
work shuttling between locations. 1 day would have covered it if you were told 
upfront what was required. Instead, you submit documents as mentioned on the 
website, it is found wanting and off you go to get it the next day. Again the 
repetition by the next clerk who accepts your papers until you wish you wish 
you had nothing to do with the Indian consulate again.

If this is not an example of bureaucracy gone mad, then nothing else is. It is 
embarrassing to hear profanity and curses from educated and otherwise decent 
and well attired men and women exiting the consulate.

Roland Francis

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