NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to grant Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status to Pakistanborn Bollywood singer and actress Salma Agha that will allow her multi-entry, multipurpose, life-long visa of India.
“We have decided to grant Salma Agha the OCI card after following the due procedure,” a senior home ministry official said on Monday. Agha met Union home minister Rajnath Singh as well.
Before deciding on her OCI status, the ministry had granted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami Indian citizenship.
Citing her pre-partition Indian roots, Salma Agha’s application had put the home ministry in a fix as the OCI status is explicitly prohibited for Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals. Her mother and grandmother acted in Bollywood movies in the pre-partition era. In her application, Agha, 59, said though she was born in Pakistan, she was never its citizen.
Citizens of other countries can apply for OCI status if they were citizens or eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution or thereafter. Their children or grandchildren can also apply under the scheme. Besides, any person who belonged to a territory that became part of India after the August 15, 1947, but now a citizen of another country can also get OCI status. OCIs are exempted from reporting to police their length of stay in India . They get parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in acquisition of agricultural properties.