Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022


Note: The Government of India can amend or revise the visa/ project clearance procedure at any given point of time. USIEF will keep all the grantees updated about the process.

Project Clearance for OCI card holders

Overseas Citizens Card (OCI) holders need to apply for No Objection Certificate/Project Clearance Certificate. You will not apply for a visa but will instead apply for project clearance.

Please see below the most updated information that we have recently received from the Government of India. Note: The Government of India can amend or revise the project clearance procedure at any given point of time.  The Indian Government have the prerogative to ask for additional information or documents.  Therefore, USIEF advises that you follow the instructions given on their website.  Do not proceed to India unless you receive your project clearance. If you experience any problems throughout the project clearance application process, please contact Priyanjana Ghosh or Neeraj Goswami at USIEF.

For dependents of OCI card holders:

  • Dependents who have an OCI card are not required to apply for a visa or project clearance.
  • Dependents of OCI card holders (who do not have OCI cards), should either plan well ahead of time to apply for an OCI card or alternately, apply for Student Visa to come to India. Official dependents accompanying a grantee for 80% time in India, cannot come on any other visa except for Student. Please see the page on visa application to apply for student visa of your dependents.

USIEF is seeking your placement with an Indian institution, which you requested or which USIEF has identified as an appropriate placement.  The Indian institution confirms affiliation for you by issuing a one-page document entitled “Certificate of Affiliation,” (CoA) which will be signed and stamped by the designated official at the affiliating institute.  Generally, an Indian institution takes four to six weeks to send a certificate of affiliation to USIEF.  However, some institutions may take a little longer. USIEF will send your CoA as well as an invitation letter on USIEF letterhead which you should submit along with your USIEF grant document when you apply for the project clearance.

About 12 weeks in advance of your travel date, file your project clearance application. 

Please submit your application on the Online OCI Services website.  You should click on “Apply for Special Permission (Only for OCI Card Holders)” for submitting the application as instructed.

Documents required for project clearance (For Research Activities)

  1.  Copy of OCI Card
  2. Copy of Passport (in case of dual nationality, both passports)
  3. Copy of admission letter received from university/ institute – Cover Letter & USIEF’s clearance support letter
  4. Bonafide certificate from the institute mentioning period of research – Attach CoA
  5. Copy of synopsis of research papers – Attach Fulbright Project proposal
  6. Duly certified Form ‘G’
  7. Evidence of financial resources – Upload Grant Document
  8. Residence proof – Driving License / Utility Bills
  9. Recent photograph – As per OCI site
  10. Recent Signature – As per OCI site
  11. Undertaking from the applicant – Cover letter by the applicant (see sample)

 Some useful tips shared by a grantee:

  1. To log back in the OCI site, please use your Temporary Application ID (upper right- hand corner when you first log in). The file reference number doesn’t work for continuing with the application.
  2. Also, make sure you are signing on to the special permissions part of OCI. The temporary application ID doesn’t work if you mistakenly sign on for some other     service/application.
  3. To resize the signature file for the dimensions the site needs, use an online .jpeg resizing tool. Preferably use your old OCI photo if you have it digitally saved. The photo has to be square, with a white background, and under a certain size.
  4. Fill Form G by hand and then upload, because the PDF file may not allow for autofill.
  5. Upload the “Copy of Admission letter received from University/institute” as part of the pulldown and upload menu.

Use the same project title and statement as mentioned in your IIE Fulbright application for your project clearance application process.

Please read the scholar write-up about the Project Clearance Process.

We advise you to use the latest version of Google Chrome browser for the online OCI services website to complete the project clearance application.

Once you successfully submit your project clearance application, your affiliating institute in India may receive a visit/ email/ or call from the local Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO/ FRO) to verify your affiliation at the institute. Please note that this a routine procedure and part of the project clearance process.  Your host institute in India is required to furnish information related to you and your Fulbright grant to the officials.

The Government of India will require approximately six to twelve weeks to issue the project clearance, unless they determine that more questions about the application are necessary, in which case it will take longer. 

Please send a scanned copy of your project clearance immediately to USIEF upon receiving it. 

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