Simplifying DSC for NRI Process: All You Need to Know!

Digital signature for foreign citizens and NRI (Non-Resident Indians) is a necessity in today's interconnected world. NRIs, scattered across the globe, require a secure and efficient means to authenticate documents and transactions remotely. DSC provides them with a legally recognized electronic signature, eliminating the need for physical presence and paperwork hassles.

Whether signing contracts, filing taxes, or managing financial affairs, DSC for NRIs provides seamless transactions, legal formalities across borders, and convenience in managing their affairs from anywhere in the world.

Can NRI have a Digital Signature?

Yes, NRIs can indeed obtain a digital signature certificate (DSC). DSC for NRI serves as the electronic equivalent of a handwritten signature, providing authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation to online documents and transactions. It allows NRIs to sign documents electronically from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need for physical presence.

Is DSC for NRI Compulsory for Form 13?

Form 13 is a critical document for NRIs seeking relief from late filing penalties for certain financial transactions in India.

While a Digital Signature Certificate for NRI is not mandatory for Form 13, it can expedite the process and streamline communication with Indian authorities. Having a DSC ensures the authenticity of documents submittedand reduces the chances of delays or complications.

Types of DSCs Available for NRIs and Foreign Citizens

There are primarily two types of digital signature certificates available for NRIs and foreign citizens:

Class 2 DSC for Foreign Nationals/NRIs:

Class 2 Digital Signature for Foreign nationals offers a medium level of security and is primarily used for online transactions involving moderate risk factors.

Usage: It can be used for e-filing of income tax returns, GST (Goods and Services Tax) filing, company or LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) incorporation, and other similar purposes.

Validity: Class 2 DSC for NRI has a validity period of one or two years.

Class 3 DSC for Foreign Nationals/NRIs:

Class 3 Digital Signature for Foreign National provides the highest level of security and is recommended for transactions involving high risk or those requiring a higher level of authenticity.

Usage: It's ideal for activities such as e-tendering, e-procurement, bidding processes, and other high-security transactions.

Validity: Generally, it offers a validity period of one or three years, ensuring long-term reliability.

People, who hold foreign citizenship but have Indian origin, can opt for Class 3 DSC for OCI tailored to their needs. These certificates facilitate secure online transactions and interactions with Indian government portals and services.

What are the Requirements for DSC for NRI?

Obtaining a digital signature for NRI or a foreign citizen involves fulfilling certain requirements, including:

- Proof of Identity: A valid passport or any other government-issued identification.

- Proof of Address: Utility bills, bank statements, or any other documents confirming residential address

- Valid Visa or OCI Card: A valid visa or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card may be required depending on the applicant's status.

- Photographs: Recent passport-sized photographs to match the specified criteria mentioned above.

OCI Digital Signature Requirements:

For OCI cardholders, the process of obtaining a DSC involves additional steps to validate their status as overseas citizens of India. Along with the standard requirements mentioned above, OCI cardholders must present:

- Copy of OCI Card: A clear photocopy of the OCI card demonstrating the individual's status as an overseas citizen of India.

- OCI Card Details: Relevant details from the OCI card, including the card number, date of issue, and expiry.

Digital Signature for Foreign Nationals and NRIs

While the concept of digital signatures remains consistent across borders, there are notable differences between DSCs for NRIs and Indian citizens:

Authentication Process: NRIs might need to go through a tougher process to verify their identity and overseas residency status.

Documentation: NRIs and foreign nationals may need to provide additional documentation, such as visas or OCI cards, to support their DSC applications.

Validity Period: The validity period of a DSC for NRIs typically aligns with their visa or OCI card validity, ensuring continuity and compliance with legal requirements.

How to Register DSC for NRI?

Know how to apply DSC for NRI in these simple steps below:

Step 1: Open your web browser and go to the website of a Certifying Authority like Capricorn CA that offers Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) services.

Step 2: Click on the "BUY CERTIFICATE" button to proceed with the purchase.

Step 3: Choose the validity of the DSC and click yes to move further.

Step 4: Provide essential details accurately such as your full name, email address, contact number, nationality, and other required information.

Step 5: After filling in your details, attach the necessary documents. These documents include scanned copies of your address proof (such as passport or utility bills), identity proof (passport, Aadhaar card, etc.), a recent passport-sized photograph, etc. Please check that the documents submitted should be clear and legible.

Step 6: Choose the verification method including Aadhaar-based verification, PAN-based verification, or others. Find what's most convenient for you and follow the instructions provided on the screen. This may involve providing additional details or undergoing a video verification process.

Step 7: After completing the verification process, you'll be directed to a page where you can purchase the Digital Signature Certificate. Choose your preferred payment method (Credit/Debit card, net banking, etc.) and follow the instructions to complete the transaction.

Step 8: After successful payment, you'll receive a confirmation email or notification on the website confirming your DSC purchase. Download the Digital Signature Certificate from your account dashboard and make sure to store the DSC for digital transactions and authentication purposes securely.

What is the Validity Period of a DSC for NRIs?

The validity period of a DSC for NRIs depends on various factors, including the type of DSC obtained and the individual's residency status. Typically, DSCs for NRIs have a validity ranging from one to three years, aligning with their visa or OCI card validity period.

Can an OCI Cardholder apply for a DSC?

Yes, OCI cardholders can apply for a DSC to facilitate their digital transactions and document signing needs. By presenting their OCI cards and fulfilling the requisite documentation, OCI cardholders can obtain a DSC with Capricorn CA tailored to their specific requirements.


DSC for NRI plays an important role in facilitating secure digital transactions for NRIs and foreign nationals in India. Choose the right type of certificate and follow the necessary application steps to seamlessly conduct online activities while ensuring data security and legal compliance. Whether it's for financial transactions, government services, or business operations, having a valid DSC is essential for hassle-free digital interactions.