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How to Surrender Your Indian Citizenship

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July 2010
How to Surrender Your Indian Citizenship Following a huge public outcry, Indian Consulates in the U.S., on June 1, amended the recently instituted rules concerning the surrender of passports by India’s former citizens. First, if a foreign citizenship was acquired before May 31, 2010, and the Indian passport has already been canceled, no other action is needed. However, if the Indian passport hasn’t been canceled yet, a $20 fee is required for doing that and getting a Surrender Certificate from an Indian Consulate. (Earlier, the fee was briefly increased to $175).

Going forward, if a foreign citizenship is acquired on or after June 1, 2010, the fee will indeed be $175 for canceling the Indian passport and obtaining a Surrender Certificate.

The other rule applies to foreign citizens whose Indian passports expired on or after January 1, 2005. If it wasn’t canceled for up to three years, and was instead used for overseas travel, there is a fine that depends on the numbers of times the passport was used even after becoming a U.S. citizen. It ranges from $250 to a maximum of $1250.

Furthermore, according to the Consulate General of India, obtaining the popular OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card doesn’t change these rules. Although the OCI card does provide some benefits of Indian citizenship, it shouldn’t be confused with dual citizenship. Those who have acquired OCI cards or PIO (Person of Indian Origin) cards still need to surrender their Indian citizenship. Another point is that all canceled Indian passports should be retained safely, in case there is a future need for consular services.

Non-Indians and former Indian citizens who wish to apply for Indian visas can contact Travisa (www.indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com) for information about the procedure.

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