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fees of USD 20.00

By Dilip Butani

In supersession of previous rules, Government of India has decided that Persons of Indian origin who have already acquired foreign citizenship until May 31, 2010 will not be required to pay renunciation fees of $175.00, he/she will be required to pay Miscellaneous fees of USD 20.00 when getting the old Indian passport cancelled/surrendered.

In future those Indian citizens who acquire foreign citizenship on or after Jun 01 June 2010 will have to submit declaration of renunciation of their Indian citizenship forms as given on website and fees of USD 175.00

For Naturalized US Citizens of Indian Descent: A SURRENDER CERTIFICATE is required for obtaining any service including Visa, OCI and PIO. Indian passport must be surrendered on acquiring US naturalization Penalties apply. Please attach your Surrender Certificate, last held Indian Passport and copy of naturalization certificate with all applications. All Power of Attorneys have to be appostilled.

All Naturalized US citizen of Indian descent are advised to apply for entry visa only for all purposes except if visiting India for recreation. If visiting for recreation, visa application must be supported by documentary proof including firm receipts of payment made towards hotel, spa, travel bookings.
Copies of documents like Green Card/EAD/I-130 and the last held Indian passport at the time of naturalization required in support of our applications can be obtained by request from USCIS under the freedom of Information ACT.

For all requests for waiver from 2 months restriction on tourist visa, applicants are advised to apply at TRAVISA only with requisite documentation and visa fee. Waivers are given only for emergency cases situation. The Consulate will not entertain such requests directly.


May 31,2010: Over 28,000 people have already signed the petition as of May 31


Over 22,000 people have already signed the petition as of May 30th- against

New Government of India Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport

Los Angeles, May 30, 2010
Inder Singh

The retroactive enforcement of new rules for surrender of Indian Passport has become a major issue with the Overseas Indian community. Since the launch of Petition Online addressed to the Prime Minister of India on May 23rd, over 22,000 people have already signed the petition as of May 30th. If you like to quote from feedback from the signers or see the updated list of signers, please visit: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ip100521/petition.html.

Los Angeles, community leaders discussed the issue of 'Retroactive Enforcement of New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport on Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at 7 PM, at The Woodlands Restaurant, 11833 Artesia Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701.

If Govt. of India wants the old passports, there is no problem in surrendering. But asking people to pay hefty fee and penalty for safe keeping of obsolete Indian passport for years after acquiring citizenship of country of their adoption is unfair and unjustified. Govt. of India should not hurt businesses, particularly travel and hospitality industries from earning tourist revenue from Overseas Indians who want to visit their motherland.

If the government wants to continue the retroactive enforcement of the new laws, people who are in dire need to visit India, will pay the asking hefty fee. But it will somewhat tarnish years of goodwill built by the mutual healthy relationship between India and its Diaspora.

Renunciation or Termination of Indian Citizenship

Section 8 of Indian Citizenship Act 1955 talks about renouncing Indian citizenship by a person having dual citizenship, citizenship of India and of another country.

Renunciation of citizenship

Section 8. If any citizen of India of full age and capacity, who is also a citizen or national of another country, makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship, the declaration shall be registered by the prescribed authority; and, upon such registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of India: Provided that if any such declaration is made during any war in which India may be engaged, registration thereof shall be withheld until the Central Government otherwise directs.

So, who is to renounce citizenship: any citizen of India who is also a citizen or national of another country.

No Indian in the US has ever been a citizen of India and at the same time citizen of the US, i.e. dual citizen. So, if Indians in the US are not holding two citizenships simultaneously, what are they supposed to renounce.

Section 9 of  Indian Citizenship Act 1955 talks about Indians loosing Indian citizenship on acquiring citizenship of the country of their residence.

Section 9.

Termination of citizenship. Any citizen of India who by naturalisation, registration or otherwise voluntarily acquires, or has at any time between the 26th January, 1950 and the commencement of this Act voluntarily acquired, the citizenship of another country shall, upon such acquisition or, as the case may be, such commencement, cease to be a citizen of India.

The citizenship of India is terminated on acquiring citizenship of America as per Section 9. So, no dual citizenship, no renunciation.

And where does it say (in Section 9) that the newly naturalized person is to fill any form for automatically terminated citizenship. Section 8 however says, “prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship.”

The Indian Consulate form for "Renunciation of Indian citizenship" starts with "Declaration of Renunciation of citizenship made by a citizen of India who is also a citizen or national of another country."

Why Indians who ceased to be Indian citizens on naturalization, are required to fill this form. This form is for those who are Indian citizens as well as American citizens.

Item 3 of the Renunciation Form talks about the acquisition of US citizenship while item 4 talks of renouncing of Indian citizenship which had been terminated automatically under section 9 on acquiring US citizenship.

Item 6 on the form says, "I ------------------------  do solemnly and sincerely declare that the foregoing  .............."

How can someone sign a form:

  1. with an incorrect heading, (Declaration of Renunciation of citizenship made by a citizen of India who is also a citizen or national of another country)
  2. with inconsistency of item 3 with item 4, (No Indian in the U.S. holds citizenship of India while being citizen of the U.S.)
  3. by declaring solemnly and sincerely. 

If the idea is to put stamp of cancellation on the passport, a new form has to be designed. Surrendering passport, valid or invalid, should not be a problem then.

Anybody who is signing the current form to renounce Indian citizenship is doing so incorrectly and maybe illegally.

It amounts to renouncing something which a person does not have.

If the government of India considered Indians who got naturalized, as citizen of India, why were they given Indian visa to visit India? Indian citizens living abroad do not require any visa to visit/go back to their own country.

Let all concerned follow the law. Indians on acquiring U.S citizenship ceased to be Indian citizens under Section 9 of the Citizenship Act 1955. No form is prescribed to be filled in under Section 9. As new U.S citizens, they got U.S passport and Indian visa to travel to India. No confusion.


Overwhelming Response In Support Of On-Line Petition On New Government

Of India Rules For Surrender Of Indian Passport

On May 23, 2010, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) initiated an on-line petition addressed to the Prime Minister of India, titled “Opposition to Retroactive Enforcement of New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport”. As of this date, over 22,000 people have signed this online petition to the Prime Minister of India on the retroactive enforcement of the new rules for surrender of Indian passports by naturalized citizens of other countries. By signing the petition, the former Indian citizens have expressed their strong opposition to the new rules and have vented their anger and frustration with their comments.

GOPIO International strongly objects to the continuing retroactive enforcement of rules regarding the surrender of Indian passports from those who have acquired citizenship of other countries and the high service fee and penalties being charged to those who are in dire need for consular services.

GOPIO International reacted promptly against the retroactive enforcement of the new rules and initiated on-line petition which has received overwhelming support from the global Indian community. The petition and people’s comments can be viewed at:  http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ip100521/petition.html.

There are a few millions of people who have obtained citizenship of other countries over the last fifty five years, since the passage of Indian Citizenship Act 1955. The Indian Passport does not contain any instruction for surrender (per Indian passports issued in 1974 and in 2003). As such, the passports were not surrendered by the new naturalized citizens. The embassies and consulates never enforced their government’s applicable laws and rules and routinely gave Indian visas to the foreign passport holders of Indian origin for visit to India.

On May 28, 2010 GOPIO sent a letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. Dr Manmohan Singh, together with the first batch of over 19,000 signatures supporting the petition, with the following requests:

  1. To reconsider the retroactive enforcement of the new rules as many thousands of people could suffer undue and unnecessary hardship for no fault of their own. Indians who have been naturalized for years should be given the same 90 days window to obtain “surrender certificate” as being allowed to those Indians who become citizens of other countries now, without payment of fee or penalty.
  2. To reduce the service fee from $175 to a reasonable amount of $25 (USD) after the first 90 days.

In the meantime, Indian consulates are collecting hefty fees and applicable penalties from those American citizens of Indian Origin who badly need consular services. They are forced to sign an incorrect “Renunciation Form” which is good for those who are citizens of India and also of citizens of the United States. The “Renunciation Form” carries the heading of, “Declaration of Renunciation of citizenship made by a citizen of India who is also a citizen or national of another country” and is inconsistent item 3 with item 4 on the form (pertains to dual citizenship). The consular offices expect that this form be signed by declaring solemnly and sincerely. If the intent by the Government of India is to put cancellation stamp on the passport, a simple form without complex legalities should have been developed. Surrendering an Indian passport, valid or invalid, should not be a problem, but asking US citizens of Indian Origin to renounce Indian citizenship which they do not have is confusing, frustrating and burdensome, besides not the right thing to do.

GOPIO urges Indian community groups, organizations and individuals to continue protesting against the new rules by writing to the Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) at psfs@mea.gov.in and Secretary Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) at secretary@moia.nic.in The on line Petition drive is going to continue at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ip100521/petition.html

Until now, signatures supporting the online petition have come from those with Internet access. Community leaders and activists have started taking their laptops to the Indian community shopping centers, temples and mosques during this weekend so that those with no online computer access can also be aware and participate in supporting the petition.

The Government of India is urged to reconsider the enforcement of the new rules and ease undue and unnecessary hardship which many thousands of people will suffer for no fault of their own.

  • Since the rules are being applied retroactively, Indians who have been naturalized for years should be given the same 90 days window to obtain “surrender certificate” as are allowed to new naturalized citizens, without fees and penalties, provided they have Indian passport in their possession.
  • Service fee of $175 for Surrender Certificate is unreasonably high and should be reduced to $25 after the first 90-day period.
  • People of Indian Origin who have obtained OCI or PIO card should be considered as having already obtained Surrender Certificate.
  • People of Indian Origin who do not have Indian passport but have been citizens of their adopted country for over ten years and have legitimately used their long term visa(s) for visiting India, should furnish the following documents to obtain Surrender Certificate:
    1. Affidavit giving details of the passport and reasons for loss.
    2. Police report.





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